Produced by Sue Asscher and David Widger
MASTER FRANCIS RABELAIS
FIVE BOOKS OF THE LIVES, HEROIC DEEDS AND SAYINGS OF
GARGANTUA AND HIS SON PANTAGRUEL
Translated into English by
Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty
Peter Antony Motteux
The text of the first Two Books of Rabelais has been reprinted from the first edition (1653) of Urquhart’s translation. Footnotes initialled ‘M.’ are drawn from the Maitland Club edition (1838); other footnotes are by the translator. Urquhart’s translation of Book III. appeared posthumously in 1693, with a new edition of Books I. and II., under Motteux’s editorship. Motteux’s rendering of Books IV. and V. followed in 1708. Occasionally (as the footnotes indicate) passages omitted by Motteux have been restored from the 1738 copy edited by Ozell.
THE SECOND BOOK.
For the Reader.
The Reader here may be pleased to take notice that the copy of verses by the title of ‘Rablophila’, premised to the first book of this translation, being but a kind of mock poem, in imitation of somewhat lately published (as to any indifferent observer will easily appear, by the false quantities in the Latin, the abusive strain of the English, and extravagant subscription to both), and as such, by a friend of the translator’s, at the desire of some frolic gentlemen of his acquaintance, more for a trial of skill than prejudicacy to any, composed in his jollity to please their fancies, was only ordained to be prefixed to a dozen of books, and no more, thereby to save the labour of transcribing so many as were requisite for satisfying the curiosity of a company of just that number; and that, therefore, the charging of the whole impression with it is merely to be imputed to the negligence of the pressmen, who, receiving it about the latter end of the night, were so eager before the next morning to afford complete books, that, as they began, they went on, without animadverting what was recommended to their discretion. This is hoped will suffice to assure the ingenuous Reader that in no treatise of the translator’s, whether original or translatitious, shall willingly be offered the meanest rub to the reputation of any worthy gentleman, and that, however providence dispose of him, no misfortune shall be able to induce his mind to any complacency in the disparagement of another.
The Pentateuch of Rabelais mentioned in the title-page of the first book of this translation being written originally in the French tongue (as it comprehendeth some of its brusquest dialects), with so much ingeniosity and wit, that more impressions have been sold thereof in that language than of any other book that hath been set forth at any time within these fifteen hundred years; so difficult nevertheless to be turned into any other speech that many prime spirits in most of the nations of Europe, since the year 1573, which was fourscore years ago, after having attempted it, were constrained with no small regret to give it over as a thing impossible to be done, is now in its translation thus far advanced, and the remainder faithfully undertaken with the same hand to be rendered into English by a person of quality, who (though his lands be sequestered, his house garrisoned, his other goods sold, and himself detained a prisoner of war at London, for his having been at Worcester fight) hath, at the most earnest entreaty of some of his especial friends well acquainted with his inclination to the performance of conducible singularities, promised, besides his version of these two already published, very speedily to offer up unto this Isle of Britain the virginity of the translation of the other three most admirable books of the aforesaid author; provided that by the plurality of judicious and understanding men it be not declared he hath already proceeded too far, or that the continuation of the rigour whereby he is dispossessed of all his both real and personal estate, by pressing too hard upon him, be not an impediment thereto, and to other more eminent undertakings of his, as hath been oftentimes very fully mentioned by the said translator in several original treatises of his own penning, lately by him so numerously dispersed that there is scarce any, who being skilful in the English idiom, or curious of any new ingenious invention, hath not either read them or heard of them.
Mr. Hugh Salel to Rabelais.
If profit mixed with pleasure may suffice T’ extol an author’s worth above the skies, Thou certainly for both must praised be: I know it; for thy judgment hath in the
Contexture of this book set down such high Contentments, mingled with utility,
That (as I think) I see Democritus
Laughing at men as things ridiculous. Insist in thy design; for, though we prove Ungrate on earth, thy merit is above.
The Author’s Prologue.
Most illustrious and thrice valorous champions, gentlemen and others, who willingly apply your minds to the entertainment of pretty conceits and honest harmless knacks of wit; you have not long ago seen, read, and understood the great and inestimable Chronicle of the huge and mighty giant Gargantua, and, like upright faithfullists, have firmly believed all to be true that is contained in them, and have very often passed your time with them amongst honourable ladies and gentlewomen, telling them fair long stories, when you were out of all other talk, for which you are worthy of great praise and sempiternal memory. And I do heartily wish that every man would lay aside his own business, meddle no more with his profession nor trade, and throw all affairs concerning himself behind his back, to attend this wholly, without distracting or troubling his mind with anything else, until he have learned them without book; that if by chance the art of printing should cease, or in case that in time to come all books should perish, every man might truly teach them unto his children, and deliver them over to his successors and survivors from hand to hand as a religious cabal; for there is in it more profit than a rabble of great pocky loggerheads are able to discern, who surely understand far less in these little merriments than the fool Raclet did in the Institutions of Justinian.
I have known great and mighty lords, and of those not a few, who, going a-deer-hunting, or a-hawking after wild ducks, when the chase had not encountered with the blinks that were cast in her way to retard her course, or that the hawk did but plain and smoothly fly without moving her wings, perceiving the prey by force of flight to have gained bounds of her, have been much chafed and vexed, as you understand well enough; but the comfort unto which they had refuge, and that they might not take cold, was to relate the inestimable deeds of the said Gargantua. There are others in the world–these are no flimflam stories, nor tales of a tub–who, being much troubled with the toothache, after they had spent their goods upon physicians without receiving at all any ease of their pain, have found no more ready remedy than to put the said Chronicles betwixt two pieces of linen cloth made somewhat hot, and so apply them to the place that smarteth, sinapizing them with a little powder of projection, otherwise called doribus.
But what shall I say of those poor men that are plagued with the pox and the gout? O how often have we seen them, even immediately after they were anointed and thoroughly greased, till their faces did glister like the keyhole of a powdering tub, their teeth dance like the jacks of a pair of little organs or virginals when they are played upon, and that they foamed from their very throats like a boar which the mongrel mastiff-hounds have driven in and overthrown amongst the toils,–what did they then? All their consolation was to have some page of the said jolly book read unto them. And we have seen those who have given themselves to a hundred puncheons of old devils, in case that they did not feel a manifest ease and assuagement of pain at the hearing of the said book read, even when they were kept in a purgatory of torment; no more nor less than women in travail use to find their sorrow abated when the life of St. Margaret is read unto them. Is this nothing? Find me a book in any language, in any faculty or science whatsoever, that hath such virtues, properties, and prerogatives, and I will be content to pay you a quart of tripes. No, my masters, no; it is peerless, incomparable, and not to be matched; and this am I resolved for ever to maintain even unto the fire exclusive. And those that will pertinaciously hold the contrary opinion, let them be accounted abusers, predestinators, impostors, and seducers of the people. It is very true that there are found in some gallant and stately books, worthy of high estimation, certain occult and hid properties; in the number of which are reckoned Whippot, Orlando Furioso, Robert the Devil, Fierabras, William without Fear, Huon of Bordeaux, Monteville, and Matabrune: but they are not comparable to that which we speak of, and the world hath well known by infallible experience the great emolument and utility which it hath received by this Gargantuine Chronicle, for the printers have sold more of them in two months’ time than there will be bought of Bibles in nine years.
I therefore, your humble slave, being very willing to increase your solace and recreation yet a little more, do offer you for a present another book of the same stamp, only that it is a little more reasonable and worthy of credit than the other was. For think not, unless you wilfully will err against your knowledge, that I speak of it as the Jews do of the Law. I was not born under such a planet, neither did it ever befall me to lie, or affirm a thing for true that was not. I speak of it like a lusty frolic onocrotary (Onocratal is a bird not much unlike a swan, which sings like an ass’s braying.), I should say crotenotary (Crotenotaire or notaire crotte, croquenotaire or notaire croque are but allusions in derision of protonotaire, which signifieth a pregnotary.) of the martyrized lovers, and croquenotary of love. Quod vidimus, testamur. It is of the horrible and dreadful feats and prowesses of Pantagruel, whose menial servant I have been ever since I was a page, till this hour that by his leave I am permitted to visit my cow-country, and to know if any of my kindred there be alive.
And therefore, to make an end of this Prologue, even as I give myself to a hundred panniersful of fair devils, body and soul, tripes and guts, in case that I lie so much as one single word in this whole history; after the like manner, St. Anthony’s fire burn you, Mahoom’s disease whirl you, the squinance with a stitch in your side and the wolf in your stomach truss you, the bloody flux seize upon you, the cursed sharp inflammations of wild-fire, as slender and thin as cow’s hair strengthened with quicksilver, enter into your fundament, and, like those of Sodom and Gomorrah, may you fall into sulphur, fire, and bottomless pits, in case you do not firmly believe all that I shall relate unto you in this present Chronicle.
THE SECOND BOOK.
Of the original and antiquity of the great Pantagruel.
It will not be an idle nor unprofitable thing, seeing we are at leisure, to put you in mind of the fountain and original source whence is derived unto us the good Pantagruel. For I see that all good historiographers have thus handled their chronicles, not only the Arabians, Barbarians, and Latins, but also the gentle Greeks, who were eternal drinkers. You must therefore remark that at the beginning of the world–I speak of a long time; it is above forty quarantains, or forty times forty nights, according to the supputation of the ancient Druids–a little after that Abel was killed by his brother Cain, the earth, imbrued with the blood of the just, was one year so exceeding fertile in all those fruits which it usually produceth to us, and especially in medlars, that ever since throughout all ages it hath been called the year of the great medlars; for three of them did fill a bushel. In it the kalends were found by the Grecian almanacks. There was that year nothing of the month of March in the time of Lent, and the middle of August was in May. In the month of October, as I take it, or at least September, that I may not err, for I will carefully take heed of that, was the week so famous in the annals, which they call the week of the three Thursdays; for it had three of them by means of their irregular leap-years, called Bissextiles, occasioned by the sun’s having tripped and stumbled a little towards the left hand, like a debtor afraid of sergeants, coming right upon him to arrest him: and the moon varied from her course above five fathom, and there was manifestly seen the motion of trepidation in the firmament of the fixed stars, called Aplanes, so that the middle Pleiade, leaving her fellows, declined towards the equinoctial, and the star named Spica left the constellation of the Virgin to withdraw herself towards the Balance, known by the name of Libra, which are cases very terrible, and matters so hard and difficult that astrologians cannot set their teeth in them; and indeed their teeth had been pretty long if they could have reached thither.
However, account you it for a truth that everybody then did most heartily eat of these medlars, for they were fair to the eye and in taste delicious. But even as Noah, that holy man, to whom we are so much beholding, bound, and obliged, for that he planted to us the vine, from whence we have that nectarian, delicious, precious, heavenly, joyful, and deific liquor which they call the piot or tiplage, was deceived in the drinking of it, for he was ignorant of the great virtue and power thereof; so likewise the men and women of that time did delight much in the eating of that fair great fruit, but divers and very different accidents did ensue thereupon; for there fell upon them all in their bodies a most terrible swelling, but not upon all in the same place, for some were swollen in the belly, and their belly strouted out big like a great tun, of whom it is written, Ventrem omnipotentem, who were all very honest men, and merry blades. And of this race came St. Fatgulch and Shrove Tuesday (Pansart, Mardigras.). Others did swell at the shoulders, who in that place were so crump and knobby that they were therefore called Montifers, which is as much to say as Hill-carriers, of whom you see some yet in the world, of divers sexes and degrees. Of this race came Aesop, some of whose excellent words and deeds you have in writing. Some other puffs did swell in length by the member which they call the labourer of nature, in such sort that it grew marvellous long, fat, great, lusty, stirring, and crest-risen, in the antique fashion, so that they made use of it as of a girdle, winding it five or six times about their waist: but if it happened the foresaid member to be in good case, spooming with a full sail bunt fair before the wind, then to have seen those strouting champions, you would have taken them for men that had their lances settled on their rest to run at the ring or tilting whintam (quintain). Of these, believe me, the race is utterly lost and quite extinct, as the women say; for they do lament continually that there are none extant now of those great, &c. You know the rest of the song. Others did grow in matter of ballocks so enormously that three of them would well fill a sack able to contain five quarters of wheat. From them are descended the ballocks of Lorraine, which never dwell in codpieces, but fall down to the bottom of the breeches. Others grew in the legs, and to see them you would have said they had been cranes, or the reddish-long-billed-storklike-scrank-legged sea-fowls called flamans, or else men walking upon stilts or scatches. The little grammar-school boys, known by the name of Grimos, called those leg-grown slangams Jambus, in allusion to the French word jambe, which signifieth a leg. In others, their nose did grow so, that it seemed to be the beak of a limbeck, in every part thereof most variously diapered with the twinkling sparkles of crimson blisters budding forth, and purpled with pimples all enamelled with thickset wheals of a sanguine colour, bordered with gules; and such have you seen the Canon or Prebend Panzoult, and Woodenfoot, the physician of Angiers. Of which race there were few that looked the ptisane, but all of them were perfect lovers of the pure Septembral juice. Naso and Ovid had their extraction from thence, and all those of whom it is written, Ne reminiscaris. Others grew in ears, which they had so big that out of one would have been stuff enough got to make a doublet, a pair of breeches, and a jacket, whilst with the other they might have covered themselves as with a Spanish cloak: and they say that in Bourbonnois this race remaineth yet. Others grew in length of body, and of those came the Giants, and of them Pantagruel.
