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 THIRD BOOK
Francois Rabelais to the Soul of the Deceased Queen of Navarre.
Abstracted soul, ravished with ecstasies, Gone back, and now familiar in the skies, Thy former host, thy body, leaving quite, Which to obey thee always took delight,– Obsequious, ready,–now from motion free, Senseless, and as it were in apathy,
Wouldst thou not issue forth for a short space, From that divine, eternal, heavenly place, To see the third part, in this earthy cell, Of the brave acts of good Pantagruel?
The Author’s Prologue.
Good people, most illustrious drinkers, and you, thrice precious gouty gentlemen, did you ever see Diogenes, and cynic philosopher? If you have seen him, you then had your eyes in your head, or I am very much out of my understanding and logical sense. It is a gallant thing to see the clearness of (wine, gold,) the sun. I’ll be judged by the blind born so renowned in the sacred Scriptures, who, having at his choice to ask whatever he would from him who is Almighty, and whose word in an instant is effectually performed, asked nothing else but that he might see. Item, you are not young, which is a competent quality for you to philosophate more than physically in wine, not in vain, and henceforwards to be of the Bacchic Council; to the end that, opining there, you may give your opinion faithfully of the substance, colour, excellent odour, eminency, propriety, faculty, virtue, and effectual dignity of the said blessed and desired liquor.
If you have not seen him, as I am easily induced to believe that you have not, at least you have heard some talk of him. For through the air, and the whole extent of this hemisphere of the heavens, hath his report and fame, even until this present time, remained very memorable and renowned. Then all of you are derived from the Phrygian blood, if I be not deceived. If you have not so many crowns as Midas had, yet have you something, I know not what, of him, which the Persians of old esteemed more of in all their otacusts, and which was more desired by the Emperor Antonine, and gave occasion thereafter to the Basilico at Rohan to be surnamed Goodly Ears. If you have not heard of him, I will presently tell you a story to make your wine relish. Drink then,–so, to the purpose. Hearken now whilst I give you notice, to the end that you may not, like infidels, be by your simplicity abused, that in his time he was a rare philosopher and the cheerfullest of a thousand. If he had some imperfection, so have you, so have we; for there is nothing, but God, that is perfect. Yet so it was, that by Alexander the Great, although he had Aristotle for his instructor and domestic, was he held in such estimation, that he wished, if he had not been Alexander, to have been Diogenes the Sinopian.
When Philip, King of Macedon, enterprised the siege and ruin of Corinth, the Corinthians having received certain intelligence by their spies that he with a numerous army in battle-rank was coming against them, were all of them, not without cause, most terribly afraid; and therefore were not neglective of their duty in doing their best endeavours to put themselves in a fit posture to resist his hostile approach and defend their own city.
Some from the fields brought into the fortified places their movables, bestial, corn, wine, fruit, victuals, and other necessary provision.
Others did fortify and rampire their walls, set up little fortresses, bastions, squared ravelins, digged trenches, cleansed countermines, fenced themselves with gabions, contrived platforms, emptied casemates, barricaded the false brays, erected the cavaliers, repaired the counterscarps, plastered the curtains, lengthened ravelins, stopped parapets, morticed barbacans, assured the portcullises, fastened the herses, sarasinesques, and cataracts, placed their sentries, and doubled their patrol. Everyone did watch and ward, and not one was exempted from carrying the basket. Some polished corslets, varnished backs and breasts, cleaned the headpieces, mail-coats, brigandines, salads, helmets, morions, jacks, gushets, gorgets, hoguines, brassars, and cuissars, corslets, haubergeons, shields, bucklers, targets, greaves, gauntlets, and spurs. Others made ready bows, slings, crossbows, pellets, catapults, migrains or fire-balls, firebrands, balists, scorpions, and other such warlike engines expugnatory and destructive to the Hellepolides. They sharpened and prepared spears, staves, pikes, brown bills, halberds, long hooks, lances, zagayes, quarterstaves, eelspears, partisans, troutstaves, clubs, battle-axes, maces, darts, dartlets, glaives, javelins, javelots, and truncheons. They set edges upon scimitars, cutlasses, badelairs, backswords, tucks, rapiers, bayonets, arrow-heads, dags, daggers, mandousians, poniards, whinyards, knives, skeans, shables, chipping knives, and raillons.
Every man exercised his weapon, every man scoured off the rust from his natural hanger; nor was there a woman amongst them, though never so reserved or old, who made not her harness to be well furbished; as you know the Corinthian women of old were reputed very courageous combatants.
Diogenes seeing them all so warm at work, and himself not employed by the magistrates in any business whatsoever, he did very seriously, for many days together, without speaking one word, consider and contemplate the countenance of his fellow-citizens.
Then on a sudden, as if he had been roused up and inspired by a martial spirit, he girded his cloak scarfwise about his left arm, tucked up his sleeves to the elbow, trussed himself like a clown gathering apples, and, giving to one of his old acquaintance his wallet, books, and opistographs, away went he out of town towards a little hill or promontory of Corinth called (the) Cranie; and there on the strand, a pretty level place, did he roll his jolly tub, which served him for a house to shelter him from the injuries of the weather: there, I say, in a great vehemency of spirit, did he turn it, veer it, wheel it, whirl it, frisk it, jumble it, shuffle it, huddle it, tumble it, hurry it, jolt it, justle it, overthrow it, evert it, invert it, subvert it, overturn it, beat it, thwack it, bump it, batter it, knock it, thrust it, push it, jerk it, shock it, shake it, toss it, throw it, overthrow it, upside down, topsy-turvy, arsiturvy, tread it, trample it, stamp it, tap it, ting it, ring it, tingle it, towl it, sound it, resound it, stop it, shut it, unbung it, close it, unstopple it. And then again in a mighty bustle he bandied it, slubbered it, hacked it, whittled it, wayed it, darted it, hurled it, staggered it, reeled it, swinged it, brangled it, tottered it, lifted it, heaved it, transformed it, transfigured it, transposed it, transplaced it, reared it, raised it, hoised it, washed it, dighted it, cleansed it, rinsed it, nailed it, settled it, fastened it, shackled it, fettered it, levelled it, blocked it, tugged it, tewed it, carried it, bedashed it, bewrayed it, parched it, mounted it, broached it, nicked it, notched it, bespattered it, decked it, adorned it, trimmed it, garnished it, gauged it, furnished it, bored it, pierced it, trapped it, rumbled it, slid it down the hill, and precipitated it from the very height of the Cranie; then from the foot to the top (like another Sisyphus with his stone) bore it up again, and every way so banged it and belaboured it that it was ten thousand to one he had not struck the bottom of it out.
Which when one of his friends had seen, and asked him why he did so toil his body, perplex his spirit, and torment his tub, the philosopher’s answer was that, not being employed in any other charge by the Republic, he thought it expedient to thunder and storm it so tempestuously upon his tub, that amongst a people so fervently busy and earnest at work he alone might not seem a loitering slug and lazy fellow. To the same purpose may I say of myself,
Though I be rid from fear,
I am not void of care.
For, perceiving no account to be made of me towards the discharge of a trust of any great concernment, and considering that through all the parts of this most noble kingdom of France, both on this and on the other side of the mountains, everyone is most diligently exercised and busied, some in the fortifying of their own native country for its defence, others in the repulsing of their enemies by an offensive war; and all this with a policy so excellent and such admirable order, so manifestly profitable for the future, whereby France shall have its frontiers most magnifically enlarged, and the French assured of a long and well-grounded peace, that very little withholds me from the opinion of good Heraclitus, which affirmeth war to be the father of all good things; and therefore do I believe that war is in Latin called bellum, not by antiphrasis, as some patchers of old rusty Latin would have us to think, because in war there is little beauty to be seen, but absolutely and simply; for that in war appeareth all that is good and graceful, and that by the wars is purged out all manner of wickedness and deformity. For proof whereof the wise and pacific Solomon could no better represent the unspeakable perfection of the divine wisdom, than by comparing it to the due disposure and ranking of an army in battle array, well provided and ordered.
Therefore, by reason of my weakness and inability, being reputed by my compatriots unfit for the offensive part of warfare; and on the other side, being no way employed in matter of the defensive, although it had been but to carry burthens, fill ditches, or break clods, either whereof had been to me indifferent, I held it not a little disgraceful to be only an idle spectator of so many valorous, eloquent, and warlike persons, who in the view and sight of all Europe act this notable interlude or tragi-comedy, and not make some effort towards the performance of this, nothing at all remains for me to be done (‘And not exert myself, and contribute thereto this nothing, my all, which remained for me to do.’–Ozell.). In my opinion, little honour is due to such as are mere lookers-on, liberal of their eyes, and of their crowns, and hide their silver; scratching their head with one finger like grumbling puppies, gaping at the flies like tithe calves; clapping down their ears like Arcadian asses at the melody of musicians, who with their very countenances in the depth of silence express their consent to the prosopopoeia. Having made this choice and election, it seemed to me that my exercise therein would be neither unprofitable nor troublesome to any, whilst I should thus set a-going my Diogenical tub, which is all that is left me safe from the shipwreck of my former misfortunes.
At this dingle dangle wagging of my tub, what would you have me to do? By the Virgin that tucks up her sleeve, I know not as yet. Stay a little, till I suck up a draught of this bottle; it is my true and only Helicon; it is my Caballine fountain; it is my sole enthusiasm. Drinking thus, I meditate, discourse, resolve, and conclude. After that the epilogue is made, I laugh, I write, I compose, and drink again. Ennius drinking wrote, and writing drank. Aeschylus, if Plutarch in his Symposiacs merit any faith, drank composing, and drinking composed. Homer never wrote fasting, and Cato never wrote till after he had drunk. These passages I have brought before you to the end you may not say that I lived without the example of men well praised and better prized. It is good and fresh enough, even as if you would say it is entering upon the second degree. God, the good God Sabaoth, that is to say, the God of armies, be praised for it eternally! If you after the same manner would take one great draught, or two little ones, whilst you have your gown about you, I truly find no kind of inconveniency in it, provided you send up to God for all some small scantling of thanks.
Since then my luck or destiny is such as you have heard–for it is not for everybody to go to Corinth–I am fully resolved to be so little idle and unprofitable, that I will set myself to serve the one and the other sort of people. Amongst the diggers, pioneers, and rampire-builders, I will do as did Neptune and Apollo at Troy under Laomedon, or as did Renault of Montauban in his latter days: I will serve the masons, I’ll set on the pot to boil for the bricklayers; and, whilst the minced meat is making ready at the sound of my small pipe, I’ll measure the muzzle of the musing dotards. Thus did Amphion with the melody of his harp found, build, and finish the great and renowned city of Thebes.
For the use of the warriors I am about to broach of new my barrel to give them a taste (which by two former volumes of mine, if by the deceitfulness and falsehood of printers they had not been jumbled, marred, and spoiled, you would have very well relished), and draw unto them, of the growth of our own trippery pastimes, a gallant third part of a gallon, and consequently a jolly cheerful quart of Pantagruelic sentences, which you may lawfully call, if you please, Diogenical: and shall have me, seeing I cannot be their fellow-soldier, for their faithful butler, refreshing and cheering, according to my little power, their return from the alarms of the enemy; as also for an indefatigable extoller of their martial exploits and glorious achievements. I shall not fail therein, par lapathium acutum de dieu; if Mars fail not in Lent, which the cunning lecher, I warrant you, will be loth to do.
I remember nevertheless to have read, that Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, one day, amongst the many spoils and booties which by his victories he had acquired, presenting to the Egyptians, in the open view of the people, a Bactrian camel all black, and a party-coloured slave, in such sort as that the one half of his body was black and the other white, not in partition of breadth by the diaphragma, as was that woman consecrated to the Indian Venus whom the Tyanean philosopher did see between the river Hydaspes and Mount Caucasus, but in a perpendicular dimension of altitude; which were things never before that seen in Egypt. He expected by the show of these novelties to win the love of the people. But what happened thereupon? At the production of the camel they were all affrighted, and offended at the sight of the party-coloured man–some scoffed at him as a detestable monster brought forth by the error of nature; in a word, of the hope which he had to please these Egyptians, and by such means to increase the affection which they naturally bore him, he was altogether frustrate and disappointed; understanding fully by their deportments that they took more pleasure and delight in things that were proper, handsome, and perfect, than in misshapen, monstrous, and ridiculous creatures. Since which time he had both the slave and the camel in such dislike, that very shortly thereafter, either through negligence, or for want of ordinary sustenance, they did exchange their life with death.
