Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book V. by Francois Rabelais

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 Book V. Translated into English by Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty and Peter Antony Motteux The text of the first Two Books of Rabelais has been reprinted from the first
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Produced by Sue Asscher and David Widger




Book V.

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 Author’s Prologue.

Indefatigable topers, and you, thrice precious martyrs of the smock, give me leave to put a serious question to your worships while you are idly striking your codpieces, and I myself not much better employed. Pray, why is it that people say that men are not such sots nowadays as they were in the days of yore? Sot is an old word that signifies a dunce, dullard, jolthead, gull, wittol, or noddy, one without guts in his brains, whose cockloft is unfurnished, and, in short, a fool. Now would I know whether you would have us understand by this same saying, as indeed you logically may, that formerly men were fools and in this generation are grown wise? How many and what dispositions made them fools? How many and what dispositions were wanting to make ’em wise? Why were they fools? How should they be wise? Pray, how came you to know that men were formerly fools? How did you find that they are now wise? Who the devil made ’em fools? Who a God’s name made ’em wise? Who d’ye think are most, those that loved mankind foolish, or those that love it wise? How long has it been wise? How long otherwise? Whence proceeded the foregoing folly? Whence the following wisdom? Why did the old folly end now, and no later? Why did the modern wisdom begin now, and no sooner? What were we the worse for the former folly? What the better for the succeeding wisdom? How should the ancient folly be come to nothing? How should this same new wisdom be started up and established?

Now answer me, an’t please you. I dare not adjure you in stronger terms, reverend sirs, lest I make your pious fatherly worships in the least uneasy. Come, pluck up a good heart; speak the truth and shame the devil. Be cheery, my lads; and if you are for me, take me off three or five bumpers of the best, while I make a halt at the first part of the sermon; then answer my question. If you are not for me, avaunt! avoid, Satan! For I swear by my great-grandmother’s placket (and that’s a horrid oath), that if you don’t help me to solve that puzzling problem, I will, nay, I already do repent having proposed it; for still I must remain nettled and gravelled, and a devil a bit I know how to get off. Well, what say you? I’faith, I begin to smell you out. You are not yet disposed to give me an answer; nor I neither, by these whiskers. Yet to give some light into the business, I’ll e’en tell you what had been anciently foretold in the matter by a venerable doctor, who, being moved by the spirit in a prophetic vein, wrote a book ycleped the Prelatical Bagpipe. What d’ye think the old fornicator saith? Hearken, you old noddies, hearken now or never.

The jubilee’s year, when all like fools were shorn, Is about thirty supernumerary.
O want of veneration! fools they seemed, But, persevering, with long breves, at last No more they shall be gaping greedy fools. For they shall shell the shrub’s delicious fruit, Whose flower they in the spring so much had feared.

Now you have it, what do you make on’t? The seer is ancient, the style laconic, the sentences dark like those of Scotus, though they treat of matters dark enough in themselves. The best commentators on that good father take the jubilee after the thirtieth to be the years that are included in this present age till 1550 (there being but one jubilee every fifty years). Men shall no longer be thought fools next green peas season.

The fools, whose number, as Solomon certifies, is infinite, shall go to pot like a parcel of mad bedlamites as they are; and all manner of folly shall have an end, that being also numberless, according to Avicenna, maniae infinitae sunt species. Having been driven back and hidden towards the centre during the rigour of the winter, ’tis now to be seen on the surface, and buds out like the trees. This is as plain as a nose in a man’s face; you know it by experience; you see it. And it was formerly found out by that great good man Hippocrates, Aphorism Verae etenim maniae, &c. This world therefore wisifying itself, shall no longer dread the flower and blossoms of every coming spring, that is, as you may piously believe, bumper in hand and tears in eyes, in the woeful time of Lent, which used to keep them company.

Whole cartloads of books that seemed florid, flourishing, and flowery, gay, and gaudy as so many butterflies, but in the main were tiresome, dull, soporiferous, irksome, mischievous, crabbed, knotty, puzzling, and dark as those of whining Heraclitus, as unintelligible as the numbers of Pythagoras, that king of the bean, according to Horace; those books, I say, have seen their best days and shall soon come to nothing, being delivered to the executing worms and merciless petty chandlers; such was their destiny, and to this they were predestinated.

In their stead beans in cod are started up; that is, these merry and fructifying Pantagruelian books, so much sought nowadays in expectation of the following jubilee’s period; to the study of which writings all people have given their minds, and accordingly have gained the name of wise.

Now I think I have fairly solved and resolved your problem; then reform, and be the better for it. Hem once or twice like hearts of oak; stand to your pan-puddings, and take me off your bumpers, nine go-downs, and huzza! since we are like to have a good vintage, and misers hang themselves. Oh! they will cost me an estate in hempen collars if fair weather hold. For I hereby promise to furnish them with twice as much as will do their business on free cost, as often as they will take the pains to dance at a rope’s end providently to save charges, to the no small disappointment of the finisher of the law.

Now, my friends, that you may put in for a share of this new wisdom, and shake off the antiquated folly this very moment, scratch me out of your scrolls and quite discard the symbol of the old philosopher with the golden thigh, by which he has forbidden you to eat beans; for you may take it for a truth granted among all professors in the science of good eating, that he enjoined you not to taste of them only with the same kind intent that a certain fresh-water physician had when he did forbid to Amer, late Lord of Camelotiere, kinsman to the lawyer of that name, the wing of the partridge, the rump of the chicken, and the neck of the pigeon, saying, Ala mala, rumpum dubium, collum bonum, pelle remota. For the duncical dog-leech was so selfish as to reserve them for his own dainty chops, and allowed his poor patients little more than the bare bones to pick, lest they should overload their squeamish stomachs.

To the heathen philosopher succeeded a pack of Capuchins, monks who forbid us the use of beans, that is, Pantagruelian books. They seem to follow the example of Philoxenus and Gnatho, one of whom was a Sicilian of fulsome memory, the ancient master-builders of their monastic cram-gut voluptuousness, who, when some dainty bit was served up at a feast, filthily used to spit on it, that none but their nasty selves might have the stomach to eat of it, though their liquorish chops watered never so much after it.

So those hideous, snotty, phthisicky, eaves-dropping, musty, moving forms of mortification, both in public and private, curse those dainty books, and like toads spit their venom upon them.

Now, though we have in our mother-tongue several excellent works in verse and prose, and, heaven be praised! but little left of the trash and trumpery stuff of those duncical mumblers of ave-maries and the barbarous foregoing Gothic age, I have made bold to choose to chirrup and warble my plain ditty, or, as they say, to whistle like a goose among the swans, rather than be thought deaf among so many pretty poets and eloquent orators. And thus I am prouder of acting the clown, or any other under-part, among the many ingenious actors in that noble play, than of herding among those mutes, who, like so many shadows and ciphers, only serve to fill up the house and make up a number, gaping and yawning at the flies, and pricking up their lugs, like so many Arcadian asses, at the striking up of the music; thus silently giving to understand that their fopships are tickled in the right place.

Having taken this resolution, I thought it would not be amiss to move my Diogenical tub, that you might not accuse me of living without example. I see a swarm of our modern poets and orators, your Colinets, Marots, Drouets, Saint Gelais, Salels, Masuels, and many more, who, having commenced masters in Apollo’s academy on Mount Parnassus, and drunk brimmers at the Caballin fountain among the nine merry Muses, have raised our vulgar tongue, and made it a noble and everlasting structure. Their works are all Parian marble, alabaster, porphyry, and royal cement; they treat of nothing but heroic deeds, mighty things, grave and difficult matters, and this in a crimson, alamode, rhetorical style. Their writings are all divine nectar, rich, racy, sparkling, delicate, and luscious wine. Nor does our sex wholly engross this honour; ladies have had their share of the glory; one of them, of the royal blood of France, whom it were a profanation but to name here, surprises the age at once by the transcendent and inventive genius in her writings and the admirable graces of her style. Imitate those great examples if you can; for my part I cannot. Everyone, you know, cannot go to Corinth. When Solomon built the temple, all could not give gold by handfuls.

Since then ’tis not in my power to improve our architecture as much as they, I am e’en resolved to do like Renault of Montauban: I’ll wait on the masons, set on the pot for the masons, cook for the stone-cutters; and since it was not my good luck to be cut out for one of them, I will live and die the admirer of their divine writings.

As for you, little envious prigs, snarling bastards, puny critics, you’ll soon have railed your last; go hang yourselves, and choose you out some well-spread oak, under whose shade you may swing in state, to the admiration of the gaping mob; you shall never want rope enough. While I here solemnly protest before my Helicon, in the presence of my nine mistresses the Muses, that if I live yet the age of a dog, eked out with that of three crows, sound wind and limbs, like the old Hebrew captain Moses, Xenophilus the musician, and Demonax the philosopher, by arguments no ways impertinent, and reasons not to be disputed, I will prove, in the teeth of a parcel of brokers and retailers of ancient rhapsodies and such mouldy trash, that our vulgar tongue is not so mean, silly, inept, poor, barren, and contemptible as they pretend. Nor ought I to be afraid of I know not what botchers of old threadbare stuff, a hundred and a hundred times clouted up and pieced together; wretched bunglers that can do nothing but new-vamp old rusty saws; beggarly scavengers that rake even the muddiest canals of antiquity for scraps and bits of Latin as insignificant as they are often uncertain. Beseeching our grandees of Witland that, as when formerly Apollo had distributed all the treasures of his poetical exchequer to his favourites, little hulchbacked Aesop got for himself the office of apologue-monger; in the same manner, since I do not aspire higher, they would not deny me that of puny rhyparographer, or riffraff follower of the sect of Pyreicus.

I dare swear they will grant me this; for they are all so kind, so good-natured, and so generous, that they’ll ne’er boggle at so small a request. Therefore, both dry and hungry souls, pot and trenchermen, fully enjoying those books, perusing, quoting them in their merry conventicles, and observing the great mysteries of which they treat, shall gain a singular profit and fame; as in the like case was done by Alexander the Great with the books of prime philosophy composed by Aristotle.

O rare! belly on belly! what swillers, what twisters will there be!

Then be sure all you that take care not to die of the pip, be sure, I say, you take my advice, and stock yourselves with good store of such books as soon as you meet with them at the booksellers; and do not only shell those beans, but e’en swallow them down like an opiate cordial, and let them be in you; I say, let them be within you; then you shall find, my beloved, what good they do to all clever shellers of beans.

Here is a good handsome basketful of them, which I here lay before your worships; they were gathered in the very individual garden whence the former came. So I beseech you, reverend sirs, with as much respect as was ever paid by dedicating author, to accept of the gift, in hopes of somewhat better against next visit the swallows give us.


Chapter 5.I.

How Pantagruel arrived at the Ringing Island, and of the noise that we heard.

Pursuing our voyage, we sailed three days without discovering anything; on the fourth we made land. Our pilot told us that it was the Ringing Island, and indeed we heard a kind of a confused and often repeated noise, that seemed to us at a great distance not unlike the sound of great, middle-sized, and little bells rung all at once, as ’tis customary at Paris, Tours, Gergeau, Nantes, and elsewhere on high holidays; and the nearer we came to the land the louder we heard that jangling.

Some of us doubted that it was the Dodonian kettle, or the portico called Heptaphone in Olympia, or the eternal humming of the colossus raised on Memnon’s tomb in Thebes of Egypt, or the horrid din that used formerly to be heard about a tomb at Lipara, one of the Aeolian islands. But this did not square with chorography.

I do not know, said Pantagruel, but that some swarms of bees hereabouts may be taking a ramble in the air, and so the neighbourhood make this dingle-dangle with pans, kettles, and basins, the corybantine cymbals of Cybele, grandmother of the gods, to call them back. Let’s hearken. When we were nearer, among the everlasting ringing of these indefatigable bells we heard the singing, as we thought, of some men. For this reason, before we offered to land on the Ringing Island, Pantagruel was of opinion that we should go in the pinnace to a small rock, near which we discovered an hermitage and a little garden. There we found a diminutive old hermit, whose name was Braguibus, born at Glenay. He gave us a full account of all the jangling, and regaled us after a strange sort of fashion–four livelong days did he make us fast, assuring us that we should not be admitted into the Ringing Island otherwise, because it was then one of the four fasting, or ember weeks. As I love my belly, quoth Panurge, I by no means understand this riddle. Methinks this should rather be one of the four windy weeks; for while we fast we are only puffed up with wind. Pray now, good father hermit, have not you here some other pastime besides fasting? Methinks it is somewhat of the leanest; we might well enough be without so many palace holidays and those fasting times of yours. In my Donatus, quoth Friar John, I could find yet but three times or tenses, the preterit, the present, and the future; doubtless here the fourth ought to be a work of supererogation. That time or tense, said Epistemon, is aorist, derived from the preter-imperfect tense of the Greeks, admitted in war (?) and odd cases. Patience perforce is a remedy for a mad dog. Saith the hermit: It is, as I told you, fatal to go against this; whosoever does it is a rank heretic, and wants nothing but fire and faggot, that’s certain. To deal plainly with you, my dear pater, cried Panurge, being at sea, I much more fear being wet than being warm, and being drowned than being burned.