And the first was Chalbroth,
Who begat Sarabroth,
Who begat Faribroth,
Who begat Hurtali, that was a brave eater of pottage, and reigned in the time of the flood;
Who begat Nembroth,
Who begat Atlas, that with his shoulders kept the sky from falling; Who begat Goliah,
Who begat Erix, that invented the hocus pocus plays of legerdemain; Who begat Titius,
Who begat Eryon,
Who begat Polyphemus,
Who begat Cacus,
Who begat Etion, the first man that ever had the pox, for not drinking fresh in summer, as Bartachin witnesseth; Who begat Enceladus,
Who begat Ceus,
Who begat Tiphaeus,
Who begat Alaeus,
Who begat Othus,
Who begat Aegeon,
Who begat Briareus, that had a hundred hands; Who begat Porphyrio,
Who begat Adamastor,
Who begat Anteus,
Who begat Agatho,
Who begat Porus, against whom fought Alexander the Great; Who begat Aranthas,
Who begat Gabbara, that was the first inventor of the drinking of healths;
Who begat Goliah of Secondille,
Who begat Offot, that was terribly well nosed for drinking at the barrel-head;
Who begat Artachaeus,
Who begat Oromedon,
Who begat Gemmagog, the first inventor of Poulan shoes, which are open on the foot and tied over the instep with a lachet; Who begat Sisyphus,
Who begat the Titans, of whom Hercules was born; Who begat Enay, the most skilful man that ever was in matter of taking the little worms (called cirons) out of the hands; Who begat Fierabras, that was vanquished by Oliver, peer of France and Roland’s comrade;
Who begat Morgan, the first in the world that played at dice with spectacles;
Who begat Fracassus, of whom Merlin Coccaius hath written, and of him was born Ferragus,
Who begat Hapmouche, the first that ever invented the drying of neat’s tongues in the chimney; for, before that, people salted them as they do now gammons of bacon;
Who begat Bolivorax,
Who begat Longis,
Who begat Gayoffo, whose ballocks were of poplar, and his pr… of the service or sorb-apple-tree;
Who begat Maschefain,
Who begat Bruslefer,
Who begat Angoulevent,
Who begat Galehaut, the inventor of flagons; Who begat Mirelangaut,
Who begat Gallaffre,
Who begat Falourdin,
Who begat Roboast,
Who begat Sortibrant of Conimbres,
Who begat Brushant of Mommiere,
Who begat Bruyer that was overcome by Ogier the Dane, peer of France;
Who begat Mabrun,
Who begat Foutasnon,
Who begat Haquelebac,
Who begat Vitdegrain,
Who begat Grangousier,
Who begat Gargantua,
Who begat the noble Pantagruel, my master.
I know that, reading this passage, you will make a doubt within yourselves, and that grounded upon very good reason, which is this–how it is possible that this relation can be true, seeing at the time of the flood all the world was destroyed, except Noah and seven persons more with him in the ark, into whose number Hurtali is not admitted. Doubtless the demand is well made and very apparent, but the answer shall satisfy you, or my wit is not rightly caulked. And because I was not at that time to tell you anything of my own fancy, I will bring unto you the authority of the Massorets, good honest fellows, true ballockeering blades and exact Hebraical bagpipers, who affirm that verily the said Hurtali was not within the ark of Noah, neither could he get in, for he was too big, but he sat astride upon it, with one leg on the one side and another on the other, as little children use to do upon their wooden horses; or as the great bull of Berne, which was killed at Marinian, did ride for his hackney the great murdering piece called the canon-pevier, a pretty beast of a fair and pleasant amble without all question.
In that posture, he, after God, saved the said ark from danger, for with his legs he gave it the brangle that was needful, and with his foot turned it whither he pleased, as a ship answereth her rudder. Those that were within sent him up victuals in abundance by a chimney, as people very thankfully acknowledging the good that he did them. And sometimes they did talk together as Icaromenippus did to Jupiter, according to the report of Lucian. Have you understood all this well? Drink then one good draught without water, for if you believe it not,–no truly do I not, quoth she.
Of the nativity of the most dread and redoubted Pantagruel.
Gargantua at the age of four hundred fourscore forty and four years begat his son Pantagruel, upon his wife named Badebec, daughter to the king of the Amaurots in Utopia, who died in childbirth; for he was so wonderfully great and lumpish that he could not possibly come forth into the light of the world without thus suffocating his mother. But that we may fully understand the cause and reason of the name of Pantagruel which at his baptism was given him, you are to remark that in that year there was so great drought over all the country of Africa that there passed thirty and six months, three weeks, four days, thirteen hours and a little more without rain, but with a heat so vehement that the whole earth was parched and withered by it. Neither was it more scorched and dried up with heat in the days of Elijah than it was at that time; for there was not a tree to be seen that had either leaf or bloom upon it. The grass was without verdure or greenness, the rivers were drained, the fountains dried up, the poor fishes, abandoned and forsaken by their proper element, wandering and crying upon the ground most horribly. The birds did fall down from the air for want of moisture and dew wherewith to refresh them. The wolves, foxes, harts, wild boars, fallow deer, hares, coneys, weasels, brocks, badgers, and other such beasts, were found dead in the fields with their mouths open. In respect of men, there was the pity, you should have seen them lay out their tongues like hares that have been run six hours. Many did throw themselves into the wells. Others entered within a cow’s belly to be in the shade; those Homer calls Alibants. All the country was idle, and could do no virtue. It was a most lamentable case to have seen the labour of mortals in defending themselves from the vehemency of this horrific drought; for they had work enough to do to save the holy water in the churches from being wasted; but there was such order taken by the counsel of my lords the cardinals and of our holy Father, that none did dare to take above one lick. Yet when anyone came into the church, you should have seen above twenty poor thirsty fellows hang upon him that was the distributor of the water, and that with a wide open throat, gaping for some little drop, like the rich glutton in Luke, that might fall by, lest anything should be lost. O how happy was he in that year who had a cool cellar under ground, well plenished with fresh wine!
The philosopher reports, in moving the question, Wherefore it is that the sea-water is salt, that at the time when Phoebus gave the government of his resplendent chariot to his son Phaeton, the said Phaeton, unskilful in the art, and not knowing how to keep the ecliptic line betwixt the two tropics of the latitude of the sun’s course, strayed out of his way, and came so near the earth that he dried up all the countries that were under it, burning a great part of the heavens which the philosophers call Via lactea, and the huffsnuffs St. James’s way; although the most coped, lofty, and high-crested poets affirm that to be the place where Juno’s milk fell when she gave suck to Hercules. The earth at that time was so excessively heated that it fell into an enormous sweat, yea, such a one as made it sweat out the sea, which is therefore salt, because all sweat is salt; and this you cannot but confess to be true if you will taste of your own, or of those that have the pox, when they are put into sweating, it is all one to me.
Just such another case fell out this same year: for on a certain Friday, when the whole people were bent upon their devotions, and had made goodly processions, with store of litanies, and fair preachings, and beseechings of God Almighty to look down with his eye of mercy upon their miserable and disconsolate condition, there was even then visibly seen issue out of the ground great drops of water, such as fall from a puff-bagged man in a top sweat, and the poor hoidens began to rejoice as if it had been a thing very profitable unto them; for some said that there was not one drop of moisture in the air whence they might have any rain, and that the earth did supply the default of that. Other learned men said that it was a shower of the antipodes, as Seneca saith in his fourth book Quaestionum naturalium, speaking of the source and spring of Nilus. But they were deceived, for, the procession being ended, when everyone went about to gather of this dew, and to drink of it with full bowls, they found that it was nothing but pickle and the very brine of salt, more brackish in taste than the saltest water of the sea. And because in that very day Pantagruel was born, his father gave him that name; for Panta in Greek is as much to say as all, and Gruel in the Hagarene language doth signify thirsty, inferring hereby that at his birth the whole world was a-dry and thirsty, as likewise foreseeing that he would be some day supreme lord and sovereign of the thirsty Ethrappels, which was shown to him at that very same hour by a more evident sign. For when his mother Badebec was in the bringing of him forth, and that the midwives did wait to receive him, there came first out of her belly three score and eight tregeneers, that is, salt-sellers, every one of them leading in a halter a mule heavy laden with salt; after whom issued forth nine dromedaries, with great loads of gammons of bacon and dried neat’s tongues on their backs. Then followed seven camels loaded with links and chitterlings, hogs’ puddings, and sausages. After them came out five great wains, full of leeks, garlic, onions, and chibots, drawn with five-and-thirty strong cart-horses, which was six for every one, besides the thiller. At the sight hereof the said midwives were much amazed, yet some of them said, Lo, here is good provision, and indeed we need it; for we drink but lazily, as if our tongues walked on crutches, and not lustily like Lansman Dutches. Truly this is a good sign; there is nothing here but what is fit for us; these are the spurs of wine, that set it a-going. As they were tattling thus together after their own manner of chat, behold! out comes Pantagruel all hairy like a bear, whereupon one of them, inspired with a prophetical spirit, said, This will be a terrible fellow; he is born with all his hair; he is undoubtedly to do wonderful things, and if he live he shall have age.
Of the grief wherewith Gargantua was moved at the decease of his wife Badebec.
When Pantagruel was born, there was none more astonished and perplexed than was his father Gargantua; for of the one side seeing his wife Badebec dead, and on the other side his son Pantagruel born, so fair and so great, he knew not what to say nor what to do. And the doubt that troubled his brain was to know whether he should cry for the death of his wife or laugh for the joy of his son. He was hinc inde choked with sophistical arguments, for he framed them very well in modo et figura, but he could not resolve them, remaining pestered and entangled by this means, like a mouse caught in a trap or kite snared in a gin. Shall I weep? said he. Yes, for why? My so good wife is dead, who was the most this, the most that, that ever was in the world. Never shall I see her, never shall I recover such another; it is unto me an inestimable loss! O my good God, what had I done that thou shouldest thus punish me? Why didst thou not take me away before her, seeing for me to live without her is but to languish? Ah, Badebec, Badebec, my minion, my dear heart, my sugar, my sweeting, my honey, my little c– (yet it had in circumference full six acres, three rods, five poles, four yards, two foot, one inch and a half of good woodland measure), my tender peggy, my codpiece darling, my bob and hit, my slipshoe-lovey, never shall I see thee! Ah, poor Pantagruel, thou hast lost thy good mother, thy sweet nurse, thy well-beloved lady! O false death, how injurious and despiteful hast thou been to me! How malicious and outrageous have I found thee in taking her from me, my well-beloved wife, to whom immortality did of right belong!
With these words he did cry like a cow, but on a sudden fell a-laughing like a calf, when Pantagruel came into his mind. Ha, my little son, said he, my childilolly, fedlifondy, dandlichucky, my ballocky, my pretty rogue! O how jolly thou art, and how much am I bound to my gracious God, that hath been pleased to bestow on me a son so fair, so spriteful, so lively, so smiling, so pleasant, and so gentle! Ho, ho, ho, ho, how glad I am! Let us drink, ho, and put away melancholy! Bring of the best, rinse the glasses, lay the cloth, drive out these dogs, blow this fire, light candles, shut that door there, cut this bread in sippets for brewis, send away these poor folks in giving them what they ask, hold my gown. I will strip myself into my doublet (en cuerpo), to make the gossips merry, and keep them company.