This example putteth me in a suspense between hope and fear, misdoubting that, for the contentment which I aim at, I will but reap what shall be most distasteful to me: my cake will be dough, and for my Venus I shall have but some deformed puppy: instead of serving them, I shall but vex them, and offend them whom I purpose to exhilarate; resembling in this dubious adventure Euclion’s cook, so renowned by Plautus in his Pot, and by Ausonius in his Griphon, and by divers others; which cook, for having by his scraping discovered a treasure, had his hide well curried. Put the case I get no anger by it, though formerly such things fell out, and the like may occur again. Yet, by Hercules! it will not. So I perceive in them all one and the same specifical form, and the like individual properties, which our ancestors called Pantagruelism; by virtue whereof they will bear with anything that floweth from a good, free, and loyal heart. I have seen them ordinarily take goodwill in part of payment, and remain satisfied therewith when one was not able to do better. Having despatched this point, I return to my barrel.
Up, my lads, to this wine, spare it not! Drink, boys, and trowl it off at full bowls! If you do not think it good, let it alone. I am not like those officious and importunate sots, who by force, outrage, and violence, constrain an easy good-natured fellow to whiffle, quaff, carouse, and what is worse. All honest tipplers, all honest gouty men, all such as are a-dry, coming to this little barrel of mine, need not drink thereof if it please them not; but if they have a mind to it, and that the wine prove agreeable to the tastes of their worshipful worships, let them drink, frankly, freely, and boldly, without paying anything, and welcome. This is my decree, my statute and ordinance.
And let none fear there shall be any want of wine, as at the marriage of Cana in Galilee; for how much soever you shall draw forth at the faucet, so much shall I tun in at the bung. Thus shall the barrel remain inexhaustible; it hath a lively spring and perpetual current. Such was the beverage contained within the cup of Tantalus, which was figuratively represented amongst the Brachman sages. Such was in Iberia the mountain of salt so highly written of by Cato. Such was the branch of gold consecrated to the subterranean goddess, which Virgil treats of so sublimely. It is a true cornucopia of merriment and raillery. If at any time it seem to you to be emptied to the very lees, yet shall it not for all that be drawn wholly dry. Good hope remains there at the bottom, as in Pandora’s bottle; and not despair, as in the puncheon of the Danaids. Remark well what I have said, and what manner of people they be whom I do invite; for, to the end that none be deceived, I, in imitation of Lucilius, who did protest that he wrote only to his own Tarentines and Consentines, have not pierced this vessel for any else but you honest men, who are drinkers of the first edition, and gouty blades of the highest degree. The great dorophages, bribe-mongers, have on their hands occupation enough, and enough on the hooks for their venison. There may they follow their prey; here is no garbage for them. You pettifoggers, garblers, and masters of chicanery, speak not to me, I beseech you, in the name of, and for the reverence you bear to the four hips that engendered you and to the quickening peg which at that time conjoined them. As for hypocrites, much less; although they were all of them unsound in body, pockified, scurvy, furnished with unquenchable thirst and insatiable eating. (And wherefore?) Because indeed they are not of good but of evil, and of that evil from which we daily pray to God to deliver us. And albeit we see them sometimes counterfeit devotion, yet never did old ape make pretty moppet. Hence, mastiffs; dogs in a doublet, get you behind; aloof, villains, out of my sunshine; curs, to the devil! Do you jog hither, wagging your tails, to pant at my wine, and bepiss my barrel? Look, here is the cudgel which Diogenes, in his last will, ordained to be set by him after his death, for beating away, crushing the reins, and breaking the backs of these bustuary hobgoblins and Cerberian hellhounds. Pack you hence, therefore, you hypocrites, to your sheep-dogs; get you gone, you dissemblers, to the devil! Hay! What, are you there yet? I renounce my part of Papimanie, if I snatch you, Grr, Grrr, Grrrrrr. Avaunt, avaunt! Will you not be gone? May you never shit till you be soundly lashed with stirrup leather, never piss but by the strapado, nor be otherwise warmed than by the bastinado.
THE THIRD BOOK.
How Pantagruel transported a colony of Utopians into Dipsody.
Pantagruel, having wholly subdued the land of Dipsody, transported thereunto a colony of Utopians, to the number of 9,876,543,210 men, besides the women and little children, artificers of all trades, and professors of all sciences, to people, cultivate, and improve that country, which otherwise was ill inhabited, and in the greatest part thereof but a mere desert and wilderness; and did transport them (not) so much for the excessive multitude of men and women, which were in Utopia multiplied, for number, like grasshoppers upon the face of the land. You understand well enough, nor is it needful further to explain it to you, that the Utopian men had so rank and fruitful genitories, and that the Utopian women carried matrixes so ample, so gluttonous, so tenaciously retentive, and so architectonically cellulated, that at the end of every ninth month seven children at the least, what male what female, were brought forth by every married woman, in imitation of the people of Israel in Egypt, if Anthony (Nicholas) de Lyra be to be trusted. Nor yet was this transplantation made so much for the fertility of the soil, the wholesomeness of the air, or commodity of the country of Dipsody, as to retain that rebellious people within the bounds of their duty and obedience, by this new transport of his ancient and most faithful subjects, who, from all time out of mind, never knew, acknowledged, owned, or served any other sovereign lord but him; and who likewise, from the very instant of their birth, as soon as they were entered into this world, had, with the milk of their mothers and nurses, sucked in the sweetness, humanity, and mildness of his government, to which they were all of them so nourished and habituated, that there was nothing surer than that they would sooner abandon their lives than swerve from this singular and primitive obedience naturally due to their prince, whithersoever they should be dispersed or removed.
And not only should they, and their children successively descending from their blood, be such, but also would keep and maintain in this same fealty and obsequious observance all the nations lately annexed to his empire; which so truly came to pass that therein he was not disappointed of his intent. For if the Utopians were before their transplantation thither dutiful and faithful subjects, the Dipsodes, after some few days conversing with them, were every whit as, if not more, loyal than they; and that by virtue of I know not what natural fervency incident to all human creatures at the beginning of any labour wherein they take delight: solemnly attesting the heavens and supreme intelligences of their being only sorry that no sooner unto their knowledge had arrived the great renown of the good Pantagruel.
Remark therefore here, honest drinkers, that the manner of preserving and retaining countries newly conquered in obedience is not, as hath been the erroneous opinion of some tyrannical spirits to their own detriment and dishonour, to pillage, plunder, force, spoil, trouble, oppress, vex, disquiet, ruin and destroy the people, ruling, governing and keeping them in awe with rods of iron; and, in a word, eating and devouring them, after the fashion that Homer calls an unjust and wicked king, Demoboron, that is to say, a devourer of his people.
I will not bring you to this purpose the testimony of ancient writers. It shall suffice to put you in mind of what your fathers have seen thereof, and yourselves too, if you be not very babes. Newborn, they must be given suck to, rocked in a cradle, and dandled. Trees newly planted must be supported, underpropped, strengthened and defended against all tempests, mischiefs, injuries, and calamities. And one lately saved from a long and dangerous sickness, and new upon his recovery, must be forborn, spared, and cherished, in such sort that they may harbour in their own breasts this opinion, that there is not in the world a king or a prince who does not desire fewer enemies and more friends. Thus Osiris, the great king of the Egyptians, conquered almost the whole earth, not so much by force of arms as by easing the people of their troubles, teaching them how to live well, and honestly giving them good laws, and using them with all possible affability, courtesy, gentleness, and liberality. Therefore was he by all men deservedly entitled the Great King Euergetes, that is to say, Benefactor, which style he obtained by virtue of the command of Jupiter to (one) Pamyla.
And in effect, Hesiod, in his Hierarchy, placed the good demons (call them angels if you will, or geniuses,) as intercessors and mediators betwixt the gods and men, they being of a degree inferior to the gods, but superior to men. And for that through their hands the riches and benefits we get from heaven are dealt to us, and that they are continually doing us good and still protecting us from evil, he saith that they exercise the offices of kings; because to do always good, and never ill, is an act most singularly royal.
Just such another was the emperor of the universe, Alexander the Macedonian. After this manner was Hercules sovereign possessor of the whole continent, relieving men from monstrous oppressions, exactions, and tyrannies; governing them with discretion, maintaining them in equity and justice, instructing them with seasonable policies and wholesome laws, convenient for and suitable to the soil, climate, and disposition of the country, supplying what was wanting, abating what was superfluous, and pardoning all that was past, with a sempiternal forgetfulness of all preceding offences, as was the amnesty of the Athenians, when by the prowess, valour, and industry of Thrasybulus the tyrants were exterminated; afterwards at Rome by Cicero exposed, and renewed under the Emperor Aurelian. These are the philtres, allurements, iynges, inveiglements, baits, and enticements of love, by the means whereof that may be peaceably revived which was painfully acquired. Nor can a conqueror reign more happily, whether he be a monarch, emperor, king, prince, or philosopher, than by making his justice to second his valour. His valour shows itself in victory and conquest; his justice will appear in the goodwill and affection of the people, when he maketh laws, publisheth ordinances, establisheth religion, and doth what is right to everyone, as the noble poet Virgil writes of Octavian Augustus:
Per populos dat jura.
Therefore is it that Homer in his Iliads calleth a good prince and great king Kosmetora laon, that is, the ornament of the people.
Such was the consideration of Numa Pompilius, the second king of the Romans, a just politician and wise philosopher, when he ordained that to god Terminus, on the day of his festival called Terminales, nothing should be sacrificed that had died; teaching us thereby that the bounds, limits, and frontiers of kingdoms should be guarded, and preserved in peace, amity, and meekness, without polluting our hands with blood and robbery. Who doth otherwise, shall not only lose what he hath gained, but also be loaded with this scandal and reproach, that he is an unjust and wicked purchaser, and his acquests perish with him; Juxta illud, male parta, male dilabuntur. And although during his whole lifetime he should have peaceable possession thereof, yet if what hath been so acquired moulder away in the hands of his heirs, the same opprobry, scandal, and imputation will be charged upon the defunct, and his memory remain accursed for his unjust and unwarrantable conquest; Juxta illud, de male quaesitis vix gaudet tertius haeres.
Remark, likewise, gentlemen, you gouty feoffees, in this main point worthy of your observation, how by these means Pantagruel of one angel made two, which was a contingency opposite to the counsel of Charlemagne, who made two devils of one when he transplanted the Saxons into Flanders and the Flemings into Saxony. For, not being able to keep in such subjection the Saxons, whose dominion he had joined to the empire, but that ever and anon they would break forth into open rebellion if he should casually be drawn into Spain or other remote kingdoms, he caused them to be brought unto his own country of Flanders, the inhabitants whereof did naturally obey him, and transported the Hainaults and Flemings, his ancient loving subjects, into Saxony, not mistrusting their loyalty now that they were transplanted into a strange land. But it happened that the Saxons persisted in their rebellion and primitive obstinacy, and the Flemings dwelling in Saxony did imbibe the stubborn manners and conditions of the Saxons.
How Panurge was made Laird of Salmigondin in Dipsody, and did waste his revenue before it came in.
Whilst Pantagruel was giving order for the government of all Dipsody, he assigned to Panurge the lairdship of Salmigondin, which was yearly worth 6,789,106,789 reals of certain rent, besides the uncertain revenue of the locusts and periwinkles, amounting, one year with another, to the value of 435,768, or 2,435,769 French crowns of Berry. Sometimes it did amount to 1,230,554,321 seraphs, when it was a good year, and that locusts and periwinkles were in request; but that was not every year.
Now his worship, the new laird, husbanded this his estate so providently well and prudently, that in less than fourteen days he wasted and dilapidated all the certain and uncertain revenue of his lairdship for three whole years. Yet did not he properly dilapidate it, as you might say, in founding of monasteries, building of churches, erecting of colleges, and setting up of hospitals, or casting his bacon-flitches to the dogs; but spent it in a thousand little banquets and jolly collations, keeping open house for all comers and goers; yea, to all good fellows, young girls, and pretty wenches; felling timber, burning great logs for the sale of the ashes, borrowing money beforehand, buying dear, selling cheap, and eating his corn, as it were, whilst it was but grass.