Well, however, let us fast, a God’s name; yet I have fasted so long that it has quite undermined my flesh, and I fear that at last the bastions of this bodily fort of mine will fall to ruin. Besides, I am much more afraid of vexing you in this same trade of fasting; for the devil a bit I understand anything in it, and it becomes me very scurvily, as several people have told me, and I am apt to believe them. For my part, I have no great stomach to fasting; for alas! it is as easy as pissing a bed, and a trade of which anybody may set up; there needs no tools. I am much more inclined not to fast for the future; for to do so there is some stock required, and some tools are set a-work. No matter, since you are so steadfast, and would have us fast, let us fast as fast as we can, and then breakfast in the name of famine. Now we are come to these esurial idle days. I vow I had quite put them out of my head long ago. If we must fast, said Pantagruel, I see no other remedy but to get rid of it as soon as we can, as we would out of a bad way. I’ll in that space of time somewhat look over my papers, and examine whether the marine study be as good as ours at land. For Plato, to describe a silly, raw, ignorant fellow, compares him to those that are bred on shipboard, as we would do one bred up in a barrel, who never saw anything but through the bung-hole.

To tell you the short and the long of the matter, our fasting was most hideous and terrible; for the first day we fasted on fisticuffs, the second at cudgels, the third at sharps, and the fourth at blood and wounds: such was the order of the fairies.

Chapter 5.II.

How the Ringing Island had been inhabited by the Siticines, who were become birds.

Having fasted as aforesaid, the hermit gave us a letter for one whom he called Albian Camar, Master Aedituus of the Ringing Island; but Panurge greeting him called him Master Antitus. He was a little queer old fellow, bald-pated, with a snout whereat you might easily have lighted a card-match, and a phiz as red as a cardinal’s cap. He made us all very welcome, upon the hermit’s recommendation, hearing that we had fasted, as I have told you.

When we had well stuffed our puddings, he gave us an account of what was remarkable in the island, affirming that it had been at first inhabited by the Siticines; but that, according to the course of nature–as all things, you know, are subject to change–they were become birds.

There I had a full account of all that Atteius Capito, Paulus, Marcellus, A. Gellius, Athenaeus, Suidas, Ammonius, and others had writ of the Siticines and Sicinnists; and then we thought we might as easily believe the transmutations of Nectymene, Progne, Itys, Alcyone, Antigone, Tereus, and other birds. Nor did we think it more reasonable to doubt of the transmogrification of the Macrobian children into swans, or that of the men of Pallene in Thrace into birds, as soon as they had bathed themselves in the Tritonic lake. After this the devil a word could we get out of him but of birds and cages.

The cages were spacious, costly, magnificent, and of an admirable architecture. The birds were large, fine, and neat accordingly, looking as like the men in my country as one pea does like another; for they ate and drank like men, muted like men, endued or digested like men, farted like men, but stunk like devils; slept, billed, and trod their females like men, but somewhat oftener: in short, had you seen and examined them from top to toe, you would have laid your head to a turnip that they had been mere men. However, they were nothing less, as Master Aedituus told us; assuring us, at the same time, that they were neither secular nor laic; and the truth is, the diversity of their feathers and plumes did not a little puzzle us.

Some of them were all over as white as swans, others as black as crows, many as grey as owls, others black and white like magpies, some all red like red-birds, and others purple and white like some pigeons. He called the males clerg-hawks, monk-hawks, priest-hawks, abbot-hawks, bish-hawks, cardin-hawks, and one pope-hawk, who is a species by himself. He called the females clerg-kites, nun-kites, priest-kites, abbess-kites, bish-kites, cardin-kites, and pope-kites.

However, said he, as hornets and drones will get among the bees, and there do nothing but buzz, eat, and spoil everything; so, for these last three hundred years, a vast swarm of bigottelloes flocked, I do not know how, among these goodly birds every fifth full moon, and have bemuted, berayed, and conskited the whole island. They are so hard-favoured and monstrous that none can abide them. For their wry necks make a figure like a crooked billet; their paws are hairy, like those of rough-footed pigeons; their claws and pounces, belly and breech, like those of the Stymphalid harpies. Nor is it possible to root them out, for if you get rid of one, straight four-and-twenty new ones fly thither.

There had been need of another monster-hunter such as was Hercules; for Friar John had like to have run distracted about it, so much he was nettled and puzzled in the matter. As for the good Pantagruel, he was even served as was Messer Priapus, contemplating the sacrifices of Ceres, for want of skin.

Chapter 5.III.

How there is but one pope-hawk in the Ringing Island.

We then asked Master Aedituus why there was but one pope-hawk among such venerable birds multiplied in all their species. He answered that such was the first institution and fatal destiny of the stars that the clerg-hawks begot the priest-hawks and monk-hawks without carnal copulation, as some bees are born of a young bull; the priest-hawks begat the bish-hawks, the bish-hawks the stately cardin-hawks, and the stately cardin-hawks, if they live long enough, at last come to be pope-hawk.

Of this last kind there never is more than one at a time, as in a beehive there is but one king, and in the world is but one sun.

When the pope-hawk dies, another arises in his stead out of the whole brood of cardin-hawks, that is, as you must understand it all along, without carnal copulation. So that there is in that species an individual unity, with a perpetuity of succession, neither more or less than in the Arabian phoenix.

‘Tis true that, about two thousand seven hundred and sixty moons ago, two pope-hawks were seen upon the face of the earth; but then you never saw in your lives such a woeful rout and hurly-burly as was all over this island. For all these same birds did so peck, clapperclaw, and maul one another all that time, that there was the devil and all to do, and the island was in a fair way of being left without inhabitants. Some stood up for this pope-hawk, some for t’other. Some, struck with a dumbness, were as mute as so many fishes; the devil a note was to be got out of them; part of the merry bells here were as silent as if they had lost their tongues, I mean their clappers.

During these troublesome times they called to their assistance the emperors, kings, dukes, earls, barons, and commonwealths of the world that live on t’other side the water; nor was this schism and sedition at an end till one of them died, and the plurality was reduced to a unity.

We then asked what moved those birds to be thus continually chanting and singing. He answered that it was the bells that hung on the top of their cages. Then he said to us, Will you have me make these monk-hawks whom you see bardocuculated with a bag such as you use to still brandy, sing like any woodlarks? Pray do, said we. He then gave half-a-dozen pulls to a little rope, which caused a diminutive bell to give so many ting-tangs; and presently a parcel of monk-hawks ran to him as if the devil had drove ’em, and fell a-singing like mad.

Pray, master, cried Panurge, if I also rang this bell could I make those other birds yonder, with red-herring-coloured feathers, sing? Ay, marry would you, returned Aedituus. With this Panurge hanged himself (by the hands, I mean) at the bell-rope’s end, and no sooner made it speak but those smoked birds hied them thither and began to lift up their voices and make a sort of untowardly hoarse noise, which I grudge to call singing. Aedituus indeed told us that they fed on nothing but fish, like the herns and cormorants of the world, and that they were a fifth kind of cucullati newly stamped.

He added that he had been told by Robert Valbringue, who lately passed that way in his return from Africa, that a sixth kind was to fly hither out of hand, which he called capus-hawks, more grum, vinegar-faced, brain-sick, froward, and loathsome than any kind whatsoever in the whole island. Africa, said Pantagruel, still uses to produce some new and monstrous thing.

Chapter 5.IV.

How the birds of the Ringing Island were all passengers.

Since you have told us, said Pantagruel, how the pope-hawk is begot by the cardin-hawks, the cardin-hawks by the bish-hawks, and the bish-hawks by the priest-hawks, and the priest-hawks by the clerg-hawks, I would gladly know whence you have these same clerg-hawks. They are all of them passengers, or travelling birds, returned Aedituus, and come hither from t’other world; part out of a vast country called Want-o’-bread, the rest out of another toward the west, which they style Too-many-of-’em. From these two countries flock hither, every year, whole legions of these clerg-hawks, leaving their fathers, mothers, friends, and relations.

This happens when there are too many children, whether male or female, in some good family of the latter country; insomuch that the house would come to nothing if the paternal estate were shared among them all (as reason requires, nature directs, and God commands). For this cause parents use to rid themselves of that inconveniency by packing off the younger fry, and forcing them to seek their fortune in this isle Bossart (Crooked Island). I suppose he means L’Isle Bouchart, near Chinon, cried Panurge. No, replied t’other, I mean Bossart (Crooked), for there is not one in ten among them but is either crooked, crippled, blinking, limping, ill-favoured, deformed, or an unprofitable load to the earth.

‘Twas quite otherwise among the heathens, said Pantagruel, when they used to receive a maiden among the number of vestals; for Leo Antistius affirms that it was absolutely forbidden to admit a virgin into that order if she had any vice in her soul or defect in her body, though it were but the smallest spot on any part of it. I can hardly believe, continued Aedituus, that their dams on t’other side the water go nine months with them; for they cannot endure them nine years, nay, scarce seven sometimes, in the house, but by putting only a shirt over the other clothes of the young urchins, and lopping off I don’t well know how many hairs from their crowns, mumbling certain apostrophized and expiatory words, they visibly, openly, and plainly, by a Pythagorical metempsychosis, without the least hurt, transmogrify them into such birds as you now see; much after the fashion of the Egyptian heathens, who used to constitute their isiacs by shaving them and making them put on certain linostoles, or surplices. However, I don’t know, my good friends, but that these she-things, whether clerg-kites, monk-kites, and abbess-kites, instead of singing pleasant verses and charisteres, such as used to be sung to Oromasis by Zoroaster’s institution, may be bellowing out such catarates and scythropys (cursed lamentable and wretched imprecations) as were usually offered to the Arimanian demon; being thus in devotion for their kind friends and relations that transformed them into birds, whether when they were maids, or thornbacks, in their prime, or at their last prayers.

But the greatest numbers of our birds came out of Want-o’-bread, which, though a barren country, where the days are of a most tedious lingering length, overstocks this whole island with the lower class of birds. For hither fly the asapheis that inhabit that land, either when they are in danger of passing their time scurvily for want of belly-timber, being unable, or, what’s more likely, unwilling to take heart of grace and follow some honest lawful calling, or too proud-hearted and lazy to go to service in some sober family. The same is done by your frantic inamoradoes, who, when crossed in their wild desires, grow stark staring mad, and choose this life suggested to them by their despair, too cowardly to make them swing, like their brother Iphis of doleful memory. There is another sort, that is, your gaol-birds, who, having done some rogue’s trick or other heinous villainy, and being sought up and down to be trussed up and made to ride the two or three-legged mare that groans for them, warily scour off and come here to save their bacon; because all these sorts of birds are here provided for, and grow in an instant as fat as hogs, though they came as lean as rakes; for having the benefit of the clergy, they are as safe as thieves in a mill within this sanctuary.

But, asked Pantagruel, do these birds never return to the world where they were hatched? Some do, answered Aedituus; formerly very few, very seldom, very late, and very unwillingly; however, since some certain eclipses, by the virtue of the celestial constellations, a great crowd of them fled back to the world. Nor do we fret or vex ourselves a jot about it; for those that stay wisely sing, The fewer the better cheer; and all those that fly away, first cast off their feathers here among these nettles and briars.

Accordingly we found some thrown by there; and as we looked up and down, we chanced to light on what some people will hardly thank us for having discovered; and thereby hangs a tale.

Chapter 5.V.

Of the dumb Knight-hawks of the Ringing Island.

These words were scarce out of his mouth when some five-and-twenty or thirty birds flew towards us; they were of a hue and feather like which we had not seen anything in the whole island. Their plumes were as changeable as the skin of the chameleon, and the flower of tripolion, or teucrion. They had all under the left wing a mark like two diameters dividing a circle into equal parts, or, if you had rather have it so, like a perpendicular line falling on a right line. The marks which each of them bore were much of the same shape, but of different colours; for some were white, others green, some red, others purple, and some blue. Who are those? asked Panurge; and how do you call them? They are mongrels, quoth Aedituus.