As he spake this, he heard the litanies and the mementos of the priests that carried his wife to be buried, upon which he left the good purpose he was in, and was suddenly ravished another way, saying, Lord God! must I again contrist myself? This grieves me. I am no longer young, I grow old, the weather is dangerous; I may perhaps take an ague, then shall I be foiled, if not quite undone. By the faith of a gentleman, it were better to cry less, and drink more. My wife is dead, well, by G–! (da jurandi) I shall not raise her again by my crying: she is well, she is in paradise at least, if she be no higher: she prayeth to God for us, she is happy, she is above the sense of our miseries, nor can our calamities reach her. What though she be dead, must not we also die? The same debt which she hath paid hangs over our heads; nature will require it of us, and we must all of us some day taste of the same sauce. Let her pass then, and the Lord preserve the survivors; for I must now cast about how to get another wife. But I will tell you what you shall do, said he to the midwives, in France called wise women (where be they, good folks? I cannot see them): Go you to my wife’s interment, and I will the while rock my son; for I find myself somewhat altered and distempered, and should otherwise be in danger of falling sick; but drink one good draught first, you will be the better for it. And believe me, upon mine honour, they at his request went to her burial and funeral obsequies. In the meanwhile, poor Gargantua staying at home, and willing to have somewhat in remembrance of her to be engraven upon her tomb, made this epitaph in the manner as followeth.
Dead is the noble Badebec,
Who had a face like a rebeck;
A Spanish body, and a belly
Of Switzerland; she died, I tell ye, In childbirth. Pray to God, that her
He pardon wherein she did err.
Here lies her body, which did live Free from all vice, as I believe,
And did decease at my bedside,
The year and day in which she died.
Of the infancy of Pantagruel.
I find by the ancient historiographers and poets that divers have been born in this world after very strange manners, which would be too long to repeat; read therefore the seventh chapter of Pliny, if you have so much leisure. Yet have you never heard of any so wonderful as that of Pantagruel; for it is a very difficult matter to believe, how in the little time he was in his mother’s belly he grew both in body and strength. That which Hercules did was nothing, when in his cradle he slew two serpents, for those serpents were but little and weak, but Pantagruel, being yet in the cradle, did far more admirable things, and more to be amazed at. I pass by here the relation of how at every one of his meals he supped up the milk of four thousand and six hundred cows, and how, to make him a skillet to boil his milk in, there were set a-work all the braziers of Somure in Anjou, of Villedieu in Normandy, and of Bramont in Lorraine. And they served in this whitepot-meat to him in a huge great bell, which is yet to be seen in the city of Bourges in Berry, near the palace, but his teeth were already so well grown, and so strengthened with vigour, that of the said bell he bit off a great morsel, as very plainly doth appear till this hour.
One day in the morning, when they would have made him suck one of his cows –for he never had any other nurse, as the history tells us–he got one of his arms loose from the swaddling bands wherewith he was kept fast in the cradle, laid hold on the said cow under the left foreham, and grasping her to him ate up her udder and half of her paunch, with the liver and the kidneys, and had devoured all up if she had not cried out most horribly, as if the wolves had held her by the legs, at which noise company came in and took away the said cow from Pantagruel. Yet could they not so well do it but that the quarter whereby he caught her was left in his hand, of which quarter he gulped up the flesh in a trice, even with as much ease as you would eat a sausage, and that so greedily with desire of more, that, when they would have taken away the bone from him, he swallowed it down whole, as a cormorant would do a little fish; and afterwards began fumblingly to say, Good, good, good–for he could not yet speak plain–giving them to understand thereby that he had found it very good, and that he did lack but so much more. Which when they saw that attended him, they bound him with great cable-ropes, like those that are made at Tain for the carriage of salt to Lyons, or such as those are whereby the great French ship rides at anchor in the road of Newhaven in Normandy. But, on a certain time, a great bear, which his father had bred, got loose, came towards him, began to lick his face, for his nurses had not thoroughly wiped his chaps, at which unexpected approach being on a sudden offended, he as lightly rid himself of those great cables as Samson did of the hawser ropes wherewith the Philistines had tied him, and, by your leave, takes me up my lord the bear, and tears him to you in pieces like a pullet, which served him for a gorgeful or good warm bit for that meal.
Whereupon Gargantua, fearing lest the child should hurt himself, caused four great chains of iron to be made to bind him, and so many strong wooden arches unto his cradle, most firmly stocked and morticed in huge frames. Of those chains you have one at Rochelle, which they draw up at night betwixt the two great towers of the haven. Another is at Lyons,–a third at Angiers,–and the fourth was carried away by the devils to bind Lucifer, who broke his chains in those days by reason of a colic that did extraordinarily torment him, taken with eating a sergeant’s soul fried for his breakfast. And therefore you may believe that which Nicholas de Lyra saith upon that place of the Psalter where it is written, Et Og Regem Basan, that the said Og, being yet little, was so strong and robustious, that they were fain to bind him with chains of iron in his cradle. Thus continued Pantagruel for a while very calm and quiet, for he was not able so easily to break those chains, especially having no room in the cradle to give a swing with his arms. But see what happened once upon a great holiday that his father Gargantua made a sumptuous banquet to all the princes of his court. I am apt to believe that the menial officers of the house were so embusied in waiting each on his proper service at the feast, that nobody took care of poor Pantagruel, who was left a reculorum, behindhand, all alone, and as forsaken. What did he? Hark what he did, good people. He strove and essayed to break the chains of the cradle with his arms, but could not, for they were too strong for him. Then did he keep with his feet such a stamping stir, and so long, that at last he beat out the lower end of his cradle, which notwithstanding was made of a great post five foot in square; and as soon as he had gotten out his feet, he slid down as well as he could till he had got his soles to the ground, and then with a mighty force he rose up, carrying his cradle upon his back, bound to him like a tortoise that crawls up against a wall; and to have seen him, you would have thought it had been a great carrick of five hundred tons upon one end. In this manner he entered into the great hall where they were banqueting, and that very boldly, which did much affright the company; yet, because his arms were tied in, he could not reach anything to eat, but with great pain stooped now and then a little to take with the whole flat of his tongue some lick, good bit, or morsel. Which when his father saw, he knew well enough that they had left him without giving him anything to eat, and therefore commanded that he should be loosed from the said chains, by the counsel of the princes and lords there present. Besides that also the physicians of Gargantua said that, if they did thus keep him in the cradle, he would be all his lifetime subject to the stone. When he was unchained, they made him to sit down, where, after he had fed very well, he took his cradle and broke it into more than five hundred thousand pieces with one blow of his fist that he struck in the midst of it, swearing that he would never come into it again.
Of the acts of the noble Pantagruel in his youthful age.
Thus grew Pantagruel from day to day, and to everyone’s eye waxed more and more in all his dimensions, which made his father to rejoice by a natural affection. Therefore caused he to be made for him, whilst he was yet little, a pretty crossbow wherewith to shoot at small birds, which now they call the great crossbow at Chantelle. Then he sent him to the school to learn, and to spend his youth in virtue. In the prosecution of which design he came first to Poictiers, where, as he studied and profited very much, he saw that the scholars were oftentimes at leisure and knew not how to bestow their time, which moved him to take such compassion on them, that one day he took from a long ledge of rocks, called there Passelourdin, a huge great stone, of about twelve fathom square and fourteen handfuls thick, and with great ease set it upon four pillars in the midst of a field, to no other end but that the said scholars, when they had nothing else to do, might pass their time in getting up on that stone, and feast it with store of gammons, pasties, and flagons, and carve their names upon it with a knife, in token of which deed till this hour the stone is called the lifted stone. And in remembrance hereof there is none entered into the register and matricular book of the said university, or accounted capable of taking any degree therein, till he have first drunk in the caballine fountain of Croustelles, passed at Passelourdin, and got up upon the lifted stone.
Afterwards, reading the delectable chronicles of his ancestors, he found that Geoffrey of Lusignan, called Geoffrey with the great tooth, grandfather to the cousin-in-law of the eldest sister of the aunt of the son-in-law of the uncle of the good daughter of his stepmother, was interred at Maillezais; therefore one day he took campos (which is a little vacation from study to play a while), that he might give him a visit as unto an honest man. And going from Poictiers with some of his companions, they passed by the Guge (Leguge), visiting the noble Abbot Ardillon; then by Lusignan, by Sansay, by Celles, by Coolonges, by Fontenay-le-Comte, saluting the learned Tiraqueau, and from thence arrived at Maillezais, where he went to see the sepulchre of the said Geoffrey with the great tooth; which made him somewhat afraid, looking upon the picture, whose lively draughts did set him forth in the representation of a man in an extreme fury, drawing his great Malchus falchion half way out of his scabbard. When the reason hereof was demanded, the canons of the said place told him that there was no other cause of it but that Pictoribus atque Poetis, &c., that is to say, that painters and poets have liberty to paint and devise what they list after their own fancy. But he was not satisfied with their answer, and said, He is not thus painted without a cause, and I suspect that at his death there was some wrong done him, whereof he requireth his kindred to take revenge. I will inquire further into it, and then do what shall be reasonable. Then he returned not to Poictiers, but would take a view of the other universities of France. Therefore, going to Rochelle, he took shipping and arrived at Bordeaux, where he found no great exercise, only now and then he would see some mariners and lightermen a-wrestling on the quay or strand by the river-side. From thence he came to Toulouse, where he learned to dance very well, and to play with the two-handed sword, as the fashion of the scholars of the said university is to bestir themselves in games whereof they may have their hands full; but he stayed not long there when he saw that they did cause burn their regents alive like red herring, saying, Now God forbid that I should die this death! for I am by nature sufficiently dry already, without heating myself any further.
He went then to Montpellier, where he met with the good wives of Mirevaux, and good jovial company withal, and thought to have set himself to the study of physic; but he considered that that calling was too troublesome and melancholic, and that physicians did smell of glisters like old devils. Therefore he resolved he would study the laws; but seeing that there were but three scald- and one bald-pated legist in that place, he departed from thence, and in his way made the bridge of Guard and the amphitheatre of Nimes in less than three hours, which, nevertheless, seems to be a more divine than human work. After that he came to Avignon, where he was not above three days before he fell in love; for the women there take great delight in playing at the close-buttock game, because it is papal ground. Which his tutor and pedagogue Epistemon perceiving, he drew him out of that place, and brought him to Valence in the Dauphiny, where he saw no great matter of recreation, only that the lubbers of the town did beat the scholars, which so incensed him with anger, that when, upon a certain very fair Sunday, the people being at their public dancing in the streets, and one of the scholars offering to put himself into the ring to partake of that sport, the foresaid lubberly fellows would not permit him the admittance into their society, he, taking the scholar’s part, so belaboured them with blows, and laid such load upon them, that he drove them all before him, even to the brink of the river Rhone, and would have there drowned them, but that they did squat to the ground, and there lay close a full half-league under the river. The hole is to be seen there yet.
After that he departed from thence, and in three strides and one leap came to Angiers, where he found himself very well, and would have continued there some space, but that the plague drove them away. So from thence he came to Bourges, where he studied a good long time, and profited very much in the faculty of the laws, and would sometimes say that the books of the civil law were like unto a wonderfully precious, royal, and triumphant robe of cloth of gold edged with dirt; for in the world are no goodlier books to be seen, more ornate, nor more eloquent than the texts of the Pandects, but the bordering of them, that is to say, the gloss of Accursius, is so scurvy, vile, base, and unsavoury, that it is nothing but filthiness and villainy.
Going from Bourges, he came to Orleans, where he found store of swaggering scholars that made him great entertainment at his coming, and with whom he learned to play at tennis so well that he was a master at that game. For the students of the said place make a prime exercise of it; and sometimes they carried him unto Cupid’s houses of commerce (in that city termed islands, because of their being most ordinarily environed with other houses, and not contiguous to any), there to recreate his person at the sport of poussavant, which the wenches of London call the ferkers in and in. As for breaking his head with over-much study, he had an especial care not to do it in any case, for fear of spoiling his eyes. Which he the rather observed, for that it was told him by one of his teachers, there called regents, that the pain of the eyes was the most hurtful thing of any to the sight. For this cause, when he one day was made a licentiate, or graduate in law, one of the scholars of his acquaintance, who of learning had not much more than his burden, though instead of that he could dance very well and play at tennis, made the blazon and device of the licentiates in the said university, saying,
So you have in your hand a racket,
A tennis-ball in your cod-placket, A Pandect law in your cap’s tippet,
And that you have the skill to trip it In a low dance, you will b’ allowed
The grant of the licentiate’s hood.