Pantagruel, being advertised of this his lavishness, was in good sooth no way offended at the matter, angry nor sorry; for I once told you, and again tell it you, that he was the best, little, great goodman that ever girded a sword to his side. He took all things in good part, and interpreted every action to the best sense. He never vexed nor disquieted himself with the least pretence of dislike to anything, because he knew that he must have most grossly abandoned the divine mansion of reason if he had permitted his mind to be never so little grieved, afflicted, or altered at any occasion whatsoever. For all the goods that the heaven covereth, and that the earth containeth, in all their dimensions of height, depth, breadth, and length, are not of so much worth as that we should for them disturb or disorder our affections, trouble or perplex our senses or spirits.
He drew only Panurge aside, and then, making to him a sweet remonstrance and mild admonition, very gently represented before him in strong arguments, that, if he should continue in such an unthrifty course of living, and not become a better mesnagier, it would prove altogether impossible for him, or at least hugely difficult, at any time to make him rich. Rich! answered Panurge; have you fixed your thoughts there? Have you undertaken the task to enrich me in this world? Set your mind to live merrily, in the name of God and good folks; let no other cark nor care be harboured within the sacrosanctified domicile of your celestial brain. May the calmness and tranquillity thereof be never incommodated with, or overshadowed by any frowning clouds of sullen imaginations and displeasing annoyance! For if you live joyful, merry, jocund, and glad, I cannot be but rich enough. Everybody cries up thrift, thrift, and good husbandry. But many speak of Robin Hood that never shot in his bow, and talk of that virtue of mesnagery who know not what belongs to it. It is by me that they must be advised. From me, therefore, take this advertisement and information, that what is imputed to me for a vice hath been done in imitation of the university and parliament of Paris, places in which is to be found the true spring and source of the lively idea of Pantheology and all manner of justice. Let him be counted a heretic that doubteth thereof, and doth not firmly believe it. Yet they in one day eat up their bishop, or the revenue of the bishopric–is it not all one?–for a whole year, yea, sometimes for two. This is done on the day he makes his entry, and is installed. Nor is there any place for an excuse; for he cannot avoid it, unless he would be hooted at and stoned for his parsimony.
It hath been also esteemed an act flowing from the habit of the four cardinal virtues. Of prudence in borrowing money beforehand; for none knows what may fall out. Who is able to tell if the world shall last yet three years? But although it should continue longer, is there any man so foolish as to have the confidence to promise himself three years?
What fool so confident to say,
That he shall live one other day?
Of commutative justice, in buying dear, I say, upon trust, and selling goods cheap, that is, for ready money. What says Cato in his Book of Husbandry to this purpose? The father of a family, says he, must be a perpetual seller; by which means it is impossible but that at last he shall become rich, if he have of vendible ware enough still ready for sale.
Of distributive justice it doth partake, in giving entertainment to good –remark, good–and gentle fellows, whom fortune had shipwrecked, like Ulysses, upon the rock of a hungry stomach without provision of sustenance; and likewise to the good–remark, the good–and young wenches. For, according to the sentence of Hippocrates, Youth is impatient of hunger, chiefly if it be vigorous, lively, frolic, brisk, stirring, and bouncing. Which wanton lasses willingly and heartily devote themselves to the pleasure of honest men; and are in so far both Platonic and Ciceronian, that they do acknowledge their being born into this world not to be for themselves alone, but that in their proper persons their acquaintance may claim one share, and their friends another.
The virtue of fortitude appears therein by the cutting down and overthrowing of the great trees, like a second Milo making havoc of the dark forest, which did serve only to furnish dens, caves, and shelter to wolves, wild boars, and foxes, and afford receptacles, withdrawing corners, and refuges to robbers, thieves, and murderers, lurking holes and skulking places for cutthroat assassinators, secret obscure shops for coiners of false money, and safe retreats for heretics, laying them even and level with the plain champaign fields and pleasant heathy ground, at the sound of the hautboys and bagpipes playing reeks with the high and stately timber, and preparing seats and benches for the eve of the dreadful day of judgment.
I gave thereby proof of my temperance in eating my corn whilst it was but grass, like a hermit feeding upon salads and roots, that, so affranchising myself from the yoke of sensual appetites to the utter disclaiming of their sovereignty, I might the better reserve somewhat in store for the relief of the lame, blind, crippled, maimed, needy, poor, and wanting wretches.
In taking this course I save the expense of the weed-grubbers, who gain money,–of the reapers in harvest-time, who drink lustily, and without water,–of gleaners, who will expect their cakes and bannocks,–of threshers, who leave no garlic, scallions, leeks, nor onions in our gardens, by the authority of Thestilis in Virgil,–and of the millers, who are generally thieves,–and of the bakers, who are little better. Is this small saving or frugality? Besides the mischief and damage of the field-mice, the decay of barns, and the destruction usually made by weasels and other vermin.
Of corn in the blade you may make good green sauce of a light concoction and easy digestion, which recreates the brain and exhilarates the animal spirits, rejoiceth the sight, openeth the appetite, delighteth the taste, comforteth the heart, tickleth the tongue, cheereth the countenance, striking a fresh and lively colour, strengthening the muscles, tempers the blood, disburdens the midriff, refresheth the liver, disobstructs the spleen, easeth the kidneys, suppleth the reins, quickens the joints of the back, cleanseth the urine-conduits, dilates the spermatic vessels, shortens the cremasters, purgeth the bladder, puffeth up the genitories, correcteth the prepuce, hardens the nut, and rectifies the member. It will make you have a current belly to trot, fart, dung, piss, sneeze, cough, spit, belch, spew, yawn, snuff, blow, breathe, snort, sweat, and set taut your Robin, with a thousand other rare advantages. I understand you very well, says Pantagruel; you would thereby infer that those of a mean spirit and shallow capacity have not the skill to spend much in a short time. You are not the first in whose conceit that heresy hath entered. Nero maintained it, and above all mortals admired most his uncle Caius Caligula, for having in a few days, by a most wonderfully pregnant invention, totally spent all the goods and patrimony which Tiberius had left him.
But, instead of observing the sumptuous supper-curbing laws of the Romans –to wit, the Orchia, the Fannia, the Didia, the Licinia, the Cornelia, the Lepidiana, the Antia, and of the Corinthians–by the which they were inhibited, under pain of great punishment, not to spend more in one year than their annual revenue did amount to, you have offered up the oblation of Protervia, which was with the Romans such a sacrifice as the paschal lamb was amongst the Jews, wherein all that was eatable was to be eaten, and the remainder to be thrown into the fire, without reserving anything for the next day. I may very justly say of you, as Cato did of Albidius, who after that he had by a most extravagant expense wasted all the means and possessions he had to one only house, he fairly set it on fire, that he might the better say, Consummatum est. Even just as since his time St. Thomas Aquinas did, when he had eaten up the whole lamprey, although there was no necessity in it.
How Panurge praiseth the debtors and borrowers.
But, quoth Pantagruel, when will you be out of debt? At the next ensuing term of the Greek kalends, answered Panurge, when all the world shall be content, and that it be your fate to become your own heir. The Lord forbid that I should be out of debt, as if, indeed, I could not be trusted. Who leaves not some leaven over night, will hardly have paste the next morning.
Be still indebted to somebody or other, that there may be somebody always to pray for you, that the giver of all good things may grant unto you a blessed, long, and prosperous life; fearing, if fortune should deal crossly with you, that it might be his chance to come short of being paid by you, he will always speak good of you in every company, ever and anon purchase new creditors unto you; to the end, that through their means you may make a shift by borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, and with other folk’s earth fill up his ditch. When of old, in the region of the Gauls, by the institution of the Druids, the servants, slaves, and bondmen were burnt quick at the funerals and obsequies of their lords and masters, had not they fear enough, think you, that their lords and masters should die? For, perforce, they were to die with them for company. Did not they incessantly send up their supplications to their great god Mercury, as likewise unto Dis, the father of wealth, to lengthen out their days, and to preserve them long in health? Were not they very careful to entertain them well, punctually to look unto them, and to attend them faithfully and circumspectly? For by those means were they to live together at least until the hour of death. Believe me, your creditors with a more fervent devotion will beseech Almighty God to prolong your life, they being of nothing more afraid than that you should die; for that they are more concerned for the sleeve than the arm, and love silver better than their own lives. As it evidently appeareth by the usurers of Landerousse, who not long since hanged themselves because the price of the corn and wines was fallen by the return of a gracious season. To this Pantagruel answering nothing, Panurge went on in his discourse, saying, Truly and in good sooth, sir, when I ponder my destiny aright, and think well upon it, you put me shrewdly to my plunges, and have me at a bay in twitting me with the reproach of my debts and creditors. And yet did I, in this only respect and consideration of being a debtor, esteem myself worshipful, reverend, and formidable. For against the opinion of most philosophers, that of nothing ariseth nothing, yet, without having bottomed on so much as that which is called the First Matter, did I out of nothing become such (a) maker and creator, that I have created–what?–a gay number of fair and jolly creditors. Nay, creditors, I will maintain it, even to the very fire itself exclusively, are fair and goodly creatures. Who lendeth nothing is an ugly and wicked creature, and an accursed imp of the infernal Old Nick. And there is made–what? Debts. A thing most precious and dainty, of great use and antiquity. Debts, I say, surmounting the number of syllables which may result from the combinations of all the consonants, with each of the vowels heretofore projected, reckoned, and calculated by the noble Xenocrates. To judge of the perfection of debtors by the numerosity of their creditors is the readiest way for entering into the mysteries of practical arithmetic.
You can hardly imagine how glad I am, when every morning I perceive myself environed and surrounded with brigades of creditors–humble, fawning, and full of their reverences. And whilst I remark that, as I look more favourably upon and give a cheerfuller countenance to one than to another, the fellow thereupon buildeth a conceit that he shall be the first despatched and the foremost in the date of payment, and he valueth my smiles at the rate of ready money, it seemeth unto me that I then act and personate the god of the passion of Saumure, accompanied with his angels and cherubims.
These are my flatterers, my soothers, my clawbacks, my smoothers, my parasites, my saluters, my givers of good-morrows, and perpetual orators; which makes me verily think that the supremest height of heroic virtue described by Hesiod consisteth in being a debtor, wherein I held the first degree in my commencement. Which dignity, though all human creatures seem to aim at and aspire thereto, few nevertheless, because of the difficulties in the way and encumbrances of hard passages, are able to reach it, as is easily perceivable by the ardent desire and vehement longing harboured in the breast of everyone to be still creating more debts and new creditors.
Yet doth it not lie in the power of everyone to be a debtor. To acquire creditors is not at the disposure of each man’s arbitrament. You nevertheless would deprive me of this sublime felicity. You ask me when I will be out of debt. Well, to go yet further on, and possibly worse in your conceit, may Saint Bablin, the good saint, snatch me, if I have not all my lifetime held debt to be as a union or conjunction of the heavens with the earth, and the whole cement whereby the race of mankind is kept together; yea, of such virtue and efficacy that, I say, the whole progeny of Adam would very suddenly perish without it. Therefore, perhaps, I do not think amiss, when I repute it to be the great soul of the universe, which, according to the opinion of the Academics, vivifieth all manner of things. In confirmation whereof, that you may the better believe it to be so, represent unto yourself, without any prejudicacy of spirit, in a clear and serene fancy, the idea and form of some other world than this; take, if you please, and lay hold on the thirtieth of those which the philosopher Metrodorus did enumerate, wherein it is to be supposed there is no debtor or creditor, that is to say, a world without debts.
There amongst the planets will be no regular course, all will be in disorder. Jupiter, reckoning himself to be nothing indebted unto Saturn, will go near to detrude him out of his sphere, and with the Homeric chain will be like to hang up the intelligences, gods, heavens, demons, heroes, devils, earth and sea, together with the other elements. Saturn, no doubt, combining with Mars will reduce that so disturbed world into a chaos of confusion.
Mercury then would be no more subjected to the other planets; he would scorn to be any longer their Camillus, as he was of old termed in the Etrurian tongue. For it is to be imagined that he is no way a debtor to them.