We call them knight-hawks, and they have a great number of rich commanderies (fat livings) in your world. Good your worship, said I, make them give us a song, an’t please you, that we may know how they sing. They scorn your words, cried Aedituus; they are none of your singing-birds; but, to make amends, they feed as much as the best two of them all. Pray where are their hens? where are their females? said I. They have none, answered Aedituus. How comes it to pass then, asked Panurge, that they are thus bescabbed, bescurfed, all embroidered o’er the phiz with carbuncles, pushes, and pock-royals, some of which undermine the handles of their faces? This same fashionable and illustrious disease, quoth Aedituus, is common among that kind of birds, because they are pretty apt to be tossed on the salt deep.

He then acquainted us with the occasion of their coming. This next to us, said he, looks so wistfully upon you to see whether he may not find among your company a stately gaudy kind of huge dreadful birds of prey, which yet are so untoward that they ne’er could be brought to the lure nor to perch on the glove. They tell us that there are such in your world, and that some of them have goodly garters below the knee with an inscription about them which condemns him (qui mal y pense) who shall think ill of it to be berayed and conskited. Others are said to wear the devil in a string before their paunches; and others a ram’s skin. All that’s true enough, good Master Aedituus, quoth Panurge; but we have not the honour to be acquainted with their knightships.

Come on, cried Aedituus in a merry mood, we have had chat enough o’ conscience! let’s e’en go drink. And eat, quoth Panurge. Eat, replied Aedituus, and drink bravely, old boy; twist like plough-jobbers and swill like tinkers. Pull away and save tide, for nothing is so dear and precious as time; therefore we will be sure to put it to a good use.

He would fain have carried us first to bathe in the bagnios of the cardin-hawks, which are goodly delicious places, and have us licked over with precious ointments by the alyptes, alias rubbers, as soon as we should come out of the bath. But Pantagruel told him that he could drink but too much without that. He then led us into a spacious delicate refectory, or fratery-room, and told us: Braguibus the hermit made you fast four days together; now, contrariwise, I’ll make you eat and drink of the best four days through stitch before you budge from this place. But hark ye me, cried Panurge, may not we take a nap in the mean time? Ay, ay, answered Aedituus; that is as you shall think good; for he that sleeps, drinks. Good Lord! how we lived! what good bub! what dainty cheer! O what a honest cod was this same Aedituus!

Chapter 5.VI.

How the birds are crammed in the Ringing Island.

Pantagruel looked I don’t know howish, and seemed not very well pleased with the four days’ junketting which Aedituus enjoined us. Aedituus, who soon found it out, said to him, You know, sir, that seven days before winter, and seven days after, there is no storm at sea; for then the elements are still out of respect for the halcyons, or king-fishers, birds sacred to Thetis, which then lay their eggs and hatch their young near the shore. Now here the sea makes itself amends for this long calm; and whenever any foreigners come hither it grows boisterous and stormy for four days together. We can give no other reason for it but that it is a piece of its civility, that those who come among us may stay whether they will or no, and be copiously feasted all the while with the incomes of the ringing. Therefore pray don’t think your time lost; for, willing, nilling, you’ll be forced to stay, unless you are resolved to encounter Juno, Neptune, Doris, Aeolus, and his fluster-busters, and, in short, all the pack of ill-natured left-handed godlings and vejoves. Do but resolve to be cheery, and fall-to briskly.

After we had pretty well stayed our stomachs with some tight snatches, Friar John said to Aedituus, For aught I see, you have none but a parcel of birds and cages in this island of yours, and the devil a bit of one of them all that sets his hand to the plough, or tills the land whose fat he devours; their whole business is to be frolic, to chirp it, to whistle it, to warble it, tossing it, and roar it merrily night and day. Pray then, if I may be so bold, whence comes this plenty and overflowing of all dainty bits and good things which we see among you? From all the other world, returned Aedituus, if you except some part of the northern regions, who of late years have stirred up the jakes. Mum! they may chance ere long to rue the day they did so; their cows shall have porridge, and their dogs oats; there will be work made among them, that there will. Come, a fig for’t, let’s drink. But pray what countrymen are you? Touraine is our country, answered Panurge. Cod so, cried Aedituus, you were not then hatched of an ill bird, I will say that for you, since the blessed Touraine is your mother; for from thence there comes hither every year such a vast store of good things, that we were told by some folks of the place that happened to touch at this island, that your Duke of Touraine’s income will not afford him to eat his bellyful of beans and bacon (a good dish spoiled between Moses and Pythagoras) because his predecessors have been more than liberal to these most holy birds of ours, that we might here munch it, twist it, cram it, gorge it, craw it, riot it, junket it, and tickle it off, stuffing our puddings with dainty pheasants, partridges, pullets with eggs, fat capons of Loudunois, and all sorts of venison and wild fowl. Come, box it about; tope on, my friends. Pray do you see yon jolly birds that are perched together, how fat, how plump, and in good case they look, with the income that Touraine yields us! And in faith they sing rarely for their good founders, that is the truth on’t. You never saw any Arcadian birds mumble more fairly than they do over a dish when they see these two gilt batons, or when I ring for them those great bells that you see above their cages. Drink on, sirs, whip it away. Verily, friends, ’tis very fine drinking to-day, and so ’tis every day o’ the week; then drink on, toss it about, here’s to you with all my soul. You are most heartily welcome; never spare it, I pray you; fear not we should ever want good bub and belly-timber; for, look here, though the sky were of brass, and the earth of iron, we should not want wherewithal to stuff the gut, though they were to continue so seven or eight years longer than the famine in Egypt. Let us then, with brotherly love and charity, refresh ourselves here with the creature.

Woons, man, cried Panurge, what a rare time you have on’t in this world! Psha, returned Aedituus, this is nothing to what we shall have in t’other; the Elysian fields will be the least that can fall to our lot. Come, in the meantime let us drink here; come, here’s to thee, old fuddlecap.

Your first Siticines, said I, were superlatively wise in devising thus a means for you to compass whatever all men naturally covet so much, and so few, or, to speak more properly, none can enjoy together–I mean, a paradise in this life, and another in the next. Sure you were born wrapt in your mother’s smickets! O happy creatures! O more than men! Would I had the luck to fare like you! (Motteux inserts Chapter XVI. after Chapter VI.)

Chapter 5.VII.

How Panurge related to Master Aedituus the fable of the horse and the ass.

When we had crammed and crammed again, Aedituus took us into a chamber that was well furnished, hung with tapestry, and finely gilt. Thither he caused to be brought store of mirobolans, cashou, green ginger preserved, with plenty of hippocras, and delicious wine. With those antidotes, that were like a sweet Lethe, he invited us to forget the hardships of our voyage; and at the same time he sent plenty of provisions on board our ship that rid in the harbour. After this, we e’en jogged to bed for that night; but the devil a bit poor pilgarlic could sleep one wink–the everlasting jingle-jangle of the bells kept me awake whether I would or no.

About midnight Aedituus came to wake us that we might drink. He himself showed us the way, saying: You men of t’other world say that ignorance is the mother of all evil, and so far you are right; yet for all that you do not take the least care to get rid of it, but still plod on, and live in it, with it, and by it; for which a plaguy deal of mischief lights on you every day, and you are right enough served–you are perpetually ailing somewhat, making a moan, and never right. It is what I was ruminating upon just now. And, indeed, ignorance keeps you here fastened in bed, just as that bully-rock Mars was detained by Vulcan’s art; for all the while you do not mind that you ought to spare some of your rest, and be as lavish as you can of the goods of this famous island. Come, come, you should have eaten three breakfasts already; and take this from me for a certain truth, that if you would consume the mouth-ammunition of this island, you must rise betimes; eat them, they multiply; spare them, they diminish.

For example, mow a field in due season, and the grass will grow thicker and better; don’t mow it, and in a short time ’twill be floored with moss. Let’s drink, and drink again, my friends; come, let’s all carouse it. The leanest of our birds are now singing to us all; we’ll drink to them, if you please. Let’s take off one, two, three, nine bumpers. Non zelus, sed caritas.

When day, peeping in the east, made the sky turn from black to red like a boiling lobster, he waked us again to take a dish of monastical brewis. From that time we made but one meal, that only lasted the whole day; so that I cannot well tell how I may call it, whether dinner, supper, nunchion, or after-supper; only, to get a stomach, we took a turn or two in the island, to see and hear the blessed singing-birds.

At night Panurge said to Aedituus: Give me leave, sweet sir, to tell you a merry story of something that happened some three and twenty moons ago in the country of Chastelleraud.

One day in April, a certain gentleman’s groom, Roger by name, was walking his master’s horses in some fallow ground. There ’twas his good fortune to find a pretty shepherdess feeding her bleating sheep and harmless lambkins on the brow of a neighbouring mountain, in the shade of an adjacent grove; near her, some frisking kids tripped it over a green carpet of nature’s own spreading, and, to complete the landscape, there stood an ass. Roger, who was a wag, had a dish of chat with her, and after some ifs, ands, and buts, hems and heighs on her side, got her in the mind to get up behind him, to go and see his stable, and there take a bit by the bye in a civil way. While they were holding a parley, the horse, directing his discourse to the ass (for all brute beasts spoke that year in divers places), whispered these words in his ear: Poor ass, how I pity thee! thou slavest like any hack, I read it on thy crupper. Thou dost well, however, since God has created thee to serve mankind; thou art a very honest ass, but not to be better rubbed down, currycombed, trapped, and fed than thou art, seems to me indeed to be too hard a lot. Alas! thou art all rough-coated, in ill plight, jaded, foundered, crestfallen, and drooping, like a mooting duck, and feedest here on nothing but coarse grass, or briars and thistles. Therefore do but pace it along with me, and thou shalt see how we noble steeds, made by nature for war, are treated. Come, thou’lt lose nothing by coming; I’ll get thee a taste of my fare. I’ troth, sir, I can but love you and thank you, returned the ass; I’ll wait on you, good Mr. Steed. Methinks, gaffer ass, you might as well have said Sir Grandpaw Steed. O! cry mercy, good Sir Grandpaw, returned the ass; we country clowns are somewhat gross, and apt to knock words out of joint. However, an’t please you, I will come after your worship at some distance, lest for taking this run my side should chance to be firked and curried with a vengeance, as it is but too often, the more is my sorrow.

The shepherdess being got behind Roger, the ass followed, fully resolved to bait like a prince with Roger’s steed; but when they got to the stable, the groom, who spied the grave animal, ordered one of his underlings to welcome him with a pitchfork and currycomb him with a cudgel. The ass, who heard this, recommended himself mentally to the god Neptune, and was packing off, thinking and syllogizing within himself thus: Had not I been an ass, I had not come here among great lords, when I must needs be sensible that I was only made for the use of the small vulgar. Aesop had given me a fair warning of this in one of his fables. Well, I must e’en scamper or take what follows. With this he fell a-trotting, and wincing, and yerking, and calcitrating, alias kicking, and farting, and funking, and curvetting, and bounding, and springing, and galloping full drive, as if the devil had come for him in propria persona.

The shepherdess, who saw her ass scour off, told Roger that it was her cattle, and desired he might be kindly used, or else she would not stir her foot over the threshold. Friend Roger no sooner knew this but he ordered him to be fetched in, and that my master’s horses should rather chop straw for a week together than my mistress’s beast should want his bellyful of corn.

The most difficult point was to get him back; for in vain the youngsters complimented and coaxed him to come. I dare not, said the ass; I am bashful. And the more they strove by fair means to bring him with them, the more the stubborn thing was untoward, and flew out at the heels; insomuch that they might have been there to this hour, had not his mistress advised them to toss oats in a sieve or in a blanket, and call him; which was done, and made him wheel about and say, Oats, with a witness! oats shall go to pot. Adveniat; oats will do, there’s evidence in the case; but none of the rubbing down, none of the firking. Thus melodiously singing (for, as you know, that Arcadian bird’s note is very harmonious) he came to the young gentleman of the horse, alias black garb, who brought him to the stable.

When he was there, they placed him next to the great horse his friend, rubbed him down, currycombed him, laid clean straw under him up to the chin, and there he lay at rack and manger, the first stuffed with sweet hay, the latter with oats; which when the horse’s valet-dear-chambre sifted, he clapped down his lugs, to tell them by signs that he could eat it but too well without sifting, and that he did not deserve so great an honour.