How Pantagruel met with a Limousin, who too affectedly did counterfeit the French language.
Upon a certain day, I know not when, Pantagruel walking after supper with some of his fellow-students without that gate of the city through which we enter on the road to Paris, encountered with a young spruce-like scholar that was coming upon the same very way, and, after they had saluted one another, asked him thus, My friend, from whence comest thou now? The scholar answered him, From the alme, inclyte, and celebrate academy, which is vocitated Lutetia. What is the meaning of this? said Pantagruel to one of his men. It is, answered he, from Paris. Thou comest from Paris then, said Pantagruel; and how do you spend your time there, you my masters the students of Paris? The scholar answered, We transfretate the Sequan at the dilucul and crepuscul; we deambulate by the compites and quadrives of the urb; we despumate the Latial verbocination; and, like verisimilary amorabons, we captat the benevolence of the omnijugal, omniform and omnigenal feminine sex. Upon certain diecules we invisat the lupanares, and in a venerian ecstasy inculcate our veretres into the penitissime recesses of the pudends of these amicabilissim meretricules. Then do we cauponisate in the meritory taberns of the Pineapple, the Castle, the Magdalene, and the Mule, goodly vervecine spatules perforaminated with petrocile. And if by fortune there be rarity or penury of pecune in our marsupies, and that they be exhausted of ferruginean metal, for the shot we dimit our codices and oppignerat our vestments, whilst we prestolate the coming of the tabellaries from the Penates and patriotic Lares. To which Pantagruel answered, What devilish language is this? By the Lord, I think thou art some kind of heretick. My lord, no, said the scholar; for libentissimally, as soon as it illucesceth any minutule slice of the day, I demigrate into one of these so well architected minsters, and there, irrorating myself with fair lustral water, I mumble off little parcels of some missic precation of our sacrificuls, and, submurmurating my horary precules, I elevate and absterge my anime from its nocturnal inquinations. I revere the Olympicols. I latrially venere the supernal Astripotent. I dilige and redame my proxims. I observe the decalogical precepts, and, according to the facultatule of my vires, I do not discede from them one late unguicule. Nevertheless, it is veriform, that because Mammona doth not supergurgitate anything in my loculs, that I am somewhat rare and lent to supererogate the elemosynes to those egents that hostially queritate their stipe.
Prut, tut, said Pantagruel, what doth this fool mean to say? I think he is upon the forging of some diabolical tongue, and that enchanter-like he would charm us. To whom one of his men said, Without doubt, sir, this fellow would counterfeit the language of the Parisians, but he doth only flay the Latin, imagining by so doing that he doth highly Pindarize it in most eloquent terms, and strongly conceiteth himself to be therefore a great orator in the French, because he disdaineth the common manner of speaking. To which Pantagruel said, Is it true? The scholar answered, My worshipful lord, my genie is not apt nate to that which this flagitious nebulon saith, to excoriate the cut(ic)ule of our vernacular Gallic, but vice-versally I gnave opere, and by veles and rames enite to locupletate it with the Latinicome redundance. By G–, said Pantagruel, I will teach you to speak. But first come hither, and tell me whence thou art. To this the scholar answered, The primeval origin of my aves and ataves was indigenary of the Lemovic regions, where requiesceth the corpor of the hagiotat St. Martial. I understand thee very well, said Pantagruel. When all comes to all, thou art a Limousin, and thou wilt here by thy affected speech counterfeit the Parisians. Well now, come hither, I must show thee a new trick, and handsomely give thee the combfeat. With this he took him by the throat, saying to him, Thou flayest the Latin; by St. John, I will make thee flay the fox, for I will now flay thee alive. Then began the poor Limousin to cry, Haw, gwid maaster! haw, Laord, my halp, and St. Marshaw! haw, I’m worried. Haw, my thropple, the bean of my cragg is bruck! Haw, for gauad’s seck lawt my lean, mawster; waw, waw, waw. Now, said Pantagruel, thou speakest naturally, and so let him go, for the poor Limousin had totally bewrayed and thoroughly conshit his breeches, which were not deep and large enough, but round straight cannioned gregs, having in the seat a piece like a keeling’s tail, and therefore in French called, de chausses a queue de merlus. Then, said Pantagruel, St. Alipantin, what civet? Fie! to the devil with this turnip-eater, as he stinks! and so let him go. But this hug of Pantagruel’s was such a terror to him all the days of his life, and took such deep impression in his fancy, that very often, distracted with sudden affrightments, he would startle and say that Pantagruel held him by the neck. Besides that, it procured him a continual drought and desire to drink, so that after some few years he died of the death Roland, in plain English called thirst, a work of divine vengeance, showing us that which saith the philosopher and Aulus Gellius, that it becometh us to speak according to the common language; and that we should, as said Octavian Augustus, strive to shun all strange and unknown terms with as much heedfulness and circumspection as pilots of ships use to avoid the rocks and banks in the sea.
How Pantagruel came to Paris, and of the choice books of the Library of St. Victor.
After that Pantagruel had studied very well at Orleans, he resolved to see the great University at Paris; but, before his departure, he was informed that there was a huge big bell at St. Anian in the said town of Orleans, under the ground, which had been there above two hundred and fourteen years, for it was so great that they could not by any device get it so much as above the ground, although they used all the means that are found in Vitruvius de Architectura, Albertus de Re Aedificatoria, Euclid, Theon, Archimedes, and Hero de Ingeniis; for all that was to no purpose. Wherefore, condescending heartily to the humble request of the citizens and inhabitants of the said town, he determined to remove it to the tower that was erected for it. With that he came to the place where it was, and lifted it out of the ground with his little finger as easily as you would have done a hawk’s bell or bellwether’s tingle-tangle; but, before he would carry it to the foresaid tower or steeple appointed for it, he would needs make some music with it about the town, and ring it alongst all the streets as he carried it in his hand, wherewith all the people were very glad. But there happened one great inconveniency, for with carrying it so, and ringing it about the streets, all the good Orleans wine turned instantly, waxed flat and was spoiled, which nobody there did perceive till the night following; for every man found himself so altered and a-dry with drinking these flat wines, that they did nothing but spit, and that as white as Malta cotton, saying, We have of the Pantagruel, and our very throats are salted. This done, he came to Paris with his retinue. And at his entry everyone came out to see him–as you know well enough that the people of Paris is sottish by nature, by B flat and B sharp–and beheld him with great astonishment, mixed with no less fear that he would carry away the palace into some other country, a remotis, and far from them, as his father formerly had done the great peal of bells at Our Lady’s Church to tie about his mare’s neck. Now after he had stayed there a pretty space, and studied very well in all the seven liberal arts, he said it was a good town to live in, but not to die; for that the grave-digging rogues of St. Innocent used in frosty nights to warm their bums with dead men’s bones. In his abode there he found the library of St. Victor a very stately and magnific one, especially in some books which were there, of which followeth the Repertory and Catalogue, Et primo,
The for Godsake of Salvation.
The Codpiece of the Law.
The Slipshoe of the Decretals.
The Pomegranate of Vice.
The Clew-bottom of Theology.
The Duster or Foxtail-flap of Preachers, composed by Turlupin. The Churning Ballock of the Valiant.
The Henbane of the Bishops.
Marmotretus de baboonis et apis, cum Commento Dorbellis. Decretum Universitatis Parisiensis super gorgiasitate muliercularum ad placitum.
The Apparition of Sancte Geltrude to a Nun of Poissy, being in travail at the bringing forth of a child. Ars honeste fartandi in societate, per Marcum Corvinum (Ortuinum). The Mustard-pot of Penance.
The Gamashes, alias the Boots of Patience. Formicarium artium.
De brodiorum usu, et honestate quartandi, per Sylvestrem Prioratem Jacobinum.
The Cosened or Gulled in Court.
The Frail of the Scriveners.
The Cruizy or Crucible of Contemplation. The Flimflams of the Law.
The Prickle of Wine.
The Spur of Cheese.
Ruboffatorium (Decrotatorium) scholarium. Tartaretus de modo cacandi.
The Bravades of Rome.
Bricot de Differentiis Browsarum.
The Tailpiece-Cushion, or Close-breech of Discipline. The Cobbled Shoe of Humility.
The Trivet of good Thoughts.
The Kettle of Magnanimity.
The Cavilling Entanglements of Confessors. The Snatchfare of the Curates.
Reverendi patris fratris Lubini, provincialis Bavardiae, de gulpendis lardslicionibus libri tres.
Pasquilli Doctoris Marmorei, de capreolis cum artichoketa comedendis, tempore Papali ab Ecclesia interdicto.
The Invention of the Holy Cross, personated by six wily Priests. The Spectacles of Pilgrims bound for Rome. Majoris de modo faciendi puddinos.
The Bagpipe of the Prelates.
Beda de optimitate triparum.
The Complaint of the Barristers upon the Reformation of Comfits. The Furred Cat of the Solicitors and Attorneys. Of Peas and Bacon, cum Commento.
The Small Vales or Drinking Money of the Indulgences. Praeclarissimi juris utriusque Doctoris Maistre Pilloti, &c., Scrap-farthingi de botchandis glossae Accursianae Triflis repetitio enucidi-luculidissima.
Stratagemata Francharchiaeri de Baniolet. Carlbumpkinus de Re Militari cum Figuris Tevoti. De usu et utilitate flayandi equos et equas, authore Magistro nostro de Quebecu.
The Sauciness of Country-Stewards.
M.N. Rostocostojambedanesse de mustarda post prandium servienda, libri quatuordecim, apostillati per M. Vaurillonis. The Covillage or Wench-tribute of Promoters. (Jabolenus de Cosmographia Purgatorii.)
Quaestio subtilissima, utrum Chimaera in vacuo bonbinans possit comedere secundas intentiones; et fuit debatuta per decem hebdomadas in Consilio Constantiensi.
The Bridle-champer of the Advocates. Smutchudlamenta Scoti.
The Rasping and Hard-scraping of the Cardinals. De calcaribus removendis, Decades undecim, per M. Albericum de Rosata. Ejusdem de castramentandis criminibus libri tres. The Entrance of Anthony de Leve into the Territories of Brazil. (Marforii, bacalarii cubantis Romae) de peelandis aut unskinnandis blurrandisque Cardinalium mulis.
The said Author’s Apology against those who allege that the Pope’s mule doth eat but at set times.
Prognosticatio quae incipit, Silvii Triquebille, balata per M.N., the deep-dreaming gull Sion.
Boudarini Episcopi de emulgentiarum profectibus Aeneades novem, cum privilegio Papali ad triennium et postea non. The Shitabranna of the Maids.
The Bald Arse or Peeled Breech of the Widows. The Cowl or Capouch of the Monks.
The Mumbling Devotion of the Celestine Friars. The Passage-toll of Beggarliness.
The Teeth-chatter or Gum-didder of Lubberly Lusks. The Paring-shovel of the Theologues.
The Drench-horn of the Masters of Arts. The Scullions of Olcam, the uninitiated Clerk. Magistri N. Lickdishetis, de garbellisiftationibus horarum canonicarum, libri quadriginta.
Arsiversitatorium confratriarum, incerto authore. The Gulsgoatony or Rasher of Cormorants and Ravenous Feeders. The Rammishness of the Spaniards supergivuregondigaded by Friar Inigo. The Muttering of Pitiful Wretches.
Dastardismus rerum Italicarum, authore Magistro Burnegad. R. Lullius de Batisfolagiis Principum.
Calibistratorium caffardiae, authore M. Jacobo Hocstraten hereticometra. Codtickler de Magistro nostrandorum Magistro nostratorumque beuvetis, libri octo galantissimi.
The Crackarades of Balists or stone-throwing Engines, Contrepate Clerks, Scriveners, Brief-writers, Rapporters, and Papal Bull-despatchers lately compiled by Regis. A perpetual Almanack for those that have the gout and the pox. Manera sweepandi fornacellos per Mag. Eccium. The Shable or Scimetar of Merchants.
The Pleasures of the Monachal Life. The Hotchpot of Hypocrites.
The History of the Hobgoblins.
The Ragamuffinism of the pensionary maimed Soldiers. The Gulling Fibs and Counterfeit shows of Commissaries. The Litter of Treasurers.
The Juglingatorium of Sophisters.
Antipericatametanaparbeugedamphicribrationes Toordicantium. The Periwinkle of Ballad-makers.