Venus will be no more venerable, because she shall have lent nothing. The moon will remain bloody and obscure. For to what end should the sun impart unto her any of his light? He owed her nothing. Nor yet will the sun shine upon the earth, nor the stars send down any good influence, because the terrestrial globe hath desisted from sending up their wonted nourishment by vapours and exhalations, wherewith Heraclitus said, the Stoics proved, Cicero maintained, they were cherished and alimented. There would likewise be in such a world no manner of symbolization, alteration, nor transmutation amongst the elements; for the one will not esteem itself obliged to the other, as having borrowed nothing at all from it. Earth then will not become water, water will not be changed into air, of air will be made no fire, and fire will afford no heat unto the earth; the earth will produce nothing but monsters, Titans, giants; no rain will descend upon it, nor light shine thereon; no wind will blow there, nor will there be in it any summer or harvest. Lucifer will break loose, and issuing forth of the depth of hell, accompanied with his furies, fiends, and horned devils, will go about to unnestle and drive out of heaven all the gods, as well of the greater as of the lesser nations. Such a world without lending will be no better than a dog-kennel, a place of contention and wrangling, more unruly and irregular than that of the rector of Paris; a devil of an hurlyburly, and more disordered confusion than that of the plagues of Douay. Men will not then salute one another; it will be but lost labour to expect aid or succour from any, or to cry fire, water, murder, for none will put to their helping hand. Why? He lent no money, there is nothing due to him. Nobody is concerned in his burning, in his shipwreck, in his ruin, or in his death; and that because he hitherto had lent nothing, and would never thereafter have lent anything. In short, Faith, Hope, and Charity would be quite banished from such a world–for men are born to relieve and assist one another; and in their stead should succeed and be introduced Defiance, Disdain, and Rancour, with the most execrable troop of all evils, all imprecations, and all miseries. Whereupon you will think, and that not amiss, that Pandora had there spilt her unlucky bottle. Men unto men will be wolves, hobthrushers, and goblins (as were Lycaon, Bellerophon, Nebuchodonosor), plunderers, highway robbers, cutthroats, rapparees, murderers, poisoners, assassinators, lewd, wicked, malevolent, pernicious haters, set against everybody, like to Ishmael, Metabus, or Timon the Athenian, who for that cause was named Misanthropos, in such sort that it would prove much more easy in nature to have fish entertained in the air and bullocks fed in the bottom of the ocean, than to support or tolerate a rascally rabble of people that will not lend. These fellows, I vow, do I hate with a perfect hatred; and if, conform to the pattern of this grievous, peevish, and perverse world which lendeth nothing, you figure and liken the little world, which is man, you will find in him a terrible justling coil and clutter. The head will not lend the sight of his eyes to guide the feet and hands; the legs will refuse to bear up the body; the hands will leave off working any more for the rest of the members; the heart will be weary of its continual motion for the beating of the pulse, and will no longer lend his assistance; the lungs will withdraw the use of their bellows; the liver will desist from convoying any more blood through the veins for the good of the whole; the bladder will not be indebted to the kidneys, so that the urine thereby will be totally stopped. The brains, in the interim, considering this unnatural course, will fall into a raving dotage, and withhold all feeling from the sinews and motion from the muscles. Briefly, in such a world without order and array, owing nothing, lending nothing, and borrowing nothing, you would see a more dangerous conspiration than that which Aesop exposed in his Apologue. Such a world will perish undoubtedly; and not only perish, but perish very quickly. Were it Aesculapius himself, his body would immediately rot, and the chafing soul, full of indignation, take its flight to all the devils of hell after my money.
Panurge continueth his discourse in the praise of borrowers and lenders.
On the contrary, be pleased to represent unto your fancy another world, wherein everyone lendeth and everyone oweth, all are debtors and all creditors. O how great will that harmony be, which shall thereby result from the regular motions of the heavens! Methinks I hear it every whit as well as ever Plato did. What sympathy will there be amongst the elements! O how delectable then unto nature will be our own works and productions! Whilst Ceres appeareth laden with corn, Bacchus with wines, Flora with flowers, Pomona with fruits, and Juno fair in a clear air, wholesome and pleasant. I lose myself in this high contemplation.
Then will among the race of mankind peace, love, benevolence, fidelity, tranquillity, rest, banquets, feastings, joy, gladness, gold, silver, single money, chains, rings, with other ware and chaffer of that nature be found to trot from hand to hand. No suits at law, no wars, no strife, debate, nor wrangling; none will be there a usurer, none will be there a pinch-penny, a scrape-good wretch, or churlish hard-hearted refuser. Good God! Will not this be the golden age in the reign of Saturn? the true idea of the Olympic regions, wherein all (other) virtues cease, charity alone ruleth, governeth, domineereth, and triumpheth? All will be fair and goodly people there, all just and virtuous.
O happy world! O people of that world most happy! Yea, thrice and four times blessed is that people! I think in very deed that I am amongst them, and swear to you, by my good forsooth, that if this glorious aforesaid world had a pope, abounding with cardinals, that so he might have the association of a sacred college, in the space of very few years you should be sure to see the saints much thicker in the roll, more numerous, wonder-working and mirific, more services, more vows, more staves and wax-candles than are all those in the nine bishoprics of Britany, St. Yves only excepted. Consider, sir, I pray you, how the noble Patelin, having a mind to deify and extol even to the third heavens the father of William Josseaulme, said no more but this, And he did lend his goods to those who were desirous of them.
O the fine saying! Now let our microcosm be fancied conform to this model in all its members; lending, borrowing, and owing, that is to say, according to its own nature. For nature hath not to any other end created man, but to owe, borrow, and lend; no greater is the harmony amongst the heavenly spheres than that which shall be found in its well-ordered policy. The intention of the founder of this microcosm is, to have a soul therein to be entertained, which is lodged there, as a guest with its host, (that) it may live there for a while. Life consisteth in blood, blood is the seat of the soul; therefore the chiefest work of the microcosm is, to be making blood continually.
At this forge are exercised all the members of the body; none is exempted from labour, each operates apart, and doth its proper office. And such is their heirarchy, that perpetually the one borrows from the other, the one lends the other, and the one is the other’s debtor. The stuff and matter convenient, which nature giveth to be turned into blood, is bread and wine. All kind of nourishing victuals is understood to be comprehended in these two, and from hence in the Gothish tongue is called companage. To find out this meat and drink, to prepare and boil it, the hands are put to work, the feet do walk and bear up the whole bulk of the corporal mass; the eyes guide and conduct all; the appetite in the orifice of the stomach, by means of (a) little sourish black humour, called melancholy, which is transmitted thereto from the milt, giveth warning to shut in the food. The tongue doth make the first essay, and tastes it; the teeth do chew it, and the stomach doth receive, digest, and chylify it. The mesaraic veins suck out of it what is good and fit, leaving behind the excrements, which are, through special conduits for that purpose, voided by an expulsive faculty. Thereafter it is carried to the liver, where it being changed again, it by the virtue of that new transmutation becomes blood. What joy, conjecture you, will then be found amongst those officers when they see this rivulet of gold, which is their sole restorative? No greater is the joy of alchemists, when after long travail, toil, and expense they see in their furnaces the transmutation. Then is it that every member doth prepare itself, and strive anew to purify and to refine this treasure. The kidneys through the emulgent veins draw that aquosity from thence which you call urine, and there send it away through the ureters to be slipped downwards; where, in a lower receptacle, and proper for it, to wit, the bladder, it is kept, and stayeth there until an opportunity to void it out in his due time. The spleen draweth from the blood its terrestrial part, viz., the grounds, lees, or thick substance settled in the bottom thereof, which you term melancholy. The bottle of the gall subtracts from thence all the superfluous choler; whence it is brought to another shop or work-house to be yet better purified and fined, that is, the heart, which by its agitation of diastolic and systolic motions so neatly subtilizeth and inflames it, that in the right side ventricle it is brought to perfection, and through the veins is sent to all the members. Each parcel of the body draws it then unto itself, and after its own fashion is cherished and alimented by it. Feet, hands, thighs, arms, eyes, ears, back, breast, yea, all; and then it is, that who before were lenders, now become debtors. The heart doth in its left side ventricle so thinnify the blood, that it thereby obtains the name of spiritual; which being sent through the arteries to all the members of the body, serveth to warm and winnow the other blood which runneth through the veins. The lights never cease with its lappets and bellows to cool and refresh it, in acknowledgment of which good the heart, through the arterial vein, imparts unto it the choicest of its blood. At last it is made so fine and subtle within the rete mirabile, that thereafter those animal spirits are framed and composed of it, by means whereof the imagination, discourse, judgment, resolution, deliberation, ratiocination, and memory have their rise, actings, and operations.
Cops body, I sink, I drown, I perish, I wander astray, and quite fly out of myself when I enter into the consideration of the profound abyss of this world, thus lending, thus owing. Believe me, it is a divine thing to lend,–to owe, an heroic virtue. Yet is not this all. This little world thus lending, owing, and borrowing, is so good and charitable, that no sooner is the above-specified alimentation finished, but that it forthwith projecteth, and hath already forecast, how it shall lend to those who are not as yet born, and by that loan endeavour what it may to eternize itself, and multiply in images like the pattern, that is, children. To this end every member doth of the choicest and most precious of its nourishment pare and cut off a portion, then instantly despatcheth it downwards to that place where nature hath prepared for it very fit vessels and receptacles, through which descending to the genitories by long ambages, circuits, and flexuosities, it receiveth a competent form, and rooms apt enough both in man and woman for the future conservation and perpetuating of human kind. All this is done by loans and debts of the one unto the other; and hence have we this word, the debt of marriage. Nature doth reckon pain to the refuser, with a most grievous vexation to his members and an outrageous fury amidst his senses. But, on the other part, to the lender a set reward, accompanied with pleasure, joy, solace, mirth, and merry glee.
How Pantagruel altogether abhorreth the debtors and borrowers.
I understand you very well, quoth Pantagruel, and take you to be very good at topics, and thoroughly affectioned to your own cause. But preach it up, and patrocinate it, prattle on it, and defend it as much as you will, even from hence to the next Whitsuntide, if you please so to do, yet in the end you will be astonished to find how you shall have gained no ground at all upon me, nor persuaded me by your fair speeches and smooth talk to enter never so little into the thraldom of debt. You shall owe to none, saith the holy Apostle, anything save love, friendship, and a mutual benevolence.
You serve me here, I confess, with fine graphides and diatyposes, descriptions and figures, which truly please me very well. But let me tell you, if you will represent unto your fancy an impudent blustering bully and an importunate borrower, entering afresh and newly into a town already advertised of his manners, you shall find that at his ingress the citizens will be more hideously affrighted and amazed, and in a greater terror and fear, dread, and trembling, than if the pest itself should step into it in the very same garb and accoutrement wherein the Tyanean philosopher found it within the city of Ephesus. And I am fully confirmed in the opinion, that the Persians erred not when they said that the second vice was to lie, the first being that of owing money. For, in very truth, debts and lying are ordinarily joined together. I will nevertheless not from hence infer that none must owe anything or lend anything. For who so rich can be that sometimes may not owe, or who can be so poor that sometimes may not lend?
Let the occasion, notwithstanding, in that case, as Plato very wisely sayeth and ordaineth in his laws, be such that none be permitted to draw any water out of his neighbour’s well until first they by continual digging and delving into their own proper ground shall have hit upon a kind of potter’s earth, which is called ceramite, and there had found no source or drop of water; for that sort of earth, by reason of its substance, which is fat, strong, firm, and close, so retaineth its humidity, that it doth not easily evaporate it by any outward excursion or evaporation.
In good sooth, it is a great shame to choose rather to be still borrowing in all places from everyone, than to work and win. Then only in my judgment should one lend, when the diligent, toiling, and industrious person is no longer able by his labour to make any purchase unto himself, or otherwise, when by mischance he hath suddenly fallen into an unexpected loss of his goods.
Howsoever, let us leave this discourse, and from henceforwards do not hang upon creditors, nor tie yourself to them. I make account for the time past to rid you freely of them, and from their bondage to deliver you. The least I should in this point, quoth Panurge, is to thank you, though it be the most I can do. And if gratitude and thanksgiving be to be estimated and prized by the affection of the benefactor, that is to be done infinitely and sempiternally; for the love which you bear me of your own accord and free grace, without any merit of mine, goeth far beyond the reach of any price or value. It transcends all weight, all number, all measure; it is endless and everlasting; therefore, should I offer to commensurate and adjust it, either to the size and proportion of your own noble and gracious deeds, or yet to the contentment and delight of the obliged receivers, I would come off but very faintly and flaggingly. You have verily done me a great deal of good, and multiplied your favours on me more frequently than was fitting to one of my condition. You have been more bountiful towards me than I have deserved, and your courtesies have by far surpassed the extent of my merits, I must needs confess it. But it is not, as you suppose, in the proposed matter. For there it is not where I itch, it is not there where it fretteth, hurts, or vexeth me; for, henceforth being quit and out of debt, what countenance will I be able to keep? You may imagine that it will become me very ill for the first month, because I have never hitherto been brought up or accustomed to it. I am very much afraid of it. Furthermore, there shall not one hereafter, native of the country of Salmigondy, but he shall level the shot towards my nose. All the back-cracking fellows of the world, in discharging of their postern petarades, use commonly to say, Voila pour les quittes, that is, For the quit. My life will be of very short continuance, I do foresee it. I recommend to you the making of my epitaph; for I perceive I will die confected in the very stench of farts. If, at any time to come, by way of restorative to such good women as shall happen to be troubled with the grievous pain of the wind-colic, the ordinary medicaments prove nothing effectual, the mummy of all my befarted body will straight be as a present remedy appointed by the physicians; whereof they, taking any small modicum, it will incontinently for their ease afford them a rattle of bumshot, like a sal of muskets.