When they had well fed, quoth the horse to the ass; Well, poor ass, how is it with thee now? How dost thou like this fare? Thou wert so nice at first, a body had much ado to get thee hither. By the fig, answered the ass, which, one of our ancestors eating, Philemon died laughing, this is all sheer ambrosia, good Sir Grandpaw; but what would you have an ass say? Methinks all this is yet but half cheer. Don’t your worships here now and then use to take a leap? What leaping dost thou mean? asked the horse; the devil leap thee! dost thou take me for an ass? In troth, Sir Grandpaw, quoth the ass, I am somewhat of a blockhead, you know, and cannot, for the heart’s blood of me, learn so fast the court way of speaking of you gentlemen horses; I mean, don’t you stallionize it sometimes here among your mettled fillies? Tush, whispered the horse, speak lower; for, by Bucephalus, if the grooms but hear thee they will maul and belam thee thrice and threefold, so that thou wilt have but little stomach to a leaping bout. Cod so, man, we dare not so much as grow stiff at the tip of the lowermost snout, though it were but to leak or so, for fear of being jerked and paid out of our lechery. As for anything else, we are as happy as our master, and perhaps more. By this packsaddle, my old acquaintance, quoth the ass, I have done with you; a fart for thy litter and hay, and a fart for thy oats; give me the thistles of our fields, since there we leap when we list. Eat less, and leap more, I say; it is meat, drink, and cloth to us. Ah! friend Grandpaw, it would do thy heart good to see us at a fair, when we hold our provincial chapter! Oh! how we leap it, while our mistresses are selling their goslings and other poultry! With this they parted. Dixi; I have done.

Panurge then held his peace. Pantagruel would have had him to have gone on to the end of the chapter; but Aedituus said, A word to the wise is enough; I can pick out the meaning of that fable, and know who is that ass, and who the horse; but you are a bashful youth, I perceive. Well, know that there’s nothing for you here; scatter no words. Yet, returned Panurge, I saw but even now a pretty kind of a cooing abbess-kite as white as a dove, and her I had rather ride than lead. May I never stir if she is not a dainty bit, and very well worth a sin or two. Heaven forgive me! I meant no more harm in it than you; may the harm I meant in it befall me presently.

Chapter 5.VIII.

How with much ado we got a sight of the pope-hawk.

Our junketting and banqueting held on at the same rate the third day as the two former. Pantagruel then earnestly desired to see the pope-hawk; but Aedituus told him it was not such an easy matter to get a sight of him. How, asked Pantagruel, has he Plato’s helmet on his crown, Gyges’s ring on his pounces, or a chameleon on his breast, to make him invisible when he pleases? No, sir, returned Aedituus; but he is naturally of pretty difficult access. However, I’ll see and take care that you may see him, if possible. With this he left us piddling; then within a quarter of an hour came back, and told us the pope-hawk is now to be seen. So he led us, without the least noise, directly to the cage wherein he sat drooping, with his feathers staring about him, attended by a brace of little cardin-hawks and six lusty fusty bish-hawks.

Panurge stared at him like a dead pig, examining exactly his figure, size, and motions. Then with a loud voice he said, A curse light on the hatcher of the ill bird; o’ my word, this is a filthy whoop-hooper. Tush, speak softly, said Aedituus; by G–, he has a pair of ears, as formerly Michael de Matiscones remarked. What then? returned Panurge; so hath a whoopcat. So, said Aedituus; if he but hear you speak such another blasphemous word, you had as good be damned. Do you see that basin yonder in his cage? Out of it shall sally thunderbolts and lightnings, storms, bulls, and the devil and all, that will sink you down to Peg Trantum’s, an hundred fathom under ground. It were better to drink and be merry, quoth Friar John.

Panurge was still feeding his eyes with the sight of the pope-hawk and his attendants, when somewhere under his cage he perceived a madge-howlet. With this he cried out, By the devil’s maker, master, there’s roguery in the case; they put tricks upon travellers here more than anywhere else, and would make us believe that a t–d’s a sugarloaf. What damned cozening, gulling, and coney-catching have we here! Do you see this madge-howlet? By Minerva, we are all beshit. Odsoons, said Aedituus, speak softly, I tell you. It is no madge-howlet, no she-thing on my honest word; but a male, and a noble bird.

May we not hear the pope-hawk sing? asked Pantagruel. I dare not promise that, returned Aedituus; for he only sings and eats at his own hours. So don’t I, quoth Panurge; poor pilgarlic is fain to make everybody’s time his own; if they have time, I find time. Come, then, let us go drink, if you will. Now this is something like a tansy, said Aedituus; you begin to talk somewhat like; still speak in that fashion, and I’ll secure you from being thought a heretic. Come on, I am of your mind.

As we went back to have t’other fuddling bout, we spied an old green-headed bish-hawk, who sat moping with his mate and three jolly bittern attendants, all snoring under an arbour. Near the old cuff stood a buxom abbess-kite that sung like any linnet; and we were so mightily tickled with her singing that I vow and swear we could have wished all our members but one turned into ears, to have had more of the melody. Quoth Panurge, This pretty cherubim of cherubims is here breaking her head with chanting to this huge, fat, ugly face, who lies grunting all the while like a hog as he is. I will make him change his note presently, in the devil’s name. With this he rang a bell that hung over the bish-hawk’s head; but though he rang and rang again, the devil a bit bish-hawk would hear; the louder the sound, the louder his snoring. There was no making him sing. By G–, quoth Panurge, you old buzzard, if you won’t sing by fair means, you shall by foul. Having said this, he took up one of St. Stephen’s loaves, alias a stone, and was going to hit him with it about the middle. But Aedituus cried to him, Hold, hold, honest friend! strike, wound, poison, kill, and murder all the kings and princes in the world, by treachery or how thou wilt, and as soon as thou wouldst unnestle the angels from their cockloft. Pope-hawk will pardon thee all this. But never be so mad as to meddle with these sacred birds, as much as thou lovest the profit, welfare, and life not only of thyself, and thy friends and relations alive or dead, but also of those that may be born hereafter to the thousandth generation; for so long thou wouldst entail misery upon them. Do but look upon that basin. Catso! let us rather drink, then, quoth Panurge. He that spoke last, spoke well, Mr. Antitus, quoth Friar John; while we are looking on these devilish birds we do nothing but blaspheme; and while we are taking a cup we do nothing but praise God. Come on, then, let’s go drink; how well that word sounds!

The third day (after we had drank, as you must understand) Aedituus dismissed us. We made him a present of a pretty little Perguois knife, which he took more kindly than Artaxerxes did the cup of cold water that was given him by a clown. He most courteously thanked us, and sent all sorts of provisions aboard our ships, wished us a prosperous voyage and success in our undertakings, and made us promise and swear by Jupiter of stone to come back by his territories. Finally he said to us, Friends, pray note that there are many more stones in the world than men; take care you don’t forget it.

Chapter 5.IX.

How we arrived at the island of Tools.

Having well ballasted the holds of our human vessels, we weighed anchor, hoised up sail, stowed the boats, set the land, and stood for the offing with a fair loom gale, and for more haste unpareled the mizen-yard, and launched it and the sail over the lee-quarter, and fitted gyves to keep it steady, and boomed it out; so in three days we made the island of Tools, that is altogether uninhabited. We saw there a great number of trees which bore mattocks, pickaxes, crows, weeding-hooks, scythes, sickles, spades, trowels, hatchets, hedging-bills, saws, adzes, bills, axes, shears, pincers, bolts, piercers, augers, and wimbles.

Others bore dags, daggers, poniards, bayonets, square-bladed tucks, stilettoes, poniardoes, skeans, penknives, puncheons, bodkins, swords, rapiers, back-swords, cutlasses, scimitars, hangers, falchions, glaives, raillons, whittles, and whinyards.

Whoever would have any of these needed but to shake the tree, and immediately they dropped down as thick as hops, like so many ripe plums; nay, what’s more, they fell on a kind of grass called scabbard, and sheathed themselves in it cleverly. But when they came down, there was need of taking care lest they happened to touch the head, feet, or other parts of the body. For they fell with the point downwards, and in they stuck, or slit the continuum of some member, or lopped it off like a twig; either of which generally was enough to have killed a man, though he were a hundred years old, and worth as many thousand spankers, spur-royals, and rose-nobles.

Under some other trees, whose names I cannot justly tell you, I saw some certain sorts of weeds that grew and sprouted like pikes, lances, javelins, javelots, darts, dartlets, halberds, boar-spears, eel-spears, partizans, tridents, prongs, trout-staves, spears, half-pikes, and hunting-staves. As they sprouted up and chanced to touch the tree, straight they met with their heads, points, and blades, each suitable to its kind, made ready for them by the trees over them, as soon as every individual wood was grown up, fit for its steel; even like the children’s coats, that are made for them as soon as they can wear them and you wean them of their swaddling clothes. Nor do you mutter, I pray you, at what Plato, Anaxagoras, and Democritus have said. Ods-fish! they were none of your lower-form gimcracks, were they?

Those trees seemed to us terrestrial animals, in no wise so different from brute beasts as not to have skin, fat, flesh, veins, arteries, ligaments, nerves, cartilages, kernels, bones, marrow, humours, matrices, brains, and articulations; for they certainly have some, since Theophrastus will have it so. But in this point they differed from other animals, that their heads, that is, the part of their trunks next to the root, are downwards; their hair, that is, their roots, in the earth; and their feet, that is, their branches, upside down; as if a man should stand on his head with outstretched legs. And as you, battered sinners, on whom Venus has bestowed something to remember her, feel the approach of rains, winds, cold, and every change of weather, at your ischiatic legs and your omoplates, by means of the perpetual almanack which she has fixed there; so these trees have notice given them, by certain sensations which they have at their roots, stocks, gums, paps, or marrow, of the growth of the staves under them, and accordingly they prepare suitable points and blades for them beforehand. Yet as all things, except God, are sometimes subject to error, nature itself not free from it when it produceth monstrous things, likewise I observed something amiss in these trees. For a half-pike that grew up high enough to reach the branches of one of these instrumentiferous trees, happened no sooner to touch them but, instead of being joined to an iron head, it impaled a stubbed broom at the fundament. Well, no matter, ’twill serve to sweep the chimney. Thus a partizan met with a pair of garden shears. Come, all’s good for something; ’twill serve to nip off little twigs and destroy caterpillars. The staff of a halberd got the blade of a scythe, which made it look like a hermaphrodite. Happy-be-lucky, ’tis all a case; ’twill serve for some mower. Oh, ’tis a great blessing to put our trust in the Lord! As we went back to our ships I spied behind I don’t know what bush, I don’t know what folks, doing I don’t know what business, in I don’t know what posture, scouring I don’t know what tools, in I don’t know what manner, and I don’t know what place.

Chapter 5.X.

How Pantagruel arrived at the island of Sharping.

We left the island of Tools to pursue our voyage, and the next day stood in for the island of Sharping, the true image of Fontainebleau, for the land is so very lean that the bones, that is, the rocks, shoot through its skin. Besides, ’tis sandy, barren, unhealthy, and unpleasant. Our pilot showed us there two little square rocks which had eight equal points in the shape of a cube. They were so white that I might have mistaken them for alabaster or snow, had he not assured us they were made of bone.

He told us that twenty chance devils very much feared in our country dwelt there in six different storeys, and that the biggest twins or braces of them were called sixes, and the smallest ambs-ace; the rest cinques, quatres, treys, and deuces. When they were conjured up, otherwise coupled, they were called either sice cinque, sice quatre, sice trey, sice deuce, and sice ace; or cinque quatre, cinque trey, and so forth. I made there a shrewd observation. Would you know what ’tis, gamesters? ‘Tis that there are very few of you in the world but what call upon and invoke the devils. For the dice are no sooner thrown on the board, and the greedy gazing sparks have hardly said, Two sixes, Frank; but Six devils damn it! cry as many of them. If ambs-ace; then, A brace of devils broil me! will they say. Quatre-deuce, Tom; The deuce take it! cries another. And so on to the end of the chapter. Nay, they don’t forget sometimes to call the black cloven-footed gentlemen by their Christian names and surnames; and what is stranger yet, they use them as their greatest cronies, and make them so often the executors of their wills, not only giving themselves, but everybody and everything, to the devil, that there’s no doubt but he takes care to seize, soon or late, what’s so zealously bequeathed him. Indeed, ’tis true Lucifer does not always immediately appear by his lawful attorneys; but, alas! ’tis not for want of goodwill; he is really to be excused for his delay; for what the devil would you have a devil do? He and his black guards are then at some other places, according to the priority of the persons that call on them; therefore, pray let none be so venturesome as to think that the devils are deaf and blind.