The Push-forward of the Alchemists. The Niddy-noddy of the Satchel-loaded Seekers, by Friar Bindfastatis. The Shackles of Religion.
The Racket of Swag-waggers.
The Leaning-stock of old Age.
The Muzzle of Nobility.
The Ape’s Paternoster.
The Crickets and Hawk’s-bells of Devotion. The Pot of the Ember-weeks.
The Mortar of the Politic Life.
The Flap of the Hermits.
The Riding-hood or Monterg of the Penitentiaries. The Trictrac of the Knocking Friars.
Blockheadodus, de vita et honestate bragadochiorum. Lyrippii Sorbonici Moralisationes, per M. Lupoldum. The Carrier-horse-bells of Travellers.
The Bibbings of the tippling Bishops. Dolloporediones Doctorum Coloniensium adversus Reuclin. The Cymbals of Ladies.
The Dunger’s Martingale.
Whirlingfriskorum Chasemarkerorum per Fratrem Crackwoodloguetis. The Clouted Patches of a Stout Heart.
The Mummery of the Racket-keeping Robin-goodfellows. Gerson, de auferibilitate Papae ab Ecclesia. The Catalogue of the Nominated and Graduated Persons. Jo. Dytebrodii, terribilitate excommunicationis libellus acephalos. Ingeniositas invocandi diabolos et diabolas, per M. Guingolphum. The Hotchpotch or Gallimaufry of the perpetually begging Friars. The Morris-dance of the Heretics.
The Whinings of Cajetan.
Muddisnout Doctoris Cherubici, de origine Roughfootedarum, et Wryneckedorum ritibus, libri septem.
Sixty-nine fat Breviaries.
The Nightmare of the five Orders of Beggars. The Skinnery of the new Start-ups extracted out of the fallow-butt, incornifistibulated and plodded upon in the angelic sum. The Raver and idle Talker in cases of Conscience. The Fat Belly of the Presidents.
The Baffling Flouter of the Abbots. Sutoris adversus eum qui vocaverat eum Slabsauceatorem, et quod Slabsauceatores non sunt damnati ab Ecclesia. Cacatorium medicorum.
The Chimney-sweeper of Astrology.
Campi clysteriorum per paragraph C. The Bumsquibcracker of Apothecaries.
The Kissbreech of Chirurgery.
Justinianus de Whiteleperotis tollendis. Antidotarium animae.
Merlinus Coccaius, de patria diabolorum. The Practice of Iniquity, by Cleuraunes Sadden. The Mirror of Baseness, by Radnecu Waldenses. The Engrained Rogue, by Dwarsencas Eldenu. The Merciless Cormorant, by Hoxinidno the Jew.
Of which library some books are already printed, and the rest are now at the press in this noble city of Tubingen.
How Pantagruel, being at Paris, received letters from his father Gargantua, and the copy of them.
Pantagruel studied very hard, as you may well conceive, and profited accordingly; for he had an excellent understanding and notable wit, together with a capacity in memory equal to the measure of twelve oil budgets or butts of olives. And, as he was there abiding one day, he received a letter from his father in manner as followeth.
Most dear Son,–Amongst the gifts, graces, and prerogatives, with which the sovereign plasmator God Almighty hath endowed and adorned human nature at the beginning, that seems to me most singular and excellent by which we may in a mortal state attain to a kind of immortality, and in the course of this transitory life perpetuate our name and seed, which is done by a progeny issued from us in the lawful bonds of matrimony. Whereby that in some measure is restored unto us which was taken from us by the sin of our first parents, to whom it was said that, because they had not obeyed the commandment of God their Creator, they should die, and by death should be brought to nought that so stately frame and plasmature wherein the man at first had been created.
But by this means of seminal propagation there (“Which continueth” in the old copy.) continueth in the children what was lost in the parents, and in the grandchildren that which perished in their fathers, and so successively until the day of the last judgment, when Jesus Christ shall have rendered up to God the Father his kingdom in a peaceable condition, out of all danger and contamination of sin; for then shall cease all generations and corruptions, and the elements leave off their continual transmutations, seeing the so much desired peace shall be attained unto and enjoyed, and that all things shall be brought to their end and period. And, therefore, not without just and reasonable cause do I give thanks to God my Saviour and Preserver, for that he hath enabled me to see my bald old age reflourish in thy youth; for when, at his good pleasure, who rules and governs all things, my soul shall leave this mortal habitation, I shall not account myself wholly to die, but to pass from one place unto another, considering that, in and by that, I continue in my visible image living in the world, visiting and conversing with people of honour, and other my good friends, as I was wont to do. Which conversation of mine, although it was not without sin, because we are all of us trespassers, and therefore ought continually to beseech his divine majesty to blot our transgressions out of his memory, yet was it, by the help and grace of God, without all manner of reproach before men.
Wherefore, if those qualities of the mind but shine in thee wherewith I am endowed, as in thee remaineth the perfect image of my body, thou wilt be esteemed by all men to be the perfect guardian and treasure of the immortality of our name. But, if otherwise, I shall truly take but small pleasure to see it, considering that the lesser part of me, which is the body, would abide in thee, and the best, to wit, that which is the soul, and by which our name continues blessed amongst men, would be degenerate and abastardized. This I do not speak out of any distrust that I have of thy virtue, which I have heretofore already tried, but to encourage thee yet more earnestly to proceed from good to better. And that which I now write unto thee is not so much that thou shouldst live in this virtuous course, as that thou shouldst rejoice in so living and having lived, and cheer up thyself with the like resolution in time to come; to the prosecution and accomplishment of which enterprise and generous undertaking thou mayst easily remember how that I have spared nothing, but have so helped thee, as if I had had no other treasure in this world but to see thee once in my life completely well-bred and accomplished, as well in virtue, honesty, and valour, as in all liberal knowledge and civility, and so to leave thee after my death as a mirror representing the person of me thy father, and if not so excellent, and such in deed as I do wish thee, yet such in my desire.
But although my deceased father of happy memory, Grangousier, had bent his best endeavours to make me profit in all perfection and political knowledge, and that my labour and study was fully correspondent to, yea, went beyond his desire, nevertheless, as thou mayest well understand, the time then was not so proper and fit for learning as it is at present, neither had I plenty of such good masters as thou hast had. For that time was darksome, obscured with clouds of ignorance, and savouring a little of the infelicity and calamity of the Goths, who had, wherever they set footing, destroyed all good literature, which in my age hath by the divine goodness been restored unto its former light and dignity, and that with such amendment and increase of the knowledge, that now hardly should I be admitted unto the first form of the little grammar-schoolboys–I say, I, who in my youthful days was, and that justly, reputed the most learned of that age. Which I do not speak in vain boasting, although I might lawfully do it in writing unto thee–in verification whereof thou hast the authority of Marcus Tullius in his book of old age, and the sentence of Plutarch in the book entitled How a man may praise himself without envy–but to give thee an emulous encouragement to strive yet further.
Now is it that the minds of men are qualified with all manner of discipline, and the old sciences revived which for many ages were extinct. Now it is that the learned languages are to their pristine purity restored, viz., Greek, without which a man may be ashamed to account himself a scholar, Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldaean, and Latin. Printing likewise is now in use, so elegant and so correct that better cannot be imagined, although it was found out but in my time by divine inspiration, as by a diabolical suggestion on the other side was the invention of ordnance. All the world is full of knowing men, of most learned schoolmasters, and vast libraries; and it appears to me as a truth, that neither in Plato’s time, nor Cicero’s, nor Papinian’s, there was ever such conveniency for studying as we see at this day there is. Nor must any adventure henceforward to come in public, or present himself in company, that hath not been pretty well polished in the shop of Minerva. I see robbers, hangmen, freebooters, tapsters, ostlers, and such like, of the very rubbish of the people, more learned now than the doctors and preachers were in my time.
What shall I say? The very women and children have aspired to this praise and celestial manner of good learning. Yet so it is that, in the age I am now of, I have been constrained to learn the Greek tongue–which I contemned not like Cato, but had not the leisure in my younger years to attend the study of it–and take much delight in the reading of Plutarch’s Morals, the pleasant Dialogues of Plato, the Monuments of Pausanias, and the Antiquities of Athenaeus, in waiting on the hour wherein God my Creator shall call me and command me to depart from this earth and transitory pilgrimage. Wherefore, my son, I admonish thee to employ thy youth to profit as well as thou canst, both in thy studies and in virtue. Thou art at Paris, where the laudable examples of many brave men may stir up thy mind to gallant actions, and hast likewise for thy tutor and pedagogue the learned Epistemon, who by his lively and vocal documents may instruct thee in the arts and sciences.
I intend, and will have it so, that thou learn the languages perfectly; first of all the Greek, as Quintilian will have it; secondly, the Latin; and then the Hebrew, for the Holy Scripture sake; and then the Chaldee and Arabic likewise, and that thou frame thy style in Greek in imitation of Plato, and for the Latin after Cicero. Let there be no history which thou shalt not have ready in thy memory; unto the prosecuting of which design, books of cosmography will be very conducible and help thee much. Of the liberal arts of geometry, arithmetic, and music, I gave thee some taste when thou wert yet little, and not above five or six years old. Proceed further in them, and learn the remainder if thou canst. As for astronomy, study all the rules thereof. Let pass, nevertheless, the divining and judicial astrology, and the art of Lullius, as being nothing else but plain abuses and vanities. As for the civil law, of that I would have thee to know the texts by heart, and then to confer them with philosophy.
Now, in matter of the knowledge of the works of nature, I would have thee to study that exactly, and that so there be no sea, river, nor fountain, of which thou dost not know the fishes; all the fowls of the air; all the several kinds of shrubs and trees, whether in forests or orchards; all the sorts of herbs and flowers that grow upon the ground; all the various metals that are hid within the bowels of the earth; together with all the diversity of precious stones that are to be seen in the orient and south parts of the world. Let nothing of all these be hidden from thee. Then fail not most carefully to peruse the books of the Greek, Arabian, and Latin physicians, not despising the Talmudists and Cabalists; and by frequent anatomies get thee the perfect knowledge of the other world, called the microcosm, which is man. And at some hours of the day apply thy mind to the study of the Holy Scriptures; first in Greek, the New Testament, with the Epistles of the Apostles; and then the Old Testament in Hebrew. In brief, let me see thee an abyss and bottomless pit of knowledge; for from henceforward, as thou growest great and becomest a man, thou must part from this tranquillity and rest of study, thou must learn chivalry, warfare, and the exercises of the field, the better thereby to defend my house and our friends, and to succour and protect them at all their needs against the invasion and assaults of evildoers.
Furthermore, I will that very shortly thou try how much thou hast profited, which thou canst not better do than by maintaining publicly theses and conclusions in all arts against all persons whatsoever, and by haunting the company of learned men, both at Paris and otherwhere. But because, as the wise man Solomon saith, Wisdom entereth not into a malicious mind, and that knowledge without conscience is but the ruin of the soul, it behoveth thee to serve, to love, to fear God, and on him to cast all thy thoughts and all thy hope, and by faith formed in charity to cleave unto him, so that thou mayst never be separated from him by thy sins. Suspect the abuses of the world. Set not thy heart upon vanity, for this life is transitory, but the Word of the Lord endureth for ever. Be serviceable to all thy neighbours, and love them as thyself. Reverence thy preceptors: shun the conversation of those whom thou desirest not to resemble, and receive not in vain the graces which God hath bestowed upon thee. And, when thou shalt see that thou hast attained to all the knowledge that is to be acquired in that part, return unto me, that I may see thee and give thee my blessing before I die. My son, the peace and grace of our Lord be with thee. Amen.
Thy father Gargantua.
From Utopia the 17th day of the month of March.
These letters being received and read, Pantagruel plucked up his heart, took a fresh courage to him, and was inflamed with a desire to profit in his studies more than ever, so that if you had seen him, how he took pains, and how he advanced in learning, you would have said that the vivacity of his spirit amidst the books was like a great fire amongst dry wood, so active it was, vigorous and indefatigable.
How Pantagruel found Panurge, whom he loved all his lifetime.
One day, as Pantagruel was taking a walk without the city, towards St. Anthony’s abbey, discoursing and philosophating with his own servants and some other scholars, (he) met with a young man of very comely stature and surpassing handsome in all the lineaments of his body, but in several parts thereof most pitifully wounded; in such bad equipage in matter of his apparel, which was but tatters and rags, and every way so far out of order that he seemed to have been a-fighting with mastiff-dogs, from whose fury he had made an escape; or to say better, he looked, in the condition wherein he then was, like an apple-gatherer of the country of Perche.