Therefore would I beseech you to leave me some few centuries of debts; as King Louis the Eleventh, exempting from suits in law the Reverend Miles d’Illiers, Bishop of Chartres, was by the said bishop most earnestly solicited to leave him some few for the exercise of his mind. I had rather give them all my revenue of the periwinkles, together with the other incomes of the locusts, albeit I should not thereby have any parcel abated from off the principal sums which I owe. Let us waive this matter, quoth Pantagruel, I have told it you over again.
Why new married men were privileged from going to the wars.
But, in the interim, asked Panurge, by what law was it constituted, ordained, and established, that such as should plant a new vineyard, those that should build a new house, and the new married men, should be exempted and discharged from the duty of warfare for the first year? By the law, answered Pantagruel, of Moses. Why, replied Panurge, the lately married? As for the vine-planters, I am now too old to reflect on them; my condition, at this present, induceth me to remain satisfied with the care of vintage, finishing and turning the grapes into wine. Nor are these pretty new builders of dead stones written or pricked down in my Book of Life. It is all with live stones that I set up and erect the fabrics of my architecture, to wit, men. It was, according to my opinion, quoth Pantagruel, to the end, first, that the fresh married folks should for the first year reap a full and complete fruition of their pleasures in their mutual exercise of the act of love, in such sort, that in waiting more at leisure on the production of posterity and propagating of their progeny, they might the better increase their race and make provision of new heirs. That if, in the years thereafter, the men should, upon their undergoing of some military adventure, happen to be killed, their names and coats-of-arms might continue with their children in the same families. And next, that, the wives thereby coming to know whether they were barren or fruitful–for one year’s trial, in regard of the maturity of age wherein of old they married, was held sufficient for the discovery–they might pitch the more suitably, in case of their first husband’s decease, upon a second match. The fertile women to be wedded to those who desire to multiply their issue; and the sterile ones to such other mates, as, misregarding the storing of their own lineage, choose them only for their virtues, learning, genteel behaviour, domestic consolation, management of the house, and matrimonial conveniences and comforts, and such like. The preachers of Varennes, saith Panurge, detest and abhor the second marriages, as altogether foolish and dishonest.
Foolish and dishonest? quoth Pantagruel. A plague take such preachers! Yea but, quoth Panurge, the like mischief also befall the Friar Charmer, who, in a full auditory making a sermon at Pereilly, and therein abominating the reiteration of marriage and the entering again in the bonds of a nuptial tie, did swear and heartily give himself to the swiftest devil in hell, if he had not rather choose, and would much more willingly undertake the unmaidening or depucelating of a hundred virgins, than the simple drudgery of one widow. Truly I find your reason in that point right good and strongly grounded.
But what would you think, if the cause why this exemption or immunity was granted had no other foundation but that, during the whole space of the said first year, they so lustily bobbed it with their female consorts, as both reason and equity require they should do, that they had drained and evacuated their spermatic vessels; and were become thereby altogether feeble, weak, emasculated, drooping, and flaggingly pithless; yea, in such sort that they in the day of battle, like ducks which plunge over head and ears, would sooner hide themselves behind the baggage, than, in the company of valiant fighters and daring military combatants, appear where stern Bellona deals her blows and moves a bustling noise of thwacks and thumps? Nor is it to be thought that, under the standard of Mars, they will so much as once strike a fair stroke, because their most considerable knocks have been already jerked and whirrited within the curtains of his sweetheart Venus.
In confirmation whereof, amongst other relics and monuments of antiquity, we now as yet often see, that in all great houses, after the expiring of some few days, these young married blades are readily sent away to visit their uncles, that in the absence of their wives reposing themselves a little they may recover their decayed strength by the recruit of a fresh supply, the more vigorous to return again and face about to renew the duelling shock and conflict of an amorous dalliance, albeit for the greater part they have neither uncle nor aunt to go to.
Just so did the King Crackart, after the battle of the Cornets, not cashier us (speaking properly), I mean me and the Quail-caller, but for our refreshment remanded us to our houses; and he is as yet seeking after his own. My grandfather’s godmother was wont to say to me when I was a boy,–
Patenostres et oraisons
Sont pour ceux-la, qui les retiennent. Ung fiffre en fenaisons
Est plus fort que deux qui en viennent.
Not orisons nor patenotres
Shall ever disorder my brain.
One cadet, to the field as he flutters, Is worth two, when they end the campaign.
That which prompteth me to that opinion is, that the vine-planters did seldom eat of the grapes, or drink of the wine of their labour, till the first year was wholly elapsed. During all which time also the builders did hardly inhabit their new-structured dwelling-places, for fear of dying suffocated through want of respiration; as Galen hath most learnedly remarked, in the second book of the Difficulty of Breathing. Under favour, sir, I have not asked this question without cause causing and reason truly very ratiocinant. Be not offended, I pray you.
How Panurge had a flea in his ear, and forbore to wear any longer his magnificent codpiece.
Panurge, the day thereafter, caused pierce his right ear after the Jewish fashion, and thereto clasped a little gold ring, of a ferny-like kind of workmanship, in the beazil or collet whereof was set and enchased a flea; and, to the end you may be rid of all doubts, you are to know that the flea was black. O, what a brave thing it is, in every case and circumstance of a matter, to be thoroughly well informed! The sum of the expense hereof, being cast up, brought in, and laid down upon his council-board carpet, was found to amount to no more quarterly than the charge of the nuptials of a Hircanian tigress; even, as you would say, 600,000 maravedis. At these vast costs and excessive disbursements, as soon as he perceived himself to be out of debt, he fretted much; and afterwards, as tyrants and lawyers use to do, he nourished and fed her with the sweat and blood of his subjects and clients.
He then took four French ells of a coarse brown russet cloth, and therein apparelling himself, as with a long, plain-seamed, and single-stitched gown, left off the wearing of his breeches, and tied a pair of spectacles to his cap. In this equipage did he present himself before Pantagruel; to whom this disguise appeared the more strange, that he did not, as before, see that goodly, fair, and stately codpiece, which was the sole anchor of hope wherein he was wonted to rely, and last refuge he had midst all the waves and boisterous billows which a stormy cloud in a cross fortune would raise up against him. Honest Pantagruel, not understanding the mystery, asked him, by way of interrogatory, what he did intend to personate in that new-fangled prosopopoeia. I have, answered Panurge, a flea in mine ear, and have a mind to marry. In a good time, quoth Pantagruel, you have told me joyful tidings. Yet would not I hold a red-hot iron in my hand for all the gladness of them. But it is not the fashion of lovers to be accoutred in such dangling vestments, so as to have their shirts flagging down over their knees, without breeches, and with a long robe of a dark brown mingled hue, which is a colour never used in Talarian garments amongst any persons of honour, quality, or virtue. If some heretical persons and schismatical sectaries have at any time formerly been so arrayed and clothed (though many have imputed such a kind of dress to cosenage, cheat, imposture, and an affectation of tyranny upon credulous minds of the rude multitude), I will nevertheless not blame them for it, nor in that point judge rashly or sinistrously of them. Everyone overflowingly aboundeth in his own sense and fancy; yea, in things of a foreign consideration, altogether extrinsical and indifferent, which in and of themselves are neither commendable nor bad, because they proceed not from the interior of the thoughts and heart, which is the shop of all good and evil; of goodness, if it be upright, and that its affections be regulated by the pure and clean spirit of righteousness; and, on the other side, of wickedness, if its inclinations, straying beyond the bounds of equity, be corrupted and depraved by the malice and suggestions of the devil. It is only the novelty and new-fangledness thereof which I dislike, together with the contempt of common custom and the fashion which is in use.
The colour, answered Panurge, is convenient, for it is conform to that of my council-board carpet; therefore will I henceforth hold me with it, and more narrowly and circumspectly than ever hitherto I have done look to my affairs and business. Seeing I am once out of debt, you never yet saw man more unpleasing than I will be, if God help me not. Lo, here be my spectacles. To see me afar off, you would readily say that it were Friar (John) Burgess. I believe certainly that in the next ensuing year I shall once more preach the Crusade. Bounce, buckram. Do you see this russet? Doubt not but there lurketh under it some hid property and occult virtue known to very few in the world. I did not take it on before this morning, and, nevertheless, am already in a rage of lust, mad after a wife, and vehemently hot upon untying the codpiece-point; I itch, I tingle, I wriggle, and long exceedingly to be married, that, without the danger of cudgel-blows, I may labour my female copes-mate with the hard push of a bull-horned devil. O the provident and thrifty husband that I then will be! After my death, with all honour and respect due to my frugality, will they burn the sacred bulk of my body, of purpose to preserve the ashes thereof, in memory of the choicest pattern that ever was of a perfectly wary and complete householder. Cops body, this is not the carpet whereon my treasurer shall be allowed to play false in his accounts with me, by setting down an X for a V, or an L for an S. For in that case should I make a hail of fisticuffs to fly into his face. Look upon me, sir, both before and behind,–it is made after the manner of a toga, which was the ancient fashion of the Romans in time of peace. I took the mode, shape, and form thereof in Trajan’s Column at Rome, as also in the Triumphant Arch of Septimus Severus. I am tired of the wars, weary of wearing buff-coats, cassocks, and hoquetons. My shoulders are pitifully worn and bruised with the carrying of harness. Let armour cease, and the long robe bear sway! At least it must be so for the whole space of the succeeding year, if I be married; as yesterday, by the Mosaic law, you evidenced. In what concerneth the breeches, my great-aunt Laurence did long ago tell me, that the breeches were only ordained for the use of the codpiece, and to no other end; which I, upon a no less forcible consequence, give credit to every whit, as well as to the saying of the fine fellow Galen, who in his ninth book, Of the Use and Employment of our Members, allegeth that the head was made for the eyes. For nature might have placed our heads in our knees or elbows, but having beforehand determined that the eyes should serve to discover things from afar, she for the better enabling them to execute their designed office, fixed them in the head, as on the top of a long pole, in the most eminent part of all the body–no otherwise than we see the phares, or high towers erected in the mouths of havens, that navigators may the further off perceive with ease the lights of the nightly fires and lanterns. And because I would gladly, for some short while, a year at least, take a little rest and breathing time from the toilsome labour of the military profession, that is to say, be married, I have desisted from wearing any more a codpiece, and consequently have laid aside my breeches. For the codpiece is the principal and most especial piece of armour that a warrior doth carry; and therefore do I maintain even to the fire (exclusively, understand you me), that no Turks can properly be said to be armed men, in regard that codpieces are by their law forbidden to be worn.
Why the codpiece is held to be the chief piece of armour amongst warriors.
Will you maintain, quoth Pantagruel, that the codpiece is the chief piece of a military harness? It is a new kind of doctrine, very paradoxical; for we say, At spurs begins the arming of a man. Sir, I maintain it, answered Panurge, and not wrongfully do I maintain it. Behold how nature, having a fervent desire, after its production of plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, sponges, and plant-animals, to eternize and continue them unto all succession of ages (in their several kinds or sorts, at least, although the individuals perish) unruinable, and in an everlasting being, hath most curiously armed and fenced their buds, sprouts, shoots, and seeds, wherein the above-mentioned perpetuity consisteth, by strengthening, covering, guarding, and fortifying them with an admirable industry, with husks, cases, scurfs and swads, hulls, cods, stones, films, cartels, shells, ears, rinds, barks, skins, ridges, and prickles, which serve them instead of strong, fair, and natural codpieces. As is manifestly apparent in pease, beans, fasels, pomegranates, peaches, cottons, gourds, pumpions, melons, corn, lemons, almonds, walnuts, filberts, and chestnuts; as likewise in all plants, slips, or sets whatsoever, wherein it is plainly and evidently seen, that the sperm and semence is more closely veiled, overshadowed, corroborated, and thoroughly harnessed, than any other part, portion, or parcel of the whole.