He then told us that more wrecks had happened about those square rocks, and a greater loss of body and goods, than about all the Syrtes, Scyllas and Charybdes, Sirens, Strophades, and gulfs in the universe. I had not much ado to believe it, remembering that formerly, among the wise Egyptians, Neptune was described in hieroglyphics for the first cube, Apollo by an ace, Diana by a deuce, Minerva by seven, and so forth.

He also told us that there was a phial of sanc-greal, a most divine thing, and known to a few. Panurge did so sweeten up the syndics of the place that they blessed us with the sight of ‘t; but it was with three times more pother and ado, with more formalities and antic tricks, than they show the pandects of Justinian at Florence, or the holy Veronica at Rome. I never saw such a sight of flambeaux, torches, and hagios, sanctified tapers, rush-lights, and farthing candles in my whole life. After all, that which was shown us was only the ill-faced countenance of a roasted coney.

All that we saw there worth speaking of was a good face set upon an ill game, and the shells of the two eggs formerly laid up and hatched by Leda, out of which came Castor and Pollux, fair Helen’s brothers. These same syndics sold us a piece of ’em for a song, I mean, for a morsel of bread. Before we went we bought a parcel of hats and caps of the manufacture of the place, which, I fear, will turn to no very good account; nor are those who shall take ’em off our hands more likely to commend their wearing.

Chapter 5.XI.

How we passed through the wicket inhabited by Gripe-men-all, Archduke of the Furred Law-cats.

From thence Condemnation was passed by us. ‘Tis another damned barren island, whereat none for the world cared to touch. Then we went through the wicket; but Pantagruel had no mind to bear us company, and ’twas well he did not, for we were nabbed there, and clapped into lob’s-pound by order of Gripe-men-all, Archduke of the Furred Law-cats, because one of our company would ha’ put upon a sergeant some hats of the Sharping Island.

The Furred Law-cats are most terrible and dreadful monsters, they devour little children, and trample over marble stones. Pray tell me, noble topers, do they not deserve to have their snouts slit? The hair of their hides doesn’t lie outward, but inwards, and every mother’s son of ’em for his device wears a gaping pouch, but not all in the same manner; for some wear it tied to their neck scarfwise, others upon the breech, some on the paunch, others on the side, and all for a cause, with reason and mystery. They have claws so very strong, long, and sharp that nothing can get from ’em that is once fast between their clutches. Sometimes they cover their heads with mortar-like caps, at other times with mortified caparisons.

As we entered their den, said a common mumper, to whom we had given half a teston, Worshipful culprits, God send you a good deliverance! Examine well, said he, the countenance of these stout props and pillars of this catch-coin law and iniquity; and pray observe, that if you still live but six olympiads, and the age of two dogs more, you’ll see these Furred Law-cats lords of all Europe, and in peaceful possession of all the estates and dominions belonging to it; unless, by divine providence, what’s got over the devil’s back is spent under his belly, or the goods which they unjustly get perish with their prodigal heirs. Take this from an honest beggar.

Among ’em reigns the sixth essence; by the means of which they gripe all, devour all, conskite all, burn all, draw all, hang all, quarter all, behead all, murder all, imprison all, waste all, and ruin all, without the least notice of right or wrong; for among them vice is called virtue; wickedness, piety; treason, loyalty; robbery, justice. Plunder is their motto, and when acted by them is approved by all men, except the heretics; and all this they do because they dare; their authority is sovereign and irrefragable. For a sign of the truth of what I tell you, you’ll find that there the mangers are above the racks. Remember hereafter that a fool told you this; and if ever plague, famine, war, fire, earthquakes, inundations, or other judgments befall the world, do not attribute ’em to the aspects and conjunctions of the malevolent planets; to the abuses of the court of Romania, or the tyranny of secular kings and princes; to the impostures of the false zealots of the cowl, heretical bigots, false prophets, and broachers of sects; to the villainy of griping usurers, clippers, and coiners; or to the ignorance, impudence, and imprudence of physicians, surgeons, and apothecaries; nor to the lewdness of adulteresses and destroyers of by-blows; but charge them all, wholly and solely, to the inexpressible, incredible, and inestimable wickedness and ruin which is continually hatched, brewed, and practised in the den or shop of those Furred Law-cats. Yet ’tis no more known in the world than the cabala of the Jews, the more’s the pity; and therefore ’tis not detested, chastised, and punished as ’tis fit it should be. But should all their villainy be once displayed in its true colours and exposed to the people, there never was, is, nor will be any spokesman so sweet-mouthed, whose fine colloguing tongue could save ’em; nor any law so rigorous and draconic that could punish ’em as they deserve; nor yet any magistrate so powerful as to hinder their being burnt alive in their coneyburrows without mercy. Even their own furred kittlings, friends, and relations would abominate ’em.

For this reason, as Hannibal was solemnly sworn by his father Amilcar to pursue the Romans with the utmost hatred as long as ever he lived, so my late father has enjoined me to remain here without, till God Almighty’s thunder reduce them there within to ashes, like other presumptuous Titans, profane wretches, and opposers of God; since mankind is so inured to their oppressions that they either do not remember, foresee, or have a sense of the woes and miseries which they have caused; or, if they have, either will not, dare not, or cannot root ’em out.

How, said Panurge, say you so? Catch me there and hang me! Damme, let’s march off! This noble beggar has scared me worse than thunder in autumn (Motteux gives ‘than the thunder would do them.’). Upon this we were filing off; but, alas! we found ourselves trapped–the door was double-locked and barricadoed. Some messengers of ill news told us it was full as easy to get in there as into hell, and no less hard to get out. Ay, there indeed lay the difficulty, for there is no getting loose without a pass and discharge in due course from the bench. This for no other reason than because folks go easier out of a church than out of a sponging-house, and because they could not have our company when they would. The worst on’t was when we got through the wicket; for we were carried, to get out our pass or discharge, before a more dreadful monster than ever was read of in the legends of knight-errantry. They called him Gripe-men-all. I can’t tell what to compare it to better than to a Chimaera, a Sphinx, a Cerberus; or to the image of Osiris, as the Egyptians represented him, with three heads, one of a roaring lion, t’other of a fawning cur, and the last of a howling, prowling wolf, twisted about with a dragon biting his tail, surrounded with fiery rays. His hands were full of gore, his talons like those of the harpies, his snout like a hawk’s bill, his fangs or tusks like those of an overgrown brindled wild boar; his eyes were flaming like the jaws of hell, all covered with mortars interlaced with pestles, and nothing of his arms was to be seen but his clutches. His hutch, and that of the warren-cats his collaterals, was a long, spick-and-span new rack, a-top of which (as the mumper told us) some large stately mangers were fixed in the reverse. Over the chief seat was the picture of an old woman holding the case or scabbard of a sickle in her right hand, a pair of scales in her left, with spectacles on her nose; the cups or scales of the balance were a pair of velvet pouches, the one full of bullion, which overpoised t’other, empty and long, hoisted higher than the middle of the beam. I’m of opinion it was the true effigies of Justice Gripe-men-all; far different from the institution of the ancient Thebans, who set up the statues of their dicasts without hands, in marble, silver, or gold, according to their merit, even after their death.

When we made our personal appearance before him, a sort of I don’t know what men, all clothed with I don’t know what bags and pouches, with long scrolls in their clutches, made us sit down upon a cricket (such as criminals sit on when tried in France). Quoth Panurge to ’em, Good my lords, I’m very well as I am; I’d as lief stand, an’t please you. Besides, this same stool is somewhat of the lowest for a man that has new breeches and a short doublet. Sit you down, said Gripe-men-all again, and look that you don’t make the court bid you twice. Now, continued he, the earth shall immediately open its jaws and swallow you up to quick damnation if you don’t answer as you should.

Chapter 5.XII.

How Gripe-men-all propounded a riddle to us.

When we were sat, Gripe-men-all, in the middle of his furred cats, called to us in a hoarse dreadful voice, Well, come on, give me presently–an answer. Well, come on, muttered Panurge between his teeth, give, give me presently–a comforting dram. Hearken to the court, continued Gripe-men-all.

An Enigma.

A young tight thing, as fair as may be, Without a dad conceived a baby,
And brought him forth without the pother In labour made by teeming mother.
Yet the cursed brat feared not to gripe her, But gnawed, for haste, her sides like viper. Then the black upstart boldly sallies,
And walks and flies o’er hills and valleys. Many fantastic sons of wisdom,
Amazed, foresaw their own in his doom; And thought like an old Grecian noddy,
A human spirit moved his body.

Give, give me out of hand–an answer to this riddle, quoth Gripe-men-all. Give, give me–leave to tell you, good, good my lord, answered Panurge, that if I had but a sphinx at home, as Verres one of your precursors had, I might then solve your enigma presently. But verily, good my lord, I was not there; and, as I hope to be saved, am as innocent in the matter as the child unborn. Foh, give me–a better answer, cried Gripe-men-all; or, by gold, this shall not serve your turn. I’ll not be paid in such coin; if you have nothing better to offer, I’ll let your rascalship know that it had been better for you to have fallen into Lucifer’s own clutches than into ours. Dost thou see ’em here, sirrah? hah? and dost thou prate here of thy being innocent, as if thou couldst be delivered from our racks and tortures for being so? Give me–Patience! thou widgeon. Our laws are like cobwebs; your silly little flies are stopped, caught, and destroyed therein, but your stronger ones break them, and force and carry them which way they please. Likewise, don’t think we are so mad as to set up our nets to snap up your great robbers and tyrants. No, they are somewhat too hard for us, there’s no meddling with them; for they would make no more of us than we make of the little ones. But you paltry, silly, innocent wretches must make us amends; and, by gold, we will innocentize your fopship with a wannion, you never were so innocentized in your days; the devil shall sing mass among ye.

Friar John, hearing him run on at that mad rate, had no longer the power to remain silent, but cried to him, Heigh-day! Prithee, Mr. Devil in a coif, wouldst thou have a man tell thee more than he knows? Hasn’t the fellow told you he does not know a word of the business? His name is Twyford. A plague rot you! won’t truth serve your turns? Why, how now, Mr. Prate-apace, cried Gripe-men-all, taking him short, marry come up, who made you so saucy as to open your lips before you were spoken to? Give me –Patience! By gold! this is the first time since I have reigned that anyone has had the impudence to speak before he was bidden. How came this mad fellow to break loose? (Villain, thou liest, said Friar John, without stirring his lips.) Sirrah, sirrah, continued Gripe-men-all, I doubt thou wilt have business enough on thy hands when it comes to thy turn to answer. (Damme, thou liest, said Friar John, silently.) Dost thou think, continued my lord, thou art in the wilderness of your foolish university, wrangling and bawling among the idle, wandering searchers and hunters after truth? By gold, we have here other fish to fry; we go another gate’s-way to work, that we do. By gold, people here must give categorical answers to what they don’t know. By gold, they must confess they have done those things which they have not nor ought to have done. By gold, they must protest that they know what they never knew in their lives; and, after all, patience perforce must be their only remedy, as well as a mad dog’s. Here silly geese are plucked, yet cackle not. Sirrah, give me–an account whether you had a letter of attorney, or whether you were feed or no, that you offered to bawl in another man’s cause? I see you had no authority to speak, and I may chance to have you wed to something you won’t like. Oh, you devils, cried Friar John, proto-devils, panto-devils, you would wed a monk, would you? Ho hu! ho hu! A heretic! a heretic! I’ll give thee out for a rank heretic.

Chapter 5.XIII.

How Panurge solved Gripe-men-all’s riddle.

Gripe-men-all, as if he had not heard what Friar John said, directed his discourse to Panurge, saying to him, Well, what have you to say for yourself, Mr. Rogue-enough, hah? Give, give me out of hand–an answer. Say? quoth Panurge; why, what would you have me say? I say that we are damnably beshit, since you give no heed at all to the equity of the plea, and the devil sings among you. Let this answer serve for all, I beseech you, and let us go out about our business; I am no longer able to hold out, as gad shall judge me.