As far off as Pantagruel saw him, he said to those that stood by, Do you see that man there, who is a-coming hither upon the road from Charenton bridge? By my faith, he is only poor in fortune; for I may assure you that by his physiognomy it appeareth that nature hath extracted him from some rich and noble race, and that too much curiosity hath thrown him upon adventures which possibly have reduced him to this indigence, want, and penury. Now as he was just amongst them, Pantagruel said unto him, Let me entreat you, friend, that you may be pleased to stop here a little and answer me to that which I shall ask you, and I am confident you will not think your time ill bestowed; for I have an extreme desire, according to my ability, to give you some supply in this distress wherein I see you are; because I do very much commiserate your case, which truly moves me to great pity. Therefore, my friend, tell me who you are; whence you come; whither you go; what you desire; and what your name is. The companion answered him in the German (The first edition reads “Dutch.”) tongue, thus:
‘Junker, Gott geb euch gluck und heil. Furwahr, lieber Junker, ich lasz euch wissen, das da ihr mich von fragt, ist ein arm und erbarmlich Ding, und wer viel darvon zu sagen, welches euch verdrussig zu horen, und mir zu erzelen wer, wiewol die Poeten und Oratorn vorzeiten haben gesagt in ihren Spruchen und Sentenzen, dasz die gedechtniss des Elends und Armuth vorlangst erlitten ist eine grosse Lust.’ My friend, said Pantagruel, I have no skill in that gibberish of yours; therefore, if you would have us to understand you, speak to us in some other language. Then did the droll answer him thus:
‘Albarildim gotfano dechmin brin alabo dordio falbroth ringuam albaras. Nin portzadikin almucatin milko prin alelmin en thoth dalheben ensouim; kuthim al dum alkatim nim broth dechoth porth min michais im endoth, pruch dalmaisoulum hol moth danfrihim lupaldas in voldemoth. Nin hur diavosth mnarbotim dalgousch palfrapin duch im scoth pruch galeth dal chinon, min foulchrich al conin brutathen doth dal prin.’ Do you understand none of this? said Pantagruel to the company. I believe, said Epistemon, that this is the language of the Antipodes, and such a hard one that the devil himself knows not what to make of it. Then said Pantagruel, Gossip, I know not if the walls do comprehend the meaning of your words, but none of us here doth so much as understand one syllable of them. Then said my blade again:
‘Signor mio, voi vedete per essempio, che la cornamusa non suona mai, s’ella non ha il ventre pieno. Cosi io parimente non vi saprei contare le mie fortune, se prima il tribulato ventre non ha la solita refettione. Al quale e adviso che le mani et li denti habbiano perso il loro ordine naturale et del tutto annichilati.’ To which Epistemon answered, As much of the one as of the other, and nothing of either. Then said Panurge:
‘Lord, if you be so virtuous of intelligence as you be naturally relieved to the body, you should have pity of me. For nature hath made us equal, but fortune hath some exalted and others deprived; nevertheless is virtue often deprived and the virtuous men despised; for before the last end none is good.’ (The following is the passage as it stands in the first edition. Urquhart seems to have rendered Rabelais’ indifferent English into worse Scotch, and this, with probably the use of contractions in his MS., or ‘the oddness’ of handwriting which he owns to in his Logopandecteision (p.419, Mait. Club. Edit.), has led to a chaotic jumble, which it is nearly impossible to reduce to order.–Instead of any attempt to do so, it is here given verbatim: ‘Lard gestholb besua virtuisbe intelligence: ass yi body scalbisbe natural reloth cholb suld osme pety have; for natur hass visse equaly maide bot fortune sum exaiti hesse andoyis deprevit: non yeless iviss mou virtiuss deprevit, and virtuiss men decreviss for anen ye ladeniss non quid.’ Here is a morsel for critical ingenuity to fix its teeth in.–M.) Yet less, said Pantagruel. Then said my jolly Panurge:
‘Jona andie guaussa goussy etan beharda er remedio beharde versela ysser landa. Anbat es otoy y es nausu ey nessassust gourray proposian ordine den. Non yssena bayta facheria egabe gen herassy badia sadassu noura assia. Aran hondavan gualde cydassu naydassuna. Estou oussyc eg vinan soury hien er darstura eguy harm. Genicoa plasar vadu.’ Are you there, said Eudemon, Genicoa? To this said Carpalim, St. Trinian’s rammer unstitch your bum, for I had almost understood it. Then answered Panurge:
‘Prust frest frinst sorgdmand strochdi drhds pag brlelang Gravot Chavigny Pomardiere rusth pkaldracg Deviniere pres Nays. Couille kalmuch monach drupp del meupplist rincq drlnd dodelb up drent loch minc stz rinq jald de vins ders cordelis bur jocst stzampenards.’ Do you speak Christian, said Epistemon, or the buffoon language, otherwise called Patelinois? Nay, it is the puzlatory tongue, said another, which some call Lanternois. Then said Panurge:
‘Heere, ik en spreeke anders geen taele dan kersten taele: my dunkt noghtans, al en seg ik u niet een wordt, mynen noot verklaert genoegh wat ik begeere: geeft my uyt bermhertigheit yets waar van ik gevoet magh zyn.’ To which answered Pantagruel, As much of that. Then said Panurge:
‘Sennor, de tanto hablar yo soy cansado, porque yo suplico a vuestra reverentia que mire a los preceptos evangelicos, para que ellos movan vuestra reverentia a lo que es de conscientia; y si ellos non bastaren, para mouer vuestra reverentia a piedad, yo suplico que mire a la piedad natural, la qual yo creo que le movera como es de razon: y con esso non digo mas.’ Truly, my friend, (said Pantagruel,) I doubt not but you can speak divers languages; but tell us that which you would have us to do for you in some tongue which you conceive we may understand. Then said the companion:
‘Min Herre, endog ieg med ingen tunge talede, ligesom baern, oc uskellige creatuure: Mine klaedebon oc mit legoms magerhed uduiser alligeuel klarlig huad ting mig best behof gioris, som er sandelig mad oc dricke: Huorfor forbarme dig ofuer mig, oc befal at giue mig noguet, af huilcket ieg kand slyre min giaeendis mage, ligeruiis som mand Cerbero en suppe forsetter: Saa skalt du lefue laenge oc lycksalig.’ I think really, said Eusthenes, that the Goths spoke thus of old, and that, if it pleased God, we would all of us speak so with our tails. Then again said Panurge:
‘Adon, scalom lecha: im ischar harob hal hebdeca bimeherah thithen li kikar lehem: chanchat ub laah al Adonai cho nen ral.’ To which answered Epistemon, At this time have I understood him very well; for it is the Hebrew tongue most rhetorically pronounced. Then again said the gallant:
‘Despota tinyn panagathe, diati sy mi ouk artodotis? horas gar limo analiscomenon eme athlion, ke en to metaxy me ouk eleis oudamos, zetis de par emou ha ou chre. Ke homos philologi pantes homologousi tote logous te ke remata peritta hyparchin, hopote pragma afto pasi delon esti. Entha gar anankei monon logi isin, hina pragmata (hon peri amphisbetoumen), me prosphoros epiphenete.’ What? Said Carpalim, Pantagruel’s footman, It is Greek, I have understood him. And how? hast thou dwelt any while in Greece? Then said the droll again:
‘Agonou dont oussys vous desdagnez algorou: nou den farou zamist vous mariston ulbrou, fousques voubrol tant bredaguez moupreton dengoulhoust, daguez daguez non cropys fost pardonnoflist nougrou. Agou paston tol nalprissys hourtou los echatonous, prou dhouquys brol pany gou den bascrou noudous caguons goulfren goul oustaroppassou.’ (In this and the preceding speeches of Panurge, the Paris Variorum Edition of 1823 has been followed in correcting Urquhart’s text, which is full of inaccuracies.–M.) Methinks I understand him, said Pantagruel; for either it is the language of my country of Utopia, or sounds very like it. And, as he was about to have begun some purpose, the companion said:
‘Jam toties vos per sacra, perque deos deasque omnes obtestatus sum, ut si quae vos pietas permovet, egestatem meam solaremini, nec hilum proficio clamans et ejulans. Sinite, quaeso, sinite, viri impii, quo me fata vocant abire; nec ultra vanis vestris interpellationibus obtundatis, memores veteris illius adagii, quo venter famelicus auriculis carere dicitur.’ Well, my friend, said Pantagruel, but cannot you speak French? That I can do, sir, very well, said the companion, God be thanked. It is my natural language and mother tongue, for I was born and bred in my younger years in the garden of France, to wit, Touraine. Then, said Pantagruel, tell us what is your name, and from whence you are come; for, by my faith, I have already stamped in my mind such a deep impression of love towards you, that, if you will condescend unto my will, you shall not depart out of my company, and you and I shall make up another couple of friends such as Aeneas and Achates were. Sir, said the companion, my true and proper Christian name is Panurge, and now I come out of Turkey, to which country I was carried away prisoner at that time when they went to Metelin with a mischief. And willingly would I relate unto you my fortunes, which are more wonderful than those of Ulysses were; but, seeing that it pleaseth you to retain me with you, I most heartily accept of the offer, protesting never to leave you should you go to all the devils in hell. We shall have therefore more leisure at another time, and a fitter opportunity wherein to report them; for at this present I am in a very urgent necessity to feed; my teeth are sharp, my belly empty, my throat dry, and my stomach fierce and burning, all is ready. If you will but set me to work, it will be as good as a balsamum for sore eyes to see me gulch and raven it. For God’s sake, give order for it. Then Pantagruel commanded that they should carry him home and provide him good store of victuals; which being done, he ate very well that evening, and, capon-like, went early to bed; then slept until dinner-time the next day, so that he made but three steps and one leap from the bed to the board.
How Pantagruel judged so equitably of a controversy, which was wonderfully obscure and difficult, that, by reason of his just decree therein, he was reputed to have a most admirable judgment.
Pantagruel, very well remembering his father’s letter and admonitions, would one day make trial of his knowledge. Thereupon, in all the carrefours, that is, throughout all the four quarters, streets, and corners of the city, he set up conclusions to the number of nine thousand seven hundred sixty and four, in all manner of learning, touching in them the hardest doubts that are in any science. And first of all, in the Fodder Street he held dispute against all the regents or fellows of colleges, artists or masters of arts, and orators, and did so gallantly that he overthrew them and set them all upon their tails. He went afterwards to the Sorbonne, where he maintained argument against all the theologians or divines, for the space of six weeks, from four o’clock in the morning until six in the evening, except an interval of two hours to refresh themselves and take their repast. And at this were present the greatest part of the lords of the court, the masters of requests, presidents, counsellors, those of the accompts, secretaries, advocates, and others; as also the sheriffs of the said town, with the physicians and professors of the canon law. Amongst which, it is to be remarked, that the greatest part were stubborn jades, and in their opinions obstinate; but he took such course with them that, for all their ergoes and fallacies, he put their backs to the wall, gravelled them in the deepest questions, and made it visibly appear to the world that, compared to him, they were but monkeys and a knot of muffled calves. Whereupon everybody began to keep a bustling noise and talk of his so marvellous knowledge, through all degrees of persons of both sexes, even to the very laundresses, brokers, roast-meat sellers, penknife makers, and others, who, when he passed along in the street, would say, This is he! in which he took delight, as Demosthenes, the prince of Greek orators, did, when an old crouching wife, pointing at him with her fingers, said, That is the man.
Now at this same very time there was a process or suit in law depending in court between two great lords, of which one was called my Lord Kissbreech, plaintiff of one side, and the other my Lord Suckfist, defendant of the other; whose controversy was so high and difficult in law that the court of parliament could make nothing of it. And therefore, by the commandment of the king, there were assembled four of the greatest and most learned of all the parliaments of France, together with the great council, and all the principal regents of the universities, not only of France, but of England also and Italy, such as Jason, Philippus Decius, Petrus de Petronibus, and a rabble of other old Rabbinists. Who being thus met together, after they had thereupon consulted for the space of six-and-forty weeks, finding that they could not fasten their teeth in it, nor with such clearness understand the case as that they might in any manner of way be able to right it, or take up the difference betwixt the two aforesaid parties, it did so grievously vex them that they most villainously conshit themselves for shame. In this great extremity one amongst them, named Du Douhet, the learnedest of all, and more expert and prudent than any of the rest, whilst one day they were thus at their wits’ end, all-to-be-dunced and philogrobolized in their brains, said unto them, We have been here, my masters, a good long space, without doing anything else than trifle away both our time and money, and can nevertheless find neither brim nor bottom in this matter, for the more we study about it the less we understand therein, which is a great shame and disgrace to us, and a heavy burden to our consciences; yea, such that in my opinion we shall not rid ourselves of it without dishonour, unless we take some other course; for we do nothing but dote in our consultations.