Nature, nevertheless, did not after that manner provide for the sempiternizing of (the) human race; but, on the contrary, created man naked, tender, and frail, without either offensive or defensive arms; and that in the estate of innocence, in the first age of all, which was the golden season; not as a plant, but living creature, born for peace, not war, and brought forth into the world with an unquestionable right and title to the plenary fruition and enjoyment of all fruits and vegetables, as also to a certain calm and gentle rule and dominion over all kinds of beasts, fowls, fishes, reptiles, and insects. Yet afterwards it happening in the time of the iron age, under the reign of Jupiter, when, to the multiplication of mischievous actions, wickedness and malice began to take root and footing within the then perverted hearts of men, that the earth began to bring forth nettles, thistles, thorns, briars, and such other stubborn and rebellious vegetables to the nature of man. Nor scarce was there any animal which by a fatal disposition did not then revolt from him, and tacitly conspire and covenant with one another to serve him no longer, nor, in case of their ability to resist, to do him any manner of obedience, but rather, to the uttermost of their power, to annoy him with all the hurt and harm they could. The man, then, that he might maintain his primitive right and prerogative, and continue his sway and dominion over all, both vegetable and sensitive creatures, and knowing of a truth that he could not be well accommodated as he ought without the servitude and subjection of several animals, bethought himself that of necessity he must needs put on arms, and make provision of harness against wars and violence. By the holy Saint Babingoose, cried out Pantagruel, you are become, since the last rain, a great lifrelofre,–philosopher, I should say. Take notice, sir, quoth Panurge, when Dame Nature had prompted him to his own arming, what part of the body it was, where, by her inspiration, he clapped on the first harness. It was forsooth by the double pluck of my little dog the ballock and good Senor Don Priapos Stabo-stando–which done, he was content, and sought no more. This is certified by the testimony of the great Hebrew captain (and) philosopher Moses, who affirmeth that he fenced that member with a brave and gallant codpiece, most exquisitely framed, and by right curious devices of a notably pregnant invention made up and composed of fig-tree leaves, which by reason of their solid stiffness, incisory notches, curled frizzling, sleeked smoothness, large ampleness, together with their colour, smell, virtue, and faculty, were exceeding proper and fit for the covering and arming of the satchels of generation–the hideously big Lorraine cullions being from thence only excepted, which, swaggering down to the lowermost bottom of the breeches, cannot abide, for being quite out of all order and method, the stately fashion of the high and lofty codpiece; as is manifest by the noble Valentine Viardiere, whom I found at Nancy, on the first day of May–the more flauntingly to gallantrize it afterwards–rubbing his ballocks, spread out upon a table after the manner of a Spanish cloak. Wherefore it is, that none should henceforth say, who would not speak improperly, when any country bumpkin hieth to the wars, Have a care, my roister, of the wine-pot, that is, the skull, but, Have a care, my roister, of the milk-pot, that is, the testicles. By the whole rabble of the horned fiends of hell, the head being cut off, that single person only thereby dieth. But, if the ballocks be marred, the whole race of human kind would forthwith perish, and be lost for ever.
This was the motive which incited the goodly writer Galen, Lib. 1. De Spermate, to aver with boldness that it were better, that is to say, a less evil, to have no heart at all than to be quite destitute of genitories; for there is laid up, conserved, and put in store, as in a secessive repository and sacred warehouse, the semence and original source of the whole offspring of mankind. Therefore would I be apt to believe, for less than a hundred francs, that those are the very same stones by means whereof Deucalion and Pyrrha restored the human race, in peopling with men and women the world, which a little before that had been drowned in the overflowing waves of a poetical deluge. This stirred up the valiant Justinian, L. 4. De Cagotis tollendis, to collocate his Summum Bonum, in Braguibus, et Braguetis. For this and other causes, the Lord Humphrey de Merville, following of his king to a certain warlike expedition, whilst he was in trying upon his own person a new suit of armour, for of his old rusty harness he could make no more use, by reason that some few years since the skin of his belly was a great way removed from his kidneys, his lady thereupon, in the profound musing of a contemplative spirit, very maturely considering that he had but small care of the staff of love and packet of marriage, seeing he did no otherwise arm that part of the body than with links of mail, advised him to shield, fence, and gabionate it with a big tilting helmet which she had lying in her closet, to her otherwise utterly unprofitable. On this lady were penned these subsequent verses, which are extant in the third book of the Shitbrana of Paltry Wenches.
When Yoland saw her spouse equipp’d for fight, And, save the codpiece, all in armour dight, My dear, she cried, why, pray, of all the rest Is that exposed, you know I love the best? Was she to blame for an ill-managed fear,– Or rather pious, conscionable care?
Wise lady, she! In hurlyburly fight, Can any tell where random blows may light?
Leave off then, sir, from being astonished, and wonder no more at this new manner of decking and trimming up of myself as you now see me.
How Panurge asketh counsel of Pantagruel whether he should marry, yea, or no.
To this Pantagruel replying nothing, Panurge prosecuted the discourse he had already broached, and therewithal fetching, as from the bottom of his heart, a very deep sigh, said, My lord and master, you have heard the design I am upon, which is to marry, if by some disastrous mischance all the holes in the world be not shut up, stopped, closed, and bushed. I humbly beseech you, for the affection which of a long time you have borne me, to give me your best advice therein. Then, answered Pantagruel, seeing you have so decreed, taken deliberation thereon, and that the matter is fully determined, what need is there of any further talk thereof, but forthwith to put it into execution what you have resolved? Yea but, quoth Panurge, I would be loth to act anything therein without your counsel had thereto. It is my judgment also, quoth Pantagruel, and I advise you to it. Nevertheless, quoth Panurge, if I understood aright that it were much better for me to remain a bachelor as I am, than to run headlong upon new hairbrained undertakings of conjugal adventure, I would rather choose not to marry. Quoth Pantagruel, Then do not marry. Yea but, quoth Panurge, would you have me so solitarily drive out the whole course of my life, without the comfort of a matrimonial consort? You know it is written, Vae soli! and a single person is never seen to reap the joy and solace that is found with married folks. Then marry, in the name of God, quoth Pantagruel. But if, quoth Panurge, my wife should make me a cuckold–as it is not unknown unto you, how this hath been a very plentiful year in the production of that kind of cattle–I would fly out, and grow impatient beyond all measure and mean. I love cuckolds with my heart, for they seem unto me to be of a right honest conversation, and I truly do very willingly frequent their company; but should I die for it, I would not be one of their number. That is a point for me of a too sore prickling point. Then do not marry, quoth Pantagruel, for without all controversy this sentence of Seneca is infallibly true, What thou to others shalt have done, others will do the like to thee. Do you, quoth Panurge, aver that without all exception? Yes, truly, quoth Pantagruel, without all exception. Ho, ho, says Panurge, by the wrath of a little devil, his meaning is, either in this world or in the other which is to come. Yet seeing I can no more want a wife than a blind man his staff–(for) the funnel must be in agitation, without which manner of occupation I cannot live–were it not a great deal better for me to apply and associate myself to some one honest, lovely, and virtuous woman, than as I do, by a new change of females every day, run a hazard of being bastinadoed, or, which is worse, of the great pox, if not of both together. For never–be it spoken by their husbands’ leave and favour–had I enjoyment yet of an honest woman. Marry then, in God’s name, quoth Pantagruel. But if, quoth Panurge, it were the will of God, and that my destiny did unluckily lead me to marry an honest woman who should beat me, I would be stored with more than two third parts of the patience of Job, if I were not stark mad by it, and quite distracted with such rugged dealings. For it hath been told me that those exceeding honest women have ordinarily very wicked head-pieces; therefore is it that their family lacketh not for good vinegar. Yet in that case should it go worse with me, if I did not then in such sort bang her back and breast, so thumpingly bethwack her gillets, to wit, her arms, legs, head, lights, liver, and milt, with her other entrails, and mangle, jag, and slash her coats so after the cross-billet fashion that the greatest devil of hell should wait at the gate for the reception of her damnel soul. I could make a shift for this year to waive such molestation and disquiet, and be content to lay aside that trouble, and not to be engaged in it.
Do not marry then, answered Pantagruel. Yea but, quoth Panurge, considering the condition wherein I now am, out of debt and unmarried; mark what I say, free from all debt, in an ill hour, for, were I deeply on the score, my creditors would be but too careful of my paternity, but being quit, and not married, nobody will be so regardful of me, or carry towards me a love like that which is said to be in a conjugal affection. And if by some mishap I should fall sick, I would be looked to very waywardly. The wise man saith, Where there is no woman–I mean the mother of a family and wife in the union of a lawful wedlock–the crazy and diseased are in danger of being ill used and of having much brabbling and strife about them; as by clear experience hath been made apparent in the persons of popes, legates, cardinals, bishops, abbots, priors, priests, and monks; but there, assure yourself, you shall not find me. Marry then, in the name of God, answered Pantagruel. But if, quoth Panurge, being ill at ease, and possibly through that distemper made unable to discharge the matrimonial duty that is incumbent to an active husband, my wife, impatient of that drooping sickness and faint-fits of a pining languishment, should abandon and prostitute herself to the embraces of another man, and not only then not help and assist me in my extremity and need, but withal flout at and make sport of that my grievous distress and calamity; or peradventure, which is worse, embezzle my goods and steal from me, as I have seen it oftentimes befall unto the lot of many other men, it were enough to undo me utterly, to fill brimful the cup of my misfortune, and make me play the mad-pate reeks of Bedlam. Do not marry then, quoth Pantagruel. Yea but, said Panurge, I shall never by any other means come to have lawful sons and daughters, in whom I may harbour some hope of perpetuating my name and arms, and to whom also I may leave and bequeath my inheritances and purchased goods (of which latter sort you need not doubt but that in some one or other of these mornings I will make a fair and goodly show), that so I may cheer up and make merry when otherwise I should be plunged into a peevish sullen mood of pensive sullenness, as I do perceive daily by the gentle and loving carriage of your kind and gracious father towards you; as all honest folks use to do at their own homes and private dwelling-houses. For being free from debt, and yet not married, if casually I should fret and be angry, although the cause of my grief and displeasure were never so just, I am afraid, instead of consolation, that I should meet with nothing else but scoffs, frumps, gibes, and mocks at my disastrous fortune. Marry then, in the name of God, quoth Pantagruel.
How Pantagruel representeth unto Panurge the difficulty of giving advice in the matter of marriage; and to that purpose mentioneth somewhat of the Homeric and Virgilian lotteries.
Your counsel, quoth Panurge, under your correction and favour, seemeth unto me not unlike to the song of Gammer Yea-by-nay. It is full of sarcasms, mockeries, bitter taunts, nipping bobs, derisive quips, biting jerks, and contradictory iterations, the one part destroying the other. I know not, quoth Pantagruel, which of all my answers to lay hold on; for your proposals are so full of ifs and buts, that I can ground nothing on them, nor pitch upon any solid and positive determination satisfactory to what is demanded by them. Are not you assured within yourself of what you have a mind to? The chief and main point of the whole matter lieth there. All the rest is merely casual, and totally dependeth upon the fatal disposition of the heavens.
We see some so happy in the fortune of this nuptial encounter, that their family shineth as it were with the radiant effulgency of an idea, model, or representation of the joys of paradise; and perceive others, again, to be so unluckily matched in the conjugal yoke, that those very basest of devils which tempt the hermits that inhabit the deserts of Thebais and Montserrat are not more miserable than they. It is therefore expedient, seeing you are resolved for once to take a trial of the state of marriage, that, with shut eyes, bowing your head, and kissing the ground, you put the business to a venture, and give it a fair hazard, in recommending the success of the residue to the disposure of Almighty God. It lieth not in my power to give you any other manner of assurance, or otherwise to certify you of what shall ensue on this your undertaking. Nevertheless, if it please you, this you may do. Bring hither Virgil’s poems, that after having opened the book, and with our fingers severed the leaves thereof three several times, we may, according to the number agreed upon betwixt ourselves, explore the future hap of your intended marriage. For frequently by a Homeric lottery have many hit upon their destinies; as is testified in the person of Socrates, who, whilst he was in prison, hearing the recitation of this verse of Homer, said of Achilles in the Ninth of the Iliads–
Emati ke tritato Phthien eribolon ikoimen,
We, the third day, to fertile Pthia came–
thereby foresaw that on the third subsequent day he was to die. Of the truth whereof he assured Aeschines; as Plato, in Critone, Cicero, in Primo, de Divinatione, Diogenes Laertius, and others, have to the full recorded in their works. The like is also witnessed by Opilius Macrinus, to whom, being desirous to know if he should be the Roman emperor, befell, by chance of lot, this sentence in the Eighth of the Iliads–
O geron, e mala de se neoi teirousi machetai, Ze de bin lelutai, chalepon de se geras opazei.