Go to, go to, cried Gripe-men-all; when did you ever hear that for these three hundred years last past anybody ever got out of this weel without leaving something of his behind him? No, no, get out of the trap if you can without losing leather, life, or at least some hair, and you will have done more than ever was done yet. For why, this would bring the wisdom of the court into question, as if we had took you up for nothing, and dealt wrongfully by you. Well, by hook or by crook, we must have something out of you. Look ye, it is a folly to make a rout for a fart and ado; one word is as good as twenty. I have no more to say to thee, but that, as thou likest thy former entertainment, thou wilt tell me more of the next; for it will go ten times worse with thee unless, by gold, you give me–a solution to the riddle I propounded. Give, give–it, without any more ado.

By gold, quoth Panurge, ’tis a black mite or weevil which is born of a white bean, and sallies out at the hole which he makes gnawing it; the mite being turned into a kind of fly, sometimes walks and sometimes flies over hills and dales. Now Pythagoras, the philosopher, and his sect, besides many others, wondering at its birth in such a place (which makes some argue for equivocal generation), thought that by a metempsychosis the body of that insect was the lodging of a human soul. Now, were you men here, after your welcomed death, according to his opinion, your souls would most certainly enter into the body of mites or weevils; for in your present state of life you are good for nothing in the world but to gnaw, bite, eat, and devour all things, so in the next you’ll e’en gnaw and devour your mother’s very sides, as the vipers do. Now, by gold, I think I have fairly solved and resolved your riddle.

May my bauble be turned into a nutcracker, quoth Friar John, if I could not almost find in my heart to wish that what comes out at my bunghole were beans, that these evil weevils might feed as they deserve.

Panurge then, without any more ado, threw a large leathern purse stuffed with gold crowns (ecus au soleil) among them.

The Furred Law-cats no sooner heard the jingling of the chink but they all began to bestir their claws, like a parcel of fiddlers running a division; and then fell to’t, squimble, squamble, catch that catch can. They all said aloud, These are the fees, these are the gloves; now, this is somewhat like a tansy. Oh! ’twas a pretty trial, a sweet trial, a dainty trial. O’ my word, they did not starve the cause. These are none of your snivelling forma pauperis’s; no, they are noble clients, gentlemen every inch of them. By gold, it is gold, quoth Panurge, good old gold, I’ll assure you.

Saith Gripe-men-all, The court, upon a full hearing (of the gold, quoth Panurge), and weighty reasons given, finds the prisoners not guilty, and accordingly orders them to be discharged out of custody, paying their fees. Now, gentlemen, proceed, go forwards, said he to us; we have not so much of the devil in us as we have of his hue; though we are stout, we are merciful.

As we came out at the wicket, we were conducted to the port by a detachment of certain highland griffins, scribere cum dashoes, who advised us before we came to our ships not to offer to leave the place until we had made the usual presents, first to the Lady Gripe-men-all, then to all the Furred Law-pusses; otherwise we must return to the place from whence we came. Well, well, said Friar John, we’ll fumble in our fobs, examine every one of us his concern, and e’en give the women their due; we’ll ne’er boggle or stick out on that account; as we tickled the men in the palm, we’ll tickle the women in the right place. Pray, gentlemen, added they, don’t forget to leave somewhat behind you for us poor devils to drink your healths. O lawd! never fear, answered Friar John, I don’t remember that I ever went anywhere yet where the poor devils are not remembered and encouraged.

Chapter 5.XIV.

How the Furred Law-cats live on corruption.

Friar John had hardly said those words ere he perceived seventy-eight galleys and frigates just arriving at the port. So he hied him thither to learn some news; and as he asked what goods they had o’ board, he soon found that their whole cargo was venison, hares, capons, turkeys, pigs, swine, bacon, kids, calves, hens, ducks, teals, geese, and other poultry and wildfowl.

He also spied among these some pieces of velvet, satin, and damask. This made him ask the new-comers whither and to whom they were going to carry those dainty goods. They answered that they were for Gripe-men-all and the Furred Law-cats.

Pray, asked he, what is the true name of all these things in your country language? Corruption, they replied. If they live on corruption, said the friar, they will perish with their generation. May the devil be damned, I have it now: their fathers devoured the good gentlemen who, according to their state of life, used to go much a-hunting and hawking, to be the better inured to toil in time of war; for hunting is an image of a martial life, and Xenophon was much in the right of it when he affirmed that hunting had yielded a great number of excellent warriors, as well as the Trojan horse. For my part, I am no scholar; I have it but by hearsay, yet I believe it. Now the souls of those brave fellows, according to Gripe-men-all’s riddle, after their decease enter into wild boars, stags, roebucks, herns, and such other creatures which they loved, and in quest of which they went while they were men; and these Furred Law-cats, having first destroyed and devoured their castles, lands, demesnes, possessions, rents, and revenues, are still seeking to have their blood and soul in another life. What an honest fellow was that same mumper who had forewarned us of all these things, and bid us take notice of the mangers above the racks!

But, said Panurge to the new-comers, how do you come by all this venison? Methinks the great king has issued out a proclamation strictly inhibiting the destroying of stags, does, wild boars, roebucks, or other royal game, on pain of death. All this is true enough, answered one for the rest, but the great king is so good and gracious, you must know, and these Furred Law-cats so curst and cruel, so mad, and thirsting after Christian blood, that we have less cause to fear in trespassing against that mighty sovereign’s commands than reason to hope to live if we do not continually stop the mouths of these Furred Law-cats with such bribes and corruption. Besides, added he, to-morrow Gripe-men-all marries a furred law-puss of his to a high and mighty double-furred law-tybert. Formerly we used to call them chop-hay; but alas! they are not such neat creatures now as to eat any, or chew the cud. We call them chop-hares, chop-partridges, chop-woodcocks, chop-pheasants, chop-pullets, chop-venison, chop-coneys, chop-pigs, for they scorn to feed on coarser meat. A t–d for their chops, cried Friar John, next year we’ll have ’em called chop-dung, chop-stront, chop-filth.

Would you take my advice? added he to the company. What is it? answered we. Let’s do two things, returned he. First, let us secure all this venison and wild fowl–I mean, paying well for them; for my part, I am but too much tired already with our salt meat, it heats my flanks so horribly. In the next place, let’s go back to the wicket, and destroy all these devilish Furred Law-cats. For my part, quoth Panurge, I know better things; catch me there, and hang me. No, I am somewhat more inclined to be fearful than bold; I love to sleep in a whole skin.

Chapter 5.XV.

How Friar John talks of rooting out the Furred Law-cats.

Virtue of the frock, quoth Friar John, what kind of voyage are we making? A shitten one, o’ my word; the devil of anything we do but fizzling, farting, funking, squattering, dozing, raving, and doing nothing. Ods-belly, ’tisn’t in my nature to lie idle; I mortally hate it. Unless I am doing some heroic feat every foot, I can’t sleep one wink o’ nights. Damn it, did you then take me along with you for your chaplain, to sing mass and shrive you? By Maundy Thursday, the first of ye all that comes to me on such an account shall be fitted; for the only penance I’ll enjoin shall be, that he immediately throw himself headlong overboard into the sea like a base cowhearted son of ten fathers. This in deduction of the pains of purgatory.

What made Hercules such a famous fellow, d’ye think? Nothing but that while he travelled he still made it his business to rid the world of tyrannies, errors, dangers, and drudgeries; he still put to death all robbers, all monsters, all venomous serpents and hurtful creatures. Why then do we not follow his example, doing as he did in the countries through which we pass? He destroyed the Stymphalides, the Lernaean hydra, Cacus, Antheus, the Centaurs, and what not; I am no clericus, those that are such tell me so.

In imitation of that noble by-blow, let’s destroy and root out these wicked Furred Law-cats, that are a kind of ravenous devils; thus we shall remove all manner of tyranny out of the land. Mawmet’s tutor swallow me body and soul, tripes and guts, if I would stay to ask your help or advice in the matter were I but as strong as he was. Come, he that would be thought a gentleman, let him storm a town; well, then, shall we go? I dare swear we’ll do their business for them with a wet finger; they’ll bear it, never fear; since they could swallow down more foul language that came from us than ten sows and their babies could swill hogwash. Damn ’em, they don’t value all the ill words or dishonour in the world at a rush, so they but get the coin into their purses, though they were to have it in a shitten clout. Come, we may chance to kill ’em all, as Hercules would have done had they lived in his time. We only want to be set to work by another Eurystheus, and nothing else for the present, unless it be what I heartily wish them, that Jupiter may give ’em a short visit, only some two or three hours long, and walk among their lordships in the same equipage that attended him when he came last to his Miss Semele, jolly Bacchus’s mother.

‘Tis a very great mercy, quoth Panurge, that you have got out of their clutches. For my part, I have no stomach to go there again; I’m hardly come to myself yet, so scared and appalled I was. My hair still stands up an end when I think on’t; and most damnably troubled I was there, for three very weighty reasons. First, because I was troubled. Secondly, because I was troubled. Thirdly and lastly, because I was troubled. Hearken to me a little on thy right side, Friar John, my left cod, since thou’lt not hear at the other. Whenever the maggot bites thee to take a trip down to hell and visit the tribunal of Minos, Aeacus, Rhadamanthus, (and Dis,) do but tell me, and I’ll be sure to bear thee company, and never leave thee as long as my name’s Panurge, but will wade over Acheron, Styx, and Cocytus, drink whole bumpers of Lethe’s water–though I mortally hate that element –and even pay thy passage to that bawling, cross-grained ferryman, Charon. But as for the damned wicket, if thou art so weary of thy life as to go thither again, thou mayst e’en look for somebody else to bear thee company, for I’ll not move one step that way; e’en rest satisfied with this positive answer. By my good will I’ll not stir a foot to go thither as long as I live, any more than Calpe will come over to Abyla (Here Motteux adds the following note: ‘Calpe is a mountain in Spain that faces another, called Abyla, in Mauritania, both said to have been severed by Hercules.’). Was Ulysses so mad as to go back into the Cyclop’s cave to fetch his sword? No, marry was he not. Now I have left nothing behind me at the wicket through forgetfulness; why then should I think of going thither?

Well, quoth Friar John, as good sit still as rise up and fall; what cannot be cured must be endured. But, prithee, let’s hear one another speak. Come, wert thou not a wise doctor to fling away a whole purse of gold on those mangy scoundrels? Ha! A squinsy choke thee! we were too rich, were we? Had it not been enough to have thrown the hell-hounds a few cropped pieces of white cash?

How could I help it? returned Panurge. Did you not see how Gripe-men-all held his gaping velvet pouch, and every moment roared and bellowed, By gold, give me out of hand; by gold, give, give, give me presently? Now, thought I to myself, we shall never come off scot-free. I’ll e’en stop their mouths with gold, that the wicket may be opened, and we may get out; the sooner the better. And I judged that lousy silver would not do the business; for, d’ye see, velvet pouches do not use to gape for little paltry clipt silver and small cash; no, they are made for gold, my friend John; that they are, my dainty cod. Ah! when thou hast been larded, basted, and roasted, as I was, thou wilt hardly talk at this rate, I doubt. But now what is to be done? We are enjoined by them to go forwards.

The scabby slabberdegullions still waited for us at the port, expecting to be greased in the fist as well as their masters. Now when they perceived that we were ready to put to sea, they came to Friar John and begged that we would not forget to gratify the apparitors before we went off, according to the assessment for the fees at our discharge. Hell and damnation! cried Friar John; are ye here still, ye bloodhounds, ye citing, scribbling imps of Satan? Rot you, am I not vexed enough already, but you must have the impudence to come and plague me, ye scurvy fly-catchers you? By cob’s-body, I’ll gratify your ruffianships as you deserve; I’ll apparitorize you presently with a wannion, that I will. With this, he lugged out his slashing cutlass, and in a mighty heat came out of the ship to cut the cozening varlets into steaks, but they scampered away and got out of sight in a trice.

However, there was somewhat more to do, for some of our sailors, having got leave of Pantagruel to go ashore while we were had before Gripe-men-all, had been at a tavern near the haven to make much of themselves, and roar it, as seamen will do when they come into some port. Now I don’t know whether they had paid their reckoning to the full or no, but, however it was, an old fat hostess, meeting Friar John on the quay, was making a woeful complaint before a sergeant, son-in-law to one of the furred law-cats, and a brace of bums, his assistants.