See, therefore, what I have thought upon. You have heard much talking of that worthy personage named Master Pantagruel, who hath been found to be learned above the capacity of this present age, by the proofs he gave in those great disputations which he held publicly against all men. My opinion is, that we send for him to confer with him about this business; for never any man will encompass the bringing of it to an end if he do it not.
Hereunto all the counsellors and doctors willingly agreed, and according to that their result having instantly sent for him, they entreated him to be pleased to canvass the process and sift it thoroughly, that, after a deep search and narrow examination of all the points thereof, he might forthwith make the report unto them such as he shall think good in true and legal knowledge. To this effect they delivered into his hands the bags wherein were the writs and pancarts concerning that suit, which for bulk and weight were almost enough to lade four great couillard or stoned asses. But Pantagruel said unto them, Are the two lords between whom this debate and process is yet living? It was answered him, Yes. To what a devil, then, said he, serve so many paltry heaps and bundles of papers and copies which you give me? Is it not better to hear their controversy from their own mouths whilst they are face to face before us, than to read these vile fopperies, which are nothing but trumperies, deceits, diabolical cozenages of Cepola, pernicious slights and subversions of equity? For I am sure that you, and all those through whose hands this process has passed, have by your devices added what you could to it pro et contra in such sort that, although their difference perhaps was clear and easy enough to determine at first, you have obscured it and made it more intricate by the frivolous, sottish, unreasonable, and foolish reasons and opinions of Accursius, Baldus, Bartolus, de Castro, de Imola, Hippolytus, Panormo, Bertachin, Alexander, Curtius, and those other old mastiffs, who never understood the least law of the Pandects, they being but mere blockheads and great tithe calves, ignorant of all that which was needful for the understanding of the laws; for, as it is most certain, they had not the knowledge either of the Greek or Latin tongue, but only of the Gothic and barbarian. The laws, nevertheless, were first taken from the Greeks, according to the testimony of Ulpian, L. poster. de origine juris, which we likewise may perceive by that all the laws are full of Greek words and sentences. And then we find that they are reduced into a Latin style the most elegant and ornate that whole language is able to afford, without excepting that of any that ever wrote therein, nay, not of Sallust, Varro, Cicero, Seneca, Titus Livius, nor Quintilian. How then could these old dotards be able to understand aright the text of the laws who never in their time had looked upon a good Latin book, as doth evidently enough appear by the rudeness of their style, which is fitter for a chimney-sweeper, or for a cook or a scullion, than for a jurisconsult and doctor in the laws?
Furthermore, seeing the laws are excerpted out of the middle of moral and natural philosophy, how should these fools have understood it, that have, by G–, studied less in philosophy than my mule? In respect of human learning and the knowledge of antiquities and history they were truly laden with those faculties as a toad is with feathers. And yet of all this the laws are so full that without it they cannot be understood, as I intend more fully to show unto you in a peculiar treatise which on that purpose I am about to publish. Therefore, if you will that I take any meddling in this process, first cause all these papers to be burnt; secondly, make the two gentlemen come personally before me, and afterwards, when I shall have heard them, I will tell you my opinion freely without any feignedness or dissimulation whatsoever.
Some amongst them did contradict this motion, as you know that in all companies there are more fools than wise men, and that the greater part always surmounts the better, as saith Titus Livius in speaking of the Carthaginians. But the foresaid Du Douhet held the contrary opinion, maintaining that Pantagruel had said well, and what was right, in affirming that these records, bills of inquest, replies, rejoinders, exceptions, depositions, and other such diableries of truth-entangling writs, were but engines wherewith to overthrow justice and unnecessarily to prolong such suits as did depend before them; and that, therefore, the devil would carry them all away to hell if they did not take another course and proceeded not in times coming according to the prescripts of evangelical and philosophical equity. In fine, all the papers were burnt, and the two gentlemen summoned and personally convented. At whose appearance before the court Pantagruel said unto them, Are you they that have this great difference betwixt you? Yes, my lord, said they. Which of you, said Pantagruel, is the plaintiff? It is I, said my Lord Kissbreech. Go to, then, my friend, said he, and relate your matter unto me from point to point, according to the real truth, or else, by cock’s body, if I find you to lie so much as in one word, I will make you shorter by the head, and take it from off your shoulders to show others by your example that in justice and judgment men ought to speak nothing but the truth. Therefore take heed you do not add nor impair anything in the narration of your case. Begin.
How the Lords of Kissbreech and Suckfist did plead before Pantagruel without an attorney.
Then began Kissbreech in manner as followeth. My lord, it is true that a good woman of my house carried eggs to the market to sell. Be covered, Kissbreech, said Pantagruel. Thanks to you, my lord, said the Lord Kissbreech; but to the purpose. There passed betwixt the two tropics the sum of threepence towards the zenith and a halfpenny, forasmuch as the Riphaean mountains had been that year oppressed with a great sterility of counterfeit gudgeons and shows without substance, by means of the babbling tattle and fond fibs seditiously raised between the gibblegabblers and Accursian gibberish-mongers for the rebellion of the Switzers, who had assembled themselves to the full number of the bumbees and myrmidons to go a-handsel-getting on the first day of the new year, at that very time when they give brewis to the oxen and deliver the key of the coals to the country-girls for serving in of the oats to the dogs. All the night long they did nothing else, keeping their hands still upon the pot, but despatch, both on foot and horseback, leaden-sealed writs or letters, to wit, papal commissions commonly called bulls, to stop the boats; for the tailors and seamsters would have made of the stolen shreds and clippings a goodly sagbut to cover the face of the ocean, which then was great with child of a potful of cabbage, according to the opinion of the hay-bundle-makers. But the physicians said that by the urine they could discern no manifest sign of the bustard’s pace, nor how to eat double-tongued mattocks with mustard, unless the lords and gentlemen of the court should be pleased to give by B.mol express command to the pox not to run about any longer in gleaning up of coppersmiths and tinkers; for the jobbernolls had already a pretty good beginning in their dance of the British jig called the estrindore, to a perfect diapason, with one foot in the fire, and their head in the middle, as goodman Ragot was wont to say.
Ha, my masters, God moderates all things, and disposeth of them at his pleasure, so that against unlucky fortune a carter broke his frisking whip, which was all the wind-instrument he had. This was done at his return from the little paltry town, even then when Master Antitus of Cressplots was licentiated, and had passed his degrees in all dullery and blockishness, according to this sentence of the canonists, Beati Dunces, quoniam ipsi stumblaverunt. But that which makes Lent to be so high, by St. Fiacre of Bry, is for nothing else but that the Pentecost never comes but to my cost; yet, on afore there, ho! a little rain stills a great wind, and we must think so, seeing that the sergeant hath propounded the matter so far above my reach, that the clerks and secondaries could not with the benefit thereof lick their fingers, feathered with ganders, so orbicularly as they were wont in other things to do. And we do manifestly see that everyone acknowledgeth himself to be in the error wherewith another hath been charged, reserving only those cases whereby we are obliged to take an ocular inspection in a perspective glass of these things towards the place in the chimney where hangeth the sign of the wine of forty girths, which have been always accounted very necessary for the number of twenty pannels and pack-saddles of the bankrupt protectionaries of five years’ respite. Howsoever, at least, he that would not let fly the fowl before the cheesecakes ought in law to have discovered his reason why not, for the memory is often lost with a wayward shoeing. Well, God keep Theobald Mitain from all danger! Then said Pantagruel, Hold there! Ho, my friend, soft and fair, speak at leisure and soberly without putting yourself in choler. I understand the case,–go on. Now then, my lord, said Kissbreech, the foresaid good woman saying her gaudez and audi nos, could not cover herself with a treacherous backblow, ascending by the wounds and passions of the privileges of the universities, unless by the virtue of a warming-pan she had angelically fomented every part of her body in covering them with a hedge of garden-beds; then giving in a swift unavoidable thirst (thrust) very near to the place where they sell the old rags whereof the painters of Flanders make great use when they are about neatly to clap on shoes on grasshoppers, locusts, cigals, and such like fly-fowls, so strange to us that I am wonderfully astonished why the world doth not lay, seeing it is so good to hatch.
Here the Lord of Suckfist would have interrupted him and spoken somewhat, whereupon Pantagruel said unto him, St! by St. Anthony’s belly, doth it become thee to speak without command? I sweat here with the extremity of labour and exceeding toil I take to understand the proceeding of your mutual difference, and yet thou comest to trouble and disquiet me. Peace, in the devil’s name, peace. Thou shalt be permitted to speak thy bellyful when this man hath done, and no sooner. Go on, said he to Kissbreech; speak calmly, and do not overheat yourself with too much haste.
I perceiving, then, said Kissbreech, that the Pragmatical Sanction did make no mention of it, and that the holy Pope to everyone gave liberty to fart at his own ease, if that the blankets had no streaks wherein the liars were to be crossed with a ruffian-like crew, and, the rainbow being newly sharpened at Milan to bring forth larks, gave his full consent that the good woman should tread down the heel of the hip-gut pangs, by virtue of a solemn protestation put in by the little testiculated or codsted fishes, which, to tell the truth, were at that time very necessary for understanding the syntax and construction of old boots. Therefore John Calf, her cousin gervais once removed with a log from the woodstack, very seriously advised her not to put herself into the hazard of quagswagging in the lee, to be scoured with a buck of linen clothes till first she had kindled the paper. This counsel she laid hold on, because he desired her to take nothing and throw out, for Non de ponte vadit, qui cum sapientia cadit. Matters thus standing, seeing the masters of the chamber of accompts or members of that committee did not fully agree amongst themselves in casting up the number of the Almany whistles, whereof were framed those spectacles for princes which have been lately printed at Antwerp, I must needs think that it makes a bad return of the writ, and that the adverse party is not to be believed, in sacer verbo dotis. For that, having a great desire to obey the pleasure of the king, I armed myself from toe to top with belly furniture, of the soles of good venison-pasties, to go see how my grape-gatherers and vintagers had pinked and cut full of small holes their high-coped caps, to lecher it the better, and play at in and in. And indeed the time was very dangerous in coming from the fair, in so far that many trained bowmen were cast at the muster and quite rejected, although the chimney-tops were high enough, according to the proportion of the windgalls in the legs of horses, or of the malanders, which in the esteem of expert farriers is no better disease, or else the story of Ronypatifam or Lamibaudichon, interpreted by some to be the tale of a tub or of a roasted horse, savours of apocrypha, and is not an authentic history. And by this means there was that year great abundance, throughout all the country of Artois, of tawny buzzing beetles, to the no small profit of the gentlemen-great-stick-faggot-carriers, when they did eat without disdaining the cocklicranes, till their belly was like to crack with it again. As for my own part, such is my Christian charity towards my neighbours, that I could wish from my heart everyone had as good a voice; it would make us play the better at the tennis and the balloon. And truly, my lord, to express the real truth without dissimulation, I cannot but say that those petty subtle devices which are found out in the etymologizing of pattens would descend more easily into the river of Seine, to serve for ever at the millers’ bridge upon the said water, as it was heretofore decreed by the king of the Canarians, according to the sentence or judgment given thereupon, which is to be seen in the registry and records within the clerk’s office of this house.
And, therefore, my lord, I do most humbly require, that by your lordship there may be said and declared upon the case what is reasonable, with costs, damages, and interests. Then said Pantagruel, My friend, is this all you have to say? Kissbreech answered, Yes, my lord, for I have told all the tu autem, and have not varied at all upon mine honour in so much as one single word. You then, said Pantagruel, my Lord of Suckfist, say what you will, and be brief, without omitting, nevertheless, anything that may serve to the purpose.
How the Lord of Suckfist pleaded before Pantagruel.