Dotard, new warriors urge thee to be gone. Thy life decays, and old age weighs thee down.
In fact, he, being then somewhat ancient, had hardly enjoyed the sovereignty of the empire for the space of fourteen months, when by Heliogabalus, then both young and strong, he was dispossessed thereof, thrust out of all, and killed. Brutus doth also bear witness of another experiment of this nature, who willing, through this exploratory way by lot, to learn what the event and issue should be of the Pharsalian battle wherein he perished, he casually encountered on this verse, said of Patroclus in the Sixteenth of the Iliads–
Alla me moir oloe, kai Letous ektanen uios.
Fate, and Latona’s son have shot me dead.
And accordingly Apollo was the field-word in the dreadful day of that fight. Divers notable things of old have likewise been foretold and known by casting of Virgilian lots; yea, in matters of no less importance than the obtaining of the Roman empire, as it happened to Alexander Severus, who, trying his fortune at the said kind of lottery, did hit upon this verse written in the Sixth of the Aeneids–
Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento.
Know, Roman, that thy business is to reign.
He, within very few years thereafter, was effectually and in good earnest created and installed Roman emperor. A semblable story thereto is related of Adrian, who, being hugely perplexed within himself out of a longing humour to know in what account he was with the Emperor Trajan, and how large the measure of that affection was which he did bear unto him, had recourse, after the manner above specified, to the Maronian lottery, which by haphazard tendered him these lines out of the Sixth of the Aeneids–
Quis procul ille autem, ramis insignis olivae Sacra ferens? Nosco crines incanaque menta Regis Romani.
But who is he, conspicuous from afar, With olive boughs, that doth his offerings bear? By the white hair and beard I know him plain, The Roman king.
Shortly thereafter was he adopted by Trajan, and succeeded to him in the empire. Moreover, to the lot of the praiseworthy Emperor Claudius befell this line of Virgil, written in the Sixth of his Aeneids–
Tertia dum Latio regnantem viderit aestas.
Whilst the third summer saw him reign, a king In Latium.
And in effect he did not reign above two years. To the said Claudian also, inquiring concerning his brother Quintilius, whom he proposed as a colleague with himself in the empire, happened the response following in the Sixth of the Aeneids–
Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata.
Whom Fate let us see,
And would no longer suffer him to be.
And it so fell out; for he was killed on the seventeenth day after he had attained unto the management of the imperial charge. The very same lot, also, with the like misluck, did betide the Emperor Gordian the younger. To Claudius Albinus, being very solicitous to understand somewhat of his future adventures, did occur this saying, which is written in the Sixth of the Aeneids–
Hic rem Romanam magno turbante tumultu Sistet Eques, &c.
The Romans, boiling with tumultuous rage, This warrior shall the dangerous storm assuage: With victories he the Carthaginian mauls, And with strong hand shall crush the rebel Gauls.
Likewise, when the Emperor D. Claudius, Aurelian’s predecessor, did with great eagerness research after the fate to come of his posterity, his hap was to alight on this verse in the First of the Aeneids–
Hic ego nec metas rerum, nec tempora pono.
No bounds are to be set, no limits here.
Which was fulfilled by the goodly genealogical row of his race. When Mr. Peter Amy did in like manner explore and make trial if he should escape the ambush of the hobgoblins who lay in wait all-to-bemaul him, he fell upon this verse in the Third of the Aeneids–
Heu! fuge crudeles terras, fuge littus avarum!
Oh, flee the bloody land, the wicked shore!
Which counsel he obeying, safe and sound forthwith avoided all these ambuscades.
Were it not to shun prolixity, I could enumerate a thousand such like adventures, which, conform to the dictate and verdict of the verse, have by that manner of lot-casting encounter befallen to the curious researchers of them. Do not you nevertheless imagine, lest you should be deluded, that I would upon this kind of fortune-flinging proof infer an uncontrollable and not to be gainsaid infallibility of truth.
How Pantagruel showeth the trial of one’s fortune by the throwing of dice to be unlawful.
It would be sooner done, quoth Panurge, and more expeditely, if we should try the matter at the chance of three fair dice. Quoth Pantagruel, That sort of lottery is deceitful, abusive, illicitous, and exceedingly scandalous. Never trust in it. The accursed book of the Recreation of Dice was a great while ago excogitated in Achaia, near Bourre, by that ancient enemy of mankind, the infernal calumniator, who, before the statue or massive image of the Bourraic Hercules, did of old, and doth in several places of the world as yet, make many simple souls to err and fall into his snares. You know how my father Gargantua hath forbidden it over all his kingdoms and dominions; how he hath caused burn the moulds and draughts thereof, and altogether suppressed, abolished, driven forth, and cast it out of the land, as a most dangerous plague and infection to any well-polished state or commonwealth. What I have told you of dice, I say the same of the play at cockall. It is a lottery of the like guile and deceitfulness; and therefore do not for convincing of me allege in opposition to this my opinion, or bring in the example of the fortunate cast of Tiberius, within the fountain of Aponus, at the oracle of Gerion. These are the baited hooks by which the devil attracts and draweth unto him the foolish souls of silly people into eternal perdition.
Nevertheless, to satisfy your humour in some measure, I am content you throw three dice upon this table, that, according to the number of the blots which shall happen to be cast up, we may hit upon a verse of that page which in the setting open of the book you shall have pitched upon.
Have you any dice in your pocket? A whole bagful, answered Panurge. That is provision against the devil, as is expounded by Merlin Coccaius, Lib. 2. De Patria Diabolorum. The devil would be sure to take me napping, and very much at unawares, if he should find me without dice. With this, the three dice being taken out, produced, and thrown, they fell so pat upon the lower points that the cast was five, six, and five. These are, quoth Panurge, sixteen in all. Let us take the sixteenth line of the page. The number pleaseth me very well; I hope we shall have a prosperous and happy chance. May I be thrown amidst all the devils of hell, even as a great bowl cast athwart at a set of ninepins, or cannon-ball shot among a battalion of foot, in case so many times I do not boult my future wife the first night of our marriage! Of that, forsooth, I make no doubt at all, quoth Pantagruel. You needed not to have rapped forth such a horrid imprecation, the sooner to procure credit for the performance of so small a business, seeing possibly the first bout will be amiss, and that you know is usually at tennis called fifteen. At the next justling turn you may readily amend that fault, and so complete your reckoning of sixteen. Is it so, quoth Panurge, that you understand the matter? And must my words be thus interpreted? Nay, believe me never yet was any solecism committed by that valiant champion who often hath for me in Belly-dale stood sentry at the hypogastrian cranny. Did you ever hitherto find me in the confraternity of the faulty? Never, I trow; never, nor ever shall, for ever and a day. I do the feat like a goodly friar or father confessor, without default. And therein am I willing to be judged by the players. He had no sooner spoke these words than the works of Virgil were brought in. But before the book was laid open, Panurge said to Pantagruel, My heart, like the furch of a hart in a rut, doth beat within my breast. Be pleased to feel and grope my pulse a little on this artery of my left arm. At its frequent rise and fall you would say that they swinge and belabour me after the manner of a probationer, posed and put to a peremptory trial in the examination of his sufficiency for the discharge of the learned duty of a graduate in some eminent degree in the college of the Sorbonists.
But would you not hold it expedient, before we proceed any further, that we should invocate Hercules and the Tenetian goddesses who in the chamber of lots are said to rule, sit in judgment, and bear a presidential sway? Neither him nor them, answered Pantagruel; only open up the leaves of the book with your fingers, and set your nails awork.
How Pantagruel doth explore by the Virgilian lottery what fortune Panurge shall have in his marriage.
Then at the opening of the book in the sixteenth row of the lines of the disclosed page did Panurge encounter upon this following verse:
Nec Deus hunc mensa, Dea nec dignata cubili est.
The god him from his table banished, Nor would the goddess have him in her bed.
This response, quoth Pantagruel, maketh not very much for your benefit or advantage; for it plainly signifies and denoteth that your wife shall be a strumpet, and yourself by consequence a cuckold. The goddess, whom you shall not find propitious nor favourable unto you, is Minerva, a most redoubtable and dreadful virgin, a powerful and fulminating goddess, an enemy to cuckolds and effeminate youngsters, to cuckold-makers and adulterers. The god is Jupiter, a terrible and thunder-striking god from heaven. And withal it is to be remarked, that, conform to the doctrine of the ancient Etrurians, the manubes, for so did they call the darting hurls or slinging casts of the Vulcanian thunderbolts, did only appertain to her and to Jupiter her father capital. This was verified in the conflagration of the ships of Ajax Oileus, nor doth this fulminating power belong to any other of the Olympic gods. Men, therefore, stand not in such fear of them. Moreover, I will tell you, and you may take it as extracted out of the profoundest mysteries of mythology, that, when the giants had enterprised the waging of a war against the power of the celestial orbs, the gods at first did laugh at those attempts, and scorned such despicable enemies, who were, in their conceit, not strong enough to cope in feats of warfare with their pages; but when they saw by the gigantine labour the high hill Pelion set on lofty Ossa, and that the mount Olympus was made shake to be erected on the top of both, then was it that Jupiter held a parliament, or general convention, wherein it was unanimously resolved upon and condescended to by all the gods, that they should worthily and valiantly stand to their defence. And because they had often seen battles lost by the cumbersome lets and disturbing encumbrances of women confusedly huddled in amongst armies, it was at that time decreed and enacted that they should expel and drive out of heaven into Egypt and the confines of Nile that whole crew of goddesses, disguised in the shapes of weasels, polecats, bats, shrew-mice, ferrets, fulmarts, and other such like odd transformations; only Minerva was reserved to participate with Jupiter in the horrific fulminating power, as being the goddess both of war and learning, of arts and arms, of counsel and despatch–a goddess armed from her birth, a goddess dreaded in heaven, in the air, by sea and land. By the belly of Saint Buff, quoth Panurge, should I be Vulcan, whom the poet blazons? Nay, I am neither a cripple, coiner of false money, nor smith, as he was. My wife possibly will be as comely and handsome as ever was his Venus, but not a whore like her, nor I a cuckold like him. The crook-legged slovenly slave made himself to be declared a cuckold by a definite sentence and judgment, in the open view of all the gods. For this cause ought you to interpret the afore-mentioned verse quite contrary to what you have said. This lot importeth that my wife will be honest, virtuous, chaste, loyal, and faithful; not armed, surly, wayward, cross, giddy, humorous, heady, hairbrained, or extracted out of the brains, as was the goddess Pallas; nor shall this fair jolly Jupiter be my co-rival. He shall never dip his bread in my broth, though we should sit together at one table.
Consider his exploits and gallant actions. He was the manifest ruffian, wencher, whoremonger, and most infamous cuckold-maker that ever breathed. He did always lecher it like a boar, and no wonder, for he was fostered by a sow in the Isle of Candia, if Agathocles the Babylonian be not a liar, and more rammishly lascivious than a buck; whence it is that he is said by others to have been suckled and fed with the milk of the Amalthaean goat. By the virtue of Acheron, he justled, bulled, and lastauriated in one day the third part of the world, beasts and people, floods and mountains; that was Europa. For this grand subagitatory achievement the Ammonians caused draw, delineate, and paint him in the figure and shape of a ram ramming, and horned ram. But I know well enough how to shield and preserve myself from that horned champion. He will not, trust me, have to deal in my person with a sottish, dunsical Amphitryon, nor with a silly witless Argus, for all his hundred spectacles, nor yet with the cowardly meacock Acrisius, the simple goose-cap Lycus of Thebes, the doting blockhead Agenor, the phlegmatic pea-goose Aesop, rough-footed Lycaon, the luskish misshapen Corytus of Tuscany, nor with the large-backed and strong-reined Atlas. Let him alter, change, transform, and metamorphose himself into a hundred various shapes and figures, into a swan, a bull, a satyr, a shower of gold, or into a cuckoo, as he did when he unmaidened his sister Juno; into an eagle, ram, or dove, as when he was enamoured of the virgin Phthia, who then dwelt in the Aegean territory; into fire, a serpent, yea, even into a flea; into Epicurean and Democratical atoms, or, more Magistronostralistically, into those sly intentions of the mind, which in the schools are called second notions,–I’ll catch him in the nick, and take him napping. And would you know what I would do unto him? Even that which to his father Coelum Saturn did–Seneca foretold it of me, and Lactantius hath confirmed it–what the goddess Rhea did to Athis. I would make him two stone lighter, rid him of his Cyprian cymbals, and cut so close and neatly by the breech, that there shall not remain thereof so much as one–, so cleanly would I shave him, and disable him for ever from being Pope, for Testiculos non habet. Hold there, said Pantagruel; ho, soft and fair, my lad! Enough of that,–cast up, turn over the leaves, and try your fortune for the second time. Then did he fall upon this ensuing verse:
Membra quatit, gelidusque coit formidine sanguis.