The friar, who did not much care to be tired with their impertinent prating, said to them, Harkee me, ye lubberly gnat-snappers! do ye presume to say that our seamen are not honest men? I’ll maintain they are, ye dotterels, and will prove it to your brazen faces, by justice–I mean, this trusty piece of cold iron by my side. With this he lugged it out and flourished with it. The forlorn lobcocks soon showed him their backs, betaking themselves to their heels; but the old fusty landlady kept her ground, swearing like any butter-whore that the tarpaulins were very honest cods, but that they only forgot to pay for the bed on which they had lain after dinner, and she asked fivepence, French money, for the said bed. May I never sup, said the friar, if it be not dog-cheap; they are sorry guests and unkind customers, that they are; they do not know when they have a pennyworth, and will not always meet with such bargains. Come, I myself will pay you the money, but I would willingly see it first.

The hostess immediately took him home with her, and showed him the bed, and having praised it for all its good qualifications, said that she thought as times went she was not out of the way in asking fivepence for it. Friar John then gave her the fivepence; and she no sooner turned her back but he presently began to rip up the ticking of the feather-bed and bolster, and threw all the feathers out at the window. In the meantime the old hag came down and roared out for help, crying out murder to set all the neighbourhood in an uproar. Yet she also fell to gathering the feathers that flew up and down in the air, being scattered by the wind. Friar John let her bawl on, and, without any further ado, marched off with the blanket, quilt, and both the sheets, which he brought aboard undiscovered, for the air was darkened with the feathers, as it uses sometimes to be with snow. He gave them away to the sailors; then said to Pantagruel that beds were much cheaper at that place than in Chinnonois, though we have there the famous geese of Pautile; for the old beldam had asked him but fivepence for a bed which in Chinnonois had been worth about twelve francs. (As soon as Friar John and the rest of the company were embarked, Pantagruel set sail. But there arose a south-east wind, which blew so vehemently they lost their way, and in a manner going back to the country of the Furred Law-cats, they entered into a huge gulf, where the sea ran so high and terrible that the shipboy on the top of the mast cried out he again saw the habitation of Gripe-men-all; upon which Panurge, frightened almost out of his wits, roared out, Dear master, in spite of the wind and waves, change your course, and turn the ship’s head about. O my friend, let us come no more into that cursed country where I left my purse. So the wind carried them near an island, where however they did not dare at first to land, but entered about a mile off. (Motteux omitted this passage altogether in the edition of 1694. It was restored by Ozell in the edition of 1738.))

Chapter 5.XVI.

How Pantagruel came to the island of the Apedefers, or Ignoramuses, with long claws and crooked paws, and of terrible adventures and monsters there.

As soon as we had cast anchor and had moored the ship, the pinnace was put over the ship’s side and manned by the coxswain’s crew. When the good Pantagruel had prayed publicly, and given thanks to the Lord that had delivered him from so great a danger, he stepped into it with his whole company to go on shore, which was no ways difficult to do, for, as the sea was calm and the winds laid, they soon got to the cliffs. When they were set on shore, Epistemon, who was admiring the situation of the place and the strange shape of the rocks, discovered some of the natives. The first he met had on a short purple gown, a doublet cut in panes, like a Spanish leather jerkin, half sleeves of satin, and the upper part of them leather, a coif like a black pot tipped with tin. He was a good likely sort of a body, and his name, as we heard afterwards, was Double-fee. Epistemon asked him how they called those strange craggy rocks and deep valleys. He told them it was a colony brought out of Attorneyland, and called Process, and that if we forded the river somewhat further beyond the rocks we should come into the island of the Apedefers. By the memory of the decretals, said Friar John, tell us, I pray you, what you honest men here live on? Could not a man take a chirping bottle with you to taste your wine? I can see nothing among you but parchment, ink-horns, and pens. We live on nothing else, returned Double-fee; and all who live in this place must come through my hands. How, quoth Panurge, are you a shaver, then? Do you fleece ’em? Ay, ay, their purse, answered Double-fee; nothing else. By the foot of Pharaoh, cried Panurge, the devil a sou will you get of me. However, sweet sir, be so kind as to show an honest man the way to those Apedefers, or ignorant people, for I come from the land of the learned, where I did not learn over much.

Still talking on, they got to the island of the Apedefers, for they were soon got over the ford. Pantagruel was not a little taken up with admiring the structure and habitation of the people of the place. For they live in a swingeing wine-press, fifty steps up to it. You must know there are some of all sorts, little, great, private, middle-sized, and so forth. You go through a large peristyle, alias a long entry set about with pillars, in which you see, in a kind of landscape, the ruins of almost the whole world, besides so many great robbers’ gibbets, so many gallows and racks, that ’tis enough to fright you out of your seven senses. Double-fee perceiving that Pantagruel was taken up with contemplating those things, Let us go further, sir, said he to him; all this is nothing yet. Nothing, quotha, cried Friar John; by the soul of my overheated codpiece, friend Panurge and I here shake and quiver for mere hunger. I had rather be drinking than staring at these ruins. Pray come along, sir, said Double-fee. He then led us into a little wine-press that lay backwards in a blind corner, and was called Pithies in the language of the country. You need not ask whether Master John and Panurge made much of their sweet selves there; it is enough that I tell you there was no want of Bolognia sausages, turkey poots, capons, bustards, malmsey, and all other sorts of good belly-timber, very well dressed.

A pimping son of ten fathers, who, for want of a better, did the office of a butler, seeing that Friar John had cast a sheep’s eye at a choice bottle that stood near a cupboard by itself, at some distance from the rest of the bottellic magazine, like a jack-in-an-office said to Pantagruel, Sir, I perceive that one of your men here is making love to this bottle. He ogles it, and would fain caress it; but I beg that none offer to meddle with it; for it is reserved for their worships. How, cried Panurge, there are some grandees here then, I see. It is vintage time with you, I perceive.

Then Double-fee led us up to a private staircase, and showed us into a room, whence, without being seen, out at a loophole we could see their worships in the great wine-press, where none could be admitted without their leave. Their worships, as he called them, were about a score of fusty crack-ropes and gallow-clappers, or rather more, all posted before a bar, and staring at each other like so many dead pigs. Their paws were as long as a crane’s foot, and their claws four-and-twenty inches long at least; for you must know they are enjoined never to pare off the least chip of them, so that they grow as crooked as a Welsh hook or a hedging-bill.

We saw a swingeing bunch of grapes that are gathered and squeezed in that country, brought in by them. As soon as it was laid down, they clapped it into the press, and there was not a bit of it out of which each of them did not squeeze some oil of gold; insomuch that the poor grape was tried with a witness, and brought off so drained and picked, and so dry, that there was not the least moisture, juice, or substance left in it; for they had pressed out its very quintessence.

Double-fee told us they had not often such huge bunches; but, let the worst come to the worst, they were sure never to be without others in their press. But hark you me, master of mine, asked Panurge, have they not some of different growth? Ay, marry have they, quoth Double-fee. Do you see here this little bunch, to which they are going to give t’other wrench? It is of tithe-growth, you must know; they crushed, wrung, squeezed and strained out the very heart’s blood of it but the other day; but it did not bleed freely; the oil came hard, and smelt of the priest’s chest; so that they found there was not much good to be got out of it. Why then, said Pantagruel, do they put it again into the press? Only, answered Double-fee, for fear there should still lurk some juice among the husks and hullings in the mother of the grape. The devil be damned! cried Friar John; do you call these same folks illiterate lobcocks and duncical doddipolls? May I be broiled like a red herring if I do not think they are wise enough to skin a flint and draw oil out of a brick wall. So they are, said Double-fee; for they sometimes put castles, parks, and forests into the press, and out of them all extract aurum potabile. You mean portabile, I suppose, cried Epistemon, such as may be borne. I mean as I said, replied Double-fee, potabile, such as may be drunk; for it makes them drink many a good bottle more than otherwise they should.

But I cannot better satisfy you as to the growth of the vine-tree sirup that is here squeezed out of grapes, than in desiring you to look yonder in that back-yard, where you will see above a thousand different growths that lie waiting to be squeezed every moment. Here are some of the public and some of the private growth; some of the builders’ fortifications, loans, gifts, and gratuities, escheats, forfeitures, fines, and recoveries, penal statutes, crown lands, and demesne, privy purse, post-offices, offerings, lordships of manors, and a world of other growths, for which we want names. Pray, quoth Epistemon, tell me of what growth is that great one, with all those little grapelings about it. Oh, oh! returned Double-fee, that plump one is of the treasury, the very best growth in the whole country. Whenever anyone of that growth is squeezed, there is not one of their worships but gets juice enough of it to soak his nose six months together. When their worships were up, Pantagruel desired Double-fee to take us into that great wine-press, which he readily did. As soon as we were in, Epistemon, who understood all sorts of tongues, began to show us many devices on the press, which was large and fine, and made of the wood of the cross–at least Double-fee told us so. On each part of it were names of everything in the language of the country. The spindle of the press was called receipt; the trough, cost and damages; the hole for the vice-pin, state; the side-boards, money paid into the office; the great beam, respite of homage; the branches, radietur; the side-beams, recuperetur; the fats, ignoramus; the two-handled basket, the rolls; the treading-place, acquittance; the dossers, validation; the panniers, authentic decrees; the pailes, potentials; the funnels, quietus est.

By the Queen of the Chitterlings, quoth Panurge, all the hieroglyphics of Egypt are mine a– to this jargon. Why! here are a parcel of words full as analogous as chalk and cheese, or a cat and a cart-wheel! But why, prithee, dear Double-fee, do they call these worshipful dons of yours ignorant fellows? Only, said Double-fee, because they neither are, nor ought to be, clerks, and all must be ignorant as to what they transact here; nor is there to be any other reason given, but, The court hath said it; The court will have it so; The court has decreed it. Cop’s body, quoth Pantagruel, they might full as well have called ’em necessity; for necessity has no law.

From thence, as he was leading us to see a thousand little puny presses, we spied another paltry bar, about which sat four are five ignorant waspish churls, of so testy, fuming a temper, (like an ass with squibs and crackers tied to its tail,) and so ready to take pepper in the nose for yea and nay, that a dog would not have lived with ’em. They were hard at it with the lees and dregs of the grapes, which they gripped over and over again, might and main, with their clenched fists. They were called contractors in the language of the country. These are the ugliest, misshapen, grim-looking scrubs, said Friar John, that ever were beheld, with or without spectacles. Then we passed by an infinite number of little pimping wine-presses all full of vintage-mongers, who were picking, examining, and raking the grapes with some instruments called bills-of-charge.

Finally we came into a hall downstairs, where we saw an overgrown cursed mangy cur with a pair of heads, a wolf’s belly, and claws like the devil of hell. The son of a bitch was fed with costs, for he lived on a multiplicity of fine amonds and amerciaments by order of their worships, to each of whom the monster was worth more than the best farm in the land. In their tongue of ignorance they called him Twofold. His dam lay by him, and her hair and shape was like her whelp’s, only she had four heads, two male and two female, and her name was Fourfold. She was certainly the most cursed and dangerous creature of the place, except her grandam, which we saw, and had been kept locked up in a dungeon time out of mind, and her name was Refusing-of-fees.

Friar John, who had always twenty yards of gut ready empty to swallow a gallimaufry of lawyers, began to be somewhat out of humour, and desired Pantagruel to remember he had not dined, and bring Double-fee along with him. So away we went, and as we marched out at the back-gate whom should we meet but an old piece of mortality in chains. He was half ignorant and half learned, like an hermaphrodite of Satan. The fellow was all caparisoned with spectacles as a tortoise is with shells, and lived on nothing but a sort of food which, in their gibberish, was called appeals. Pantagruel asked Double-fee of what breed was that prothonotary, and what name they gave him. Double-fee told us that time out of mind he had been kept there in chains, to the great grief of their worships, who starved him, and his name was Review. By the pope’s sanctified two-pounders, cried Friar John, I do not much wonder at the meagre cheer which this old chuff finds among their worships. Do but look a little on the weather-beaten scratch-toby, friend Panurge; by the sacred tip of my cowl, I’ll lay five pounds to a hazel-nut the foul thief has the very looks of Gripe-me-now. These same fellows here, ignorant as they be, are as sharp and knowing as other folk. But were it my case, I would send him packing with a squib in his breech like a rogue as he is. By my oriental barnacles, quoth Panurge, honest friar, thou art in the right; for if we but examine that treacherous Review’s ill-favoured phiz, we find that the filthy snudge is yet more mischievous and ignorant than these ignorant wretches here, since they (honest dunces) grapple and glean with as little harm and pother as they can, without any long fiddle-cum-farts or tantalizing in the case; nor do they dally and demur in your suit, but in two or three words, whip-stitch, in a trice, they finish the vintage of the close, bating you all these damned tedious interlocutories, examinations, and appointments which fret to the heart’s blood your furred law-cats.