Then began the Lord Suckfist in manner as followeth. My lord, and you my masters, if the iniquity of men were as easily seen in categorical judgment as we can discern flies in a milkpot, the world’s four oxen had not been so eaten up with rats, nor had so many ears upon the earth been nibbled away so scurvily. For although all that my adversary hath spoken be of a very soft and downy truth, in so much as concerns the letter and history of the factum, yet nevertheless the crafty slights, cunning subtleties, sly cozenages, and little troubling entanglements are hid under the rosepot, the common cloak and cover of all fraudulent deceits.
Should I endure that, when I am eating my pottage equal with the best, and that without either thinking or speaking any manner of ill, they rudely come to vex, trouble, and perplex my brains with that antique proverb which saith,
Who in his pottage-eating drinks will not, When he is dead and buried, see one jot.
And, good lady, how many great captains have we seen in the day of battle, when in open field the sacrament was distributed in luncheons of the sanctified bread of the confraternity, the more honestly to nod their heads, play on the lute, and crack with their tails, to make pretty little platform leaps in keeping level by the ground? But now the world is unshackled from the corners of the packs of Leicester. One flies out lewdly and becomes debauched; another, likewise, five, four, and two, and that at such random that, if the court take not some course therein, it will make as bad a season in matter of gleaning this year as ever it made, or it will make goblets. If any poor creature go to the stoves to illuminate his muzzle with a cowsherd or to buy winter-boots, and that the sergeants passing by, or those of the watch, happen to receive the decoction of a clyster or the fecal matter of a close-stool upon their rustling-wrangling-clutter-keeping masterships, should any because of that make bold to clip the shillings and testers and fry the wooden dishes? Sometimes, when we think one thing, God does another; and when the sun is wholly set all beasts are in the shade. Let me never be believed again, if I do not gallantly prove it by several people who have seen the light of the day.
In the year thirty and six, buying a Dutch curtail, which was a middle-sized horse, both high and short, of a wool good enough and dyed in grain, as the goldsmiths assured me, although the notary put an &c. in it, I told really that I was not a clerk of so much learning as to snatch at the moon with my teeth; but, as for the butter-firkin where Vulcanian deeds and evidences were sealed, the rumour was, and the report thereof went current, that salt-beef will make one find the way to the wine without a candle, though it were hid in the bottom of a collier’s sack, and that with his drawers on he were mounted on a barbed horse furnished with a fronstal, and such arms, thighs, and leg-pieces as are requisite for the well frying and broiling of a swaggering sauciness. Here is a sheep’s head, and it is well they make a proverb of this, that it is good to see black cows in burnt wood when one attains to the enjoyment of his love. I had a consultation upon this point with my masters the clerks, who for resolution concluded in frisesomorum that there is nothing like to mowing in the summer, and sweeping clean away in water, well garnished with paper, ink, pens, and penknives, of Lyons upon the river of Rhone, dolopym dolopof, tarabin tarabas, tut, prut, pish; for, incontinently after that armour begins to smell of garlic, the rust will go near to eat the liver, not of him that wears it, and then do they nothing else but withstand others’ courses, and wryneckedly set up their bristles ‘gainst one another, in lightly passing over their afternoon’s sleep, and this is that which maketh salt so dear. My lords, believe not when the said good woman had with birdlime caught the shoveler fowl, the better before a sergeant’s witness to deliver the younger son’s portion to him, that the sheep’s pluck or hog’s haslet did dodge and shrink back in the usurers’ purses, or that there could be anything better to preserve one from the cannibals than to take a rope of onions, knit with three hundred turnips, and a little of a calf’s chaldern of the best allay that the alchemists have provided, (and) that they daub and do over with clay, as also calcinate and burn to dust these pantoufles, muff in muff out, mouflin mouflard, with the fine sauce of the juice of the rabble rout, whilst they hide themselves in some petty mouldwarphole, saving always the little slices of bacon. Now, if the dice will not favour you with any other throw but ambes-ace and the chance of three at the great end, mark well the ace, then take me your dame, settle her in a corner of the bed, and whisk me her up drilletrille, there, there, toureloura la la; which when you have done, take a hearty draught of the best, despicando grenovillibus, in despite of the frogs, whose fair coarse bebuskined stockings shall be set apart for the little green geese or mewed goslings, which, fattened in a coop, take delight to sport themselves at the wagtail game, waiting for the beating of the metal and heating of the wax by the slavering drivellers of consolation.
Very true it is, that the four oxen which are in debate, and whereof mention was made, were somewhat short in memory. Nevertheless, to understand the game aright, they feared neither the cormorant nor mallard of Savoy, which put the good people of my country in great hope that their children some time should become very skilful in algorism. Therefore is it, that by a law rubric and special sentence thereof, that we cannot fail to take the wolf if we make our hedges higher than the windmill, whereof somewhat was spoken by the plaintiff. But the great devil did envy it, and by that means put the High Dutches far behind, who played the devils in swilling down and tippling at the good liquor, trink, mein herr, trink, trink, by two of my table-men in the corner-point I have gained the lurch. For it is not probable, nor is there any appearance of truth in this saying, that at Paris upon a little bridge the hen is proportionable, and were they as copped and high-crested as marsh whoops, if veritably they did not sacrifice the printer’s pumpet-balls at Moreb, with a new edge set upon them by text letters or those of a swift-writing hand, it is all one to me, so that the headband of the book breed not moths or worms in it. And put the case that, at the coupling together of the buckhounds, the little puppies shall have waxed proud before the notary could have given an account of the serving of his writ by the cabalistic art, it will necessarily follow, under correction of the better judgment of the court, that six acres of meadow ground of the greatest breadth will make three butts of fine ink, without paying ready money; considering that, at the funeral of King Charles, we might have had the fathom in open market for one and two, that is, deuce ace. This I may affirm with a safe conscience, upon my oath of wool.
And I see ordinarily in all good bagpipes, that, when they go to the counterfeiting of the chirping of small birds, by swinging a broom three times about a chimney, and putting his name upon record, they do nothing but bend a crossbow backwards, and wind a horn, if perhaps it be too hot, and that, by making it fast to a rope he was to draw, immediately after the sight of the letters, the cows were restored to him. Such another sentence after the homeliest manner was pronounced in the seventeenth year, because of the bad government of Louzefougarouse, whereunto it may please the court to have regard. I desire to be rightly understood; for truly, I say not but that in all equity, and with an upright conscience, those may very well be dispossessed who drink holy water as one would do a weaver’s shuttle, whereof suppositories are made to those that will not resign, but on the terms of ell and tell and giving of one thing for another. Tunc, my lords, quid juris pro minoribus? For the common custom of the Salic law is such, that the first incendiary or firebrand of sedition that flays the cow and wipes his nose in a full concert of music without blowing in the cobbler’s stitches, should in the time of the nightmare sublimate the penury of his member by moss gathered when people are like to founder themselves at the mess at midnight, to give the estrapade to these white wines of Anjou that do the fear of the leg in lifting it by horsemen called the gambetta, and that neck to neck after the fashion of Brittany, concluding as before with costs, damages, and interests.
After that the Lord of Suckfist had ended, Pantagruel said to the Lord of Kissbreech, My friend, have you a mind to make any reply to what is said? No, my lord, answered Kissbreech; for I have spoke all I intended, and nothing but the truth. Therefore, put an end for God’s sake to our difference, for we are here at great charge.
How Pantagruel gave judgment upon the difference of the two lords.
Then Pantagruel, rising up, assembled all the presidents, counsellors, and doctors that were there, and said unto them, Come now, my masters, you have heard vivae vocis oraculo, the controversy that is in question; what do you think of it? They answered him, We have indeed heard it, but have not understood the devil so much as one circumstance of the case; and therefore we beseech you, una voce, and in courtesy request you that you would give sentence as you think good, and, ex nunc prout ex tunc, we are satisfied with it, and do ratify it with our full consents. Well, my masters, said Pantagruel, seeing you are so pleased, I will do it; but I do not truly find the case so difficult as you make it. Your paragraph Caton, the law Frater, the law Gallus, the law Quinque pedum, the law Vinum, the law Si Dominus, the law Mater, the law Mulier bona, to the law Si quis, the law Pomponius, the law Fundi, the law Emptor, the law Praetor, the law Venditor, and a great many others, are far more intricate in my opinion. After he had spoke this, he walked a turn or two about the hall, plodding very profoundly, as one may think; for he did groan like an ass whilst they girth him too hard, with the very intensiveness of considering how he was bound in conscience to do right to both parties, without varying or accepting of persons. Then he returned, sat down, and began to pronounce sentence as followeth.
Having seen, heard, calculated, and well considered of the difference between the Lords of Kissbreech and Suckfist, the court saith unto them, that in regard of the sudden quaking, shivering, and hoariness of the flickermouse, bravely declining from the estival solstice, to attempt by private means the surprisal of toyish trifles in those who are a little unwell for having taken a draught too much, through the lewd demeanour and vexation of the beetles that inhabit the diarodal (diarhomal) climate of an hypocritical ape on horseback, bending a crossbow backwards, the plaintiff truly had just cause to calfet, or with oakum to stop the chinks of the galleon which the good woman blew up with wind, having one foot shod and the other bare, reimbursing and restoring to him, low and stiff in his conscience, as many bladder-nuts and wild pistaches as there is of hair in eighteen cows, with as much for the embroiderer, and so much for that. He is likewise declared innocent of the case privileged from the knapdardies, into the danger whereof it was thought he had incurred; because he could not jocundly and with fulness of freedom untruss and dung, by the decision of a pair of gloves perfumed with the scent of bum-gunshot at the walnut-tree taper, as is usual in his country of Mirebalais. Slacking, therefore, the topsail, and letting go the bowline with the brazen bullets, wherewith the mariners did by way of protestation bake in pastemeat great store of pulse interquilted with the dormouse, whose hawk’s-bells were made with a puntinaria, after the manner of Hungary or Flanders lace, and which his brother-in-law carried in a pannier, lying near to three chevrons or bordered gules, whilst he was clean out of heart, drooping and crestfallen by the too narrow sifting, canvassing, and curious examining of the matter in the angularly doghole of nasty scoundrels, from whence we shoot at the vermiformal popinjay with the flap made of a foxtail.
But in that he chargeth the defendant that he was a botcher, cheese-eater, and trimmer of man’s flesh embalmed, which in the arsiversy swagfall tumble was not found true, as by the defendant was very well discussed.
The court, therefore, doth condemn and amerce him in three porringers of curds, well cemented and closed together, shining like pearls, and codpieced after the fashion of the country, to be paid unto the said defendant about the middle of August in May. But, on the other part, the defendant shall be bound to furnish him with hay and stubble for stopping the caltrops of his throat, troubled and impulregafized, with gabardines garbled shufflingly, and friends as before, without costs and for cause.
Which sentence being pronounced, the two parties departed both contented with the decree, which was a thing almost incredible. For it never came to pass since the great rain, nor shall the like occur in thirteen jubilees hereafter, that two parties contradictorily contending in judgment be equally satisfied and well pleased with the definitive sentence. As for the counsellors and other doctors in the law that were there present, they were all so ravished with admiration at the more than human wisdom of Pantagruel, which they did most clearly perceive to be in him by his so accurate decision of this so difficult and thorny cause, that their spirits with the extremity of the rapture being elevated above the pitch of actuating the organs of the body, they fell into a trance and sudden ecstasy, wherein they stayed for the space of three long hours, and had been so as yet in that condition had not some good people fetched store of vinegar and rose-water to bring them again unto their former sense and understanding, for the which God be praised everywhere. And so be it.
How Panurge related the manner how he escaped out of the hands of the Turks.
The great wit and judgment of Pantagruel was immediately after this made known unto all the world by setting forth his praises in print, and putting upon record this late wonderful proof he hath given thereof amongst the rolls of the crown and registers of the palace, in such sort that everybody began to say that Solomon, who by a probable guess only, without any further certainty, caused the child to be delivered to its own mother, showed never in his time such a masterpiece of wisdom as the good Pantagruel hath done. Happy are we, therefore, that have him in our country. And indeed they would have made him thereupon master of the requests and president in the court; but he refused all, very graciously thanking them for their offer. For, said he, there is too much slavery in these offices, and very hardly can they be saved that do exercise them, considering the great corruption that is amongst men. Which makes me believe, if the empty seats of angels be not filled with other kind of people than those, we shall not have the final judgment these seven thousand, sixty and seven jubilees yet to come, and so Cusanus will be deceived in his conjecture. Remember that I have told you of it, and given you fair advertisement in time and place convenient.
But if you have any hogsheads of good wine, I willingly will accept of a present of that. Which they very heartily did do, in sending him of the