His joints and members quake, he becomes pale, And sudden fear doth his cold blood congeal.
This importeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will soundly bang your back and belly. Clean and quite contrary, answered Panurge; it is of me that he prognosticates, in saying that I will beat her like a tiger if she vex me. Sir Martin Wagstaff will perform that office, and in default of a cudgel, the devil gulp him, if I should not eat her up quick, as Candaul the Lydian king did his wife, whom he ravened and devoured.
You are very stout, says Pantagruel, and courageous; Hercules himself durst hardly adventure to scuffle with you in this your raging fury. Nor is it strange; for the Jan is worth two, and two in fight against Hercules are too too strong. Am I a Jan? quoth Panurge. No, no, answered Pantagruel. My mind was only running upon the lurch and tricktrack. Thereafter did he hit, at the third opening of the book, upon this verse:
Foemineo praedae, et spoliorum ardebat amore.
After the spoil and pillage, as in fire, He burnt with a strong feminine desire.
This portendeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will steal your goods, and rob you. Hence this, according to these three drawn lots, will be your future destiny, I clearly see it,–you will be a cuckold, you will be beaten, and you will be robbed. Nay, it is quite otherwise, quoth Panurge; for it is certain that this verse presageth that she will love me with a perfect liking. Nor did the satyr-writing poet lie in proof hereof, when he affirmed that a woman, burning with extreme affection, takes sometimes pleasure to steal from her sweetheart. And what, I pray you? A glove, a point, or some such trifling toy of no importance, to make him keep a gentle kind of stirring in the research and quest thereof. In like manner, these small scolding debates and petty brabbling contentions, which frequently we see spring up and for a certain space boil very hot betwixt a couple of high-spirited lovers, are nothing else but recreative diversions for their refreshment, spurs to and incentives of a more fervent amity than ever. As, for example, we do sometimes see cutlers with hammers maul their finest whetstones, therewith to sharpen their iron tools the better. And therefore do I think that these three lots make much for my advantage; which, if not, I from their sentence totally appeal. There is no appellation, quoth Pantagruel, from the decrees of fate or destiny, of lot or chance; as is recorded by our ancient lawyers, witness Baldus, Lib. ult. Cap. de Leg. The reason hereof is, Fortune doth not acknowledge a superior, to whom an appeal may be made from her or any of her substitutes. And in this case the pupil cannot be restored to his right in full, as openly by the said author is alleged in L. Ait Praetor, paragr. ult. ff. de minor.
How Pantagruel adviseth Panurge to try the future good or bad luck of his marriage by dreams.
Now, seeing we cannot agree together in the manner of expounding or interpreting the sense of the Virgilian lots, let us bend our course another way, and try a new sort of divination. Of what kind? asked Panurge. Of a good ancient and authentic fashion, answered Pantagruel; it is by dreams. For in dreaming, such circumstances and conditions being thereto adhibited, as are clearly enough described by Hippocrates, in Lib. Peri ton enupnion, by Plato, Plotin, Iamblicus, Sinesius, Aristotle, Xenophon, Galen, Plutarch, Artemidorus, Daldianus, Herophilus, Q. Calaber, Theocritus, Pliny, Athenaeus, and others, the soul doth oftentimes foresee what is to come. How true this is, you may conceive by a very vulgar and familiar example; as when you see that at such a time as suckling babes, well nourished, fed, and fostered with good milk, sleep soundly and profoundly, the nurses in the interim get leave to sport themselves, and are licentiated to recreate their fancies at what range to them shall seem most fitting and expedient, their presence, sedulity, and attendance on the cradle being, during all that space, held unnecessary. Even just so, when our body is at rest, that the concoction is everywhere accomplished, and that, till it awake, it lacks for nothing, our soul delighteth to disport itself and is well pleased in that frolic to take a review of its native country, which is the heavens, where it receiveth a most notable participation of its first beginning with an imbuement from its divine source, and in contemplation of that infinite and intellectual sphere, whereof the centre is everywhere, and the circumference in no place of the universal world, to wit, God, according to the doctrine of Hermes Trismegistus, to whom no new thing happeneth, whom nothing that is past escapeth, and unto whom all things are alike present, remarketh not only what is preterit and gone in the inferior course and agitation of sublunary matters, but withal taketh notice what is to come; then bringing a relation of those future events unto the body of the outward senses and exterior organs, it is divulged abroad unto the hearing of others. Whereupon the owner of that soul deserveth to be termed a vaticinator, or prophet. Nevertheless, the truth is, that the soul is seldom able to report those things in such sincerity as it hath seen them, by reason of the imperfection and frailty of the corporeal senses, which obstruct the effectuating of that office; even as the moon doth not communicate unto this earth of ours that light which she receiveth from the sun with so much splendour, heat, vigour, purity, and liveliness as it was given her. Hence it is requisite for the better reading, explaining, and unfolding of these somniatory vaticinations and predictions of that nature, that a dexterous, learned, skilful, wise, industrious, expert, rational, and peremptory expounder or interpreter be pitched upon, such a one as by the Greeks is called onirocrit, or oniropolist. For this cause Heraclitus was wont to say that nothing is by dreams revealed to us, that nothing is by dreams concealed from us, and that only we thereby have a mystical signification and secret evidence of things to come, either for our own prosperous or unlucky fortune, or for the favourable or disastrous success of another. The sacred Scriptures testify no less, and profane histories assure us of it, in both which are exposed to our view a thousand several kinds of strange adventures, which have befallen pat according to the nature of the dream, and that as well to the party dreamer as to others. The Atlantic people, and those that inhabit the (is)land of Thasos, one of the Cyclades, are of this grand commodity deprived; for in their countries none yet ever dreamed. Of this sort (were) Cleon of Daulia, Thrasymedes, and in our days the learned Frenchman Villanovanus, neither of all which knew what dreaming was.
Fail not therefore to-morrow, when the jolly and fair Aurora with her rosy fingers draweth aside the curtains of the night to drive away the sable shades of darkness, to bend your spirits wholly to the task of sleeping sound, and thereto apply yourself. In the meanwhile you must denude your mind of every human passion or affection, such as are love and hatred, fear and hope, for as of old the great vaticinator, most famous and renowned prophet Proteus, was not able in his disguise or transformation into fire, water, a tiger, a dragon, and other such like uncouth shapes and visors, to presage anything that was to come till he was restored to his own first natural and kindly form; just so doth man; for, at his reception of the art of divination and faculty of prognosticating future things, that part in him which is the most divine, to wit, the Nous, or Mens, must be calm, peaceable, untroubled, quiet, still, hushed, and not embusied or distracted with foreign, soul-disturbing perturbations. I am content, quoth Panurge. But, I pray you, sir, must I this evening, ere I go to bed, eat much or little? I do not ask this without cause. For if I sup not well, large, round, and amply, my sleeping is not worth a forked turnip. All the night long I then but doze and rave, and in my slumbering fits talk idle nonsense, my thoughts being in a dull brown study, and as deep in their dumps as is my belly hollow.
Not to sup, answered Pantagruel, were best for you, considering the state of your complexion and healthy constitution of your body. A certain very ancient prophet, named Amphiaraus, wished such as had a mind by dreams to be imbued with any oracle, for four-and-twenty hours to taste no victuals, and to abstain from wine three days together. Yet shall not you be put to such a sharp, hard, rigorous, and extreme sparing diet. I am truly right apt to believe that a man whose stomach is replete with various cheer, and in a manner surfeited with drinking, is hardly able to conceive aright of spiritual things; yet am not I of the opinion of those who, after long and pertinacious fastings, think by such means to enter more profoundly into the speculation of celestial mysteries. You may very well remember how my father Gargantua (whom here for honour sake I name) hath often told us that the writings of abstinent, abstemious, and long-fasting hermits were every whit as saltless, dry, jejune, and insipid as were their bodies when they did compose them. It is a most difficult thing for the spirits to be in a good plight, serene and lively, when there is nothing in the body but a kind of voidness and inanity; seeing the philosophers with the physicians jointly affirm that the spirits which are styled animal spring from, and have their constant practice in and through the arterial blood, refined and purified to the life within the admirable net which, wonderfully framed, lieth under the ventricles and tunnels of the brain. He gave us also the example of the philosopher who, when he thought most seriously to have withdrawn himself unto a solitary privacy, far from the rustling clutterments of the tumultuous and confused world, the better to improve his theory, to contrive, comment, and ratiocinate, was, notwithstanding his uttermost endeavours to free himself from all untoward noises, surrounded and environed about so with the barking of curs, bawling of mastiffs, bleating of sheep, prating of parrots, tattling of jackdaws, grunting of swine, girning of boars, yelping of foxes, mewing of cats, cheeping of mice, squeaking of weasels, croaking of frogs, crowing of cocks, cackling of hens, calling of partridges, chanting of swans, chattering of jays, peeping of chickens, singing of larks, creaking of geese, chirping of swallows, clucking of moorfowls, cucking of cuckoos, bumbling of bees, rammage of hawks, chirming of linnets, croaking of ravens, screeching of owls, whicking of pigs, gushing of hogs, curring of pigeons, grumbling of cushat-doves, howling of panthers, curkling of quails, chirping of sparrows, crackling of crows, nuzzing of camels, wheening of whelps, buzzing of dromedaries, mumbling of rabbits, cricking of ferrets, humming of wasps, mioling of tigers, bruzzing of bears, sussing of kitlings, clamouring of scarfs, whimpering of fulmarts, booing of buffaloes, warbling of nightingales, quavering of mavises, drintling of turkeys, coniating of storks, frantling of peacocks, clattering of magpies, murmuring of stock-doves, crouting of cormorants, cigling of locusts, charming of beagles, guarring of puppies, snarling of messens, rantling of rats, guerieting of apes, snuttering of monkeys, pioling of pelicans, quacking of ducks, yelling of wolves, roaring of lions, neighing of horses, crying of elephants, hissing of serpents, and wailing of turtles, that he was much more troubled than if he had been in the middle of the crowd at the fair of Fontenay or Niort. Just so is it with those who are tormented with the grievous pangs of hunger. The stomach begins to gnaw, and bark, as it were, the eyes to look dim, and the veins, by greedily sucking some refection to themselves from the proper substance of all the members of a fleshy consistence, violently pull down and draw back that vagrant, roaming spirit, careless and neglecting of his nurse and natural host, which is the body; as when a hawk upon the fist, willing to take her flight by a soaring aloft in the open spacious air, is on a sudden drawn back by a leash tied to her feet.
To this purpose also did he allege unto us the authority of Homer, the father of all philosophy, who said that the Grecians did not put an end to their mournful mood for the death of Patroclus, the most intimate friend of Achilles, till hunger in a rage declared herself, and their bellies protested to furnish no more tears unto their grief. For from bodies emptied and macerated by long fasting there could not be such supply of moisture and brackish drops as might be proper on that occasion.
Mediocrity at all times is commendable; nor in this case are you to abandon it. You may take a little supper, but thereat must you not eat of a hare, nor of any other flesh. You are likewise to abstain from beans, from the preak, by some called the polyp, as also from coleworts, cabbage, and all other such like windy victuals, which may endanger the troubling of your brains and the dimming or casting a kind of mist over your animal spirits. For, as a looking-glass cannot exhibit the semblance or representation of the object set before it, and exposed to have its image to the life expressed, if that the polished sleekedness thereof be darkened by gross breathings, dampish vapours, and foggy, thick, infectious exhalations, even so the fancy cannot well receive the impression of the likeness of those things which divination doth afford by dreams, if any way the body be annoyed or troubled with the fumish steam of meat which it had taken in a while before; because betwixt these two there still hath been a mutual sympathy and fellow-feeling of an indissolubly knit affection. You shall eat good Eusebian and Bergamot pears, one apple of the short-shank pippin kind, a parcel of the little plums of Tours, and some few cherries of the