Chapter 5.XVII.

How we went forwards, and how Panurge had like to have been killed.

We put to sea that very moment, steering our course forwards, and gave Pantagruel a full account of our adventures, which so deeply struck him with compassion that he wrote some elegies on that subject to divert himself during the voyage. When we were safe in the port we took some refreshment, and took in fresh water and wood. The people of the place, who had the countenance of jolly fellows and boon companions, were all of them forward folks, bloated and puffed up with fat. And we saw some who slashed and pinked their skins to open a passage to the fat, that it might swell out at the slits and gashes which they made; neither more nor less than the shit-breech fellows in our country bepink and cut open their breeches that the taffety on the inside may stand out and be puffed up. They said that what they did was not out of pride or ostentation, but because otherwise their skins would not hold them without much pain. Having thus slashed their skin, they used to grow much bigger, like the young trees on whose barks the gardeners make incisions that they may grow the better.

Near the haven there was a tavern, which forwards seemed very fine and stately. We repaired thither, and found it filled with people of the forward nation, of all ages, sexes, and conditions; so that we thought some notable feast or other was getting ready, but we were told that all that throng were invited to the bursting of mine host, which caused all his friends and relations to hasten thither.

We did not understand that jargon, and therefore thought in that country by that bursting they meant some merry meeting or other, as we do in ours by betrothing, wedding, groaning, christening, churching (of women), shearing (of sheep), reaping (of corn, or harvest-home), and many other junketting bouts that end in -ing. But we soon heard that there was no such matter in hand.

The master of the house, you must know, had been a good fellow in his time, loved heartily to wind up his bottom, to bang the pitcher, and lick his dish. He used to be a very fair swallower of gravy soup, a notable accountant in matter of hours, and his whole life was one continual dinner, like mine host at Rouillac (in Perigord). But now, having farted out much fat for ten years together, according to the custom of the country, he was drawing towards his bursting hour; for neither the inner thin kell wherewith the entrails are covered, nor his skin that had been jagged and mangled so many years, were able to hold and enclose his guts any longer, or hinder them from forcing their way out. Pray, quoth Panurge, is there no remedy, no help for the poor man, good people? Why don’t you swaddle him round with good tight girths, or secure his natural tub with a strong sorb-apple-tree hoop? Nay, why don’t you iron-bind him, if needs be? This would keep the man from flying out and bursting. The word was not yet out of his mouth when we heard something give a loud report, as if a huge sturdy oak had been split in two. Then some of the neighbours told us that the bursting was over, and that the clap or crack which we heard was the last fart, and so there was an end of mine host.

This made me call to mind a saying of the venerable abbot of Castilliers, the very same who never cared to hump his chambermaids but when he was in pontificalibus. That pious person, being much dunned, teased, and importuned by his relations to resign his abbey in his old age, said and professed that he would not strip till he was ready to go to bed, and that the last fart which his reverend paternity was to utter should be the fart of an abbot.

Chapter 5.XVIII.

How our ships were stranded, and we were relieved by some people that were subject to Queen Whims (qui tenoient de la Quinte).

We weighed and set sail with a merry westerly gale. When about seven leagues off (twenty-two miles) some gusts or scuds of wind suddenly arose, and the wind veering and shifting from point to point, was, as they say, like an old woman’s breech, at no certainty; so we first got our starboard tacks aboard, and hauled off our lee-sheets. Then the gusts increased, and by fits blowed all at once from several quarters, yet we neither settled nor braided up close our sails, but only let fly the sheets, not to go against the master of the ship’s direction; and thus having let go amain, lest we should spend our topsails, or the ship’s quick-side should lie in the water and she be overset, we lay by and run adrift; that is, in a landloper’s phrase, we temporized it. For he assured us that, as these gusts and whirlwinds would not do us much good, so they could not do us much harm, considering their easiness and pleasant strife, as also the clearness of the sky and calmness of the current. So that we were to observe the philosopher’s rule, bear and forbear; that is, trim, or go according to the time.

However, these whirlwinds and gusts lasted so long that we persuaded the master to let us go and lie at trie with our main course; that is, to haul the tack aboard, the sheet close aft, the bowline set up, and the helm tied close aboard; so, after a stormy gale of wind, we broke through the whirlwind. But it was like falling into Scylla to avoid Charybdis (out of the frying-pan into the fire). For we had not sailed a league ere our ships were stranded upon some sands such as are the flats of St. Maixent.

All our company seemed mightily disturbed except Friar John, who was not a jot daunted, and with sweet sugar-plum words comforted now one and then another, giving them hopes of speedy assistance from above, and telling them that he had seen Castor at the main-yardarm. Oh! that I were but now ashore, cried Panurge, that is all I wish for myself at present, and that you who like the sea so well had each man of you two hundred thousand crowns. I would fairly let you set up shop on these sands, and would get a fat calf dressed and a hundred of faggots (i.e. bottles of wine) cooled for you against you come ashore. I freely consent never to mount a wife, so you but set me ashore and mount me on a horse, that I may go home. No matter for a servant, I will be contented to serve myself; I am never better treated than when I am without a man. Faith, old Plautus was in the right on’t when he said the more servants the more crosses; for such they are, even supposing they could want what they all have but too much of, a tongue, that most busy, dangerous, and pernicious member of servants. Accordingly, ’twas for their sakes alone that the racks and tortures for confession were invented, though some foreign civilians in our time have drawn alogical and unreasonable consequences from it.

That very moment we spied a sail that made towards us. When it was close by us, we soon knew what was the lading of the ship and who was aboard of her. She was full freighted with drums. I was acquainted with many of the passengers that came in her, who were most of ’em of good families; among the rest Harry Cotiral, an old toast, who had got a swinging ass’s touch-tripe (penis) fastened to his waist, as the good women’s beads are to their girdle. In his left hand he held an old overgrown greasy foul cap, such as your scald-pated fellows wear, and in the right a huge cabbage-stump.

As soon as he saw me he was overjoyed, and bawled out to me, What cheer, ho? How dost like me now? Behold the true Algamana (this he said showing me the ass’s tickle-gizzard). This doctor’s cap is my true elixir; and this (continued he, shaking the cabbage-stump in his fist) is lunaria major, you old noddy. I have ’em, old boy, I have ’em; we’ll make ’em when thou’rt come back. But pray, father, said I, whence come you? Whither are you bound? What’s your lading? Have you smelt the salt deep? To these four questions he answered, From Queen Whims; for Touraine; alchemy; to the very bottom.

Whom have you got o’ board? said I. Said he, Astrologers, fortune-tellers, alchemists, rhymers, poets, painters, projectors, mathematicians, watchmakers, sing-songs, musicianers, and the devil and all of others that are subject to Queen Whims (Motteux gives the following footnote:–‘La Quinte, This means a fantastic Humour, Maggots, or a foolish Giddiness of Brains; and also, a fifth, or the Proportion of Five in music, &c.’). They have very fair legible patents to show for’t, as anybody may see. Panurge had no sooner heard this but he was upon the high-rope, and began to rail at them like mad. What o’ devil d’ye mean, cried he, to sit idly here like a pack of loitering sneaksbies, and see us stranded, while you may help us, and tow us off into the current? A plague o’ your whims! you can make all things whatsoever, they say, so much as good weather and little children; yet won’t make haste to fasten some hawsers and cables, and get us off. I was just coming to set you afloat, quoth Harry Cotiral; by Trismegistus, I’ll clear you in a trice. With this he caused 7,532,810 huge drums to be unheaded on one side, and set that open side so that it faced the end of the streamers and pendants; and having fastened them to good tacklings and our ship’s head to the stern of theirs, with cables fastened to the bits abaft the manger in the ship’s loof, they towed us off ground at one pull so easily and pleasantly that you’d have wondered at it had you been there. For the dub-a-dub rattling of the drums, with the soft noise of the gravel which murmuring disputed us our way, and the merry cheers and huzzas of the sailors, made an harmony almost as good as that of the heavenly bodies when they roll and are whirled round their spheres, which rattling of the celestial wheels Plato said he heard some nights in his sleep.

We scorned to be behindhand with ’em in civility, and gratefully gave ’em store of our sausages and chitterlings, with which we filled their drums; and we were just a-hoisting two-and-sixty hogsheads of wine out of the hold, when two huge whirlpools with great fury made towards their ship, spouting more water than is in the river Vienne (Vigenne) from Chinon to Saumur; to make short, all their drums, all their sails, their concerns, and themselves were soused, and their very hose were watered by the collar.

Panurge was so overjoyed, seeing this, and laughed so heartily, that he was forced to hold his sides, and it set him into a fit of the colic for two hours and more. I had a mind, quoth he, to make the dogs drink, and those honest whirlpools, egad, have saved me that labour and that cost. There’s sauce for them; ariston men udor. Water is good, saith a poet; let ’em Pindarize upon’t. They never cared for fresh water but to wash their hands or their glasses. This good salt water will stand ’em in good stead for want of sal ammoniac and nitre in Geber’s kitchen.

We could not hold any further discourse with ’em; for the former whirlwind hindered our ship from feeling the helm. The pilot advised us henceforwards to let her run adrift and follow the stream, not busying ourselves with anything, but making much of our carcasses. For our only way to arrive safe at the queendom of Whims was to trust to the whirlwind and be led by the current.

Chapter 5.XIX.

How we arrived at the queendom of Whims or Entelechy.

We did as he directed us for about twelve hours, and on the third day the sky seemed to us somewhat clearer, and we happily arrived at the port of Mateotechny, not far distant from Queen Whims, alias the Quintessence.

We met full butt on the quay a great number of guards and other military men that garrisoned the arsenal, and we were somewhat frighted at first because they made us all lay down our arms, and in a haughty manner asked us whence we came.

Cousin, quoth Panurge to him that asked the question, we are of Touraine, and come from France, being ambitious of paying our respects to the Lady Quintessence and visit this famous realm of Entelechy.

What do you say? cried they; do you call it Entelechy or Endelechy? Truly, truly, sweet cousins, quoth Panurge, we are a silly sort of grout-headed lobcocks, an’t please you; be so kind as to forgive us if we chance to knock words out of joint. As for anything else, we are downright honest fellows and true hearts.

We have not asked you this question without a cause, said they; for a great number of others who have passed this way from your country of Touraine seemed as mere jolt-headed doddipolls as ever were scored o’er the coxcomb, yet spoke as correct as other folks. But there has been here from other countries a pack of I know not what overweening self-conceited prigs, as moody as so many mules and as stout as any Scotch lairds, and nothing would serve these, forsooth, but they must wilfully wrangle and stand out against us at their coming; and much they got by it after all. Troth, we e’en fitted them and clawed ’em off with a vengeance, for all they looked so big and so grum.

Pray tell me, does your time lie so heavy upon you in your world that you do not know how to bestow it better than in thus impudently talking, disputing, and writing of our sovereign lady? There was much need that your Tully, the consul, should go and leave the care of his commonwealth to busy himself idly about her; and after him your Diogenes Laertius, the biographer, and your Theodorus Gaza, the philosopher, and your Argiropilus, the emperor, and your Bessario, the cardinal, and your Politian, the pedant, and your Budaeus, the judge, and your Lascaris, the ambassador, and the devil and all of those you call lovers of wisdom; whose number, it seems, was not thought great enough already, but lately your Scaliger, Bigot, Chambrier, Francis Fleury, and I cannot tell how many such other junior sneaking fly-blows must take upon ’em to increase it.

A squinsy gripe the cod’s-headed changelings at the swallow and eke at the cover-weasel; we shall make ’em–But the deuce take ’em! (They flatter the devil here, and smoothify his name, quoth Panurge, between his teeth.) You don’t come here, continued the captain, to uphold ’em in their folly; you have no commission from ’em to this effect; well then, we will talk no more on’t.

Aristotle, that first of men and peerless pattern of all philosophy, was our sovereign lady’s godfather, and wisely and properly gave her the name of Entelechy. Her true name then is Entelechy, and may he be in tail beshit, and entail a shit-a-bed faculty and nothing else on his family, who dares call her by any other name; for whoever he is, he does her wrong, and is a very impudent person. You are heartily welcome, gentlemen. With this they colled and clipped us about the neck, which was no small comfort to us, I’ll assure you.