I have already supped, yet will I eat never a whit the less for that; for I have a paved stomach, as hollow as a butt of malvoisie or St. Benedictus’ boot (butt), and always open like a lawyer’s pouch. Of all fishes but the tench take the wing of a partridge or the thigh of a nun. Doth not he die like a good fellow that dies with a stiff catso? Our prior loves exceedingly the white of a capon. In that, said Gymnast, he doth not resemble the foxes; for of the capons, hens, and pullets which they carry away they never eat the white. Why? said the monk. Because, said Gymnast, they have no cooks to dress them; and, if they be not competently made ready, they remain red and not white; the redness of meats being a token that they have not got enough of the fire, whether by boiling, roasting, or otherwise, except the shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and crayfishes, which are cardinalized with boiling. By God’s feast-gazers, said the monk, the porter of our abbey then hath not his head well boiled, for his eyes are as red as a mazer made of an alder-tree. The thigh of this leveret is good for those that have the gout. To the purpose of the truel,—what is the reason that the thighs of a gentlewoman are always fresh and cool? This problem, said Gargantua, is neither in Aristotle, in Alexander Aphrodiseus, nor in Plutarch. There are three causes, said the monk, by which that place is naturally refreshed. Primo, because the water runs all along by it. Secundo, because it is a shady place, obscure and dark, upon which the sun never shines. And thirdly, because it is continually flabbelled, blown upon, and aired by the north winds of the hole arstick, the fan of the smock, and flipflap of the codpiece. And lusty, my lads. Some bousing liquor, page! So! crack, crack, crack. O how good is God, that gives us of this excellent juice! I call him to witness, if I had been in the time of Jesus Christ, I would have kept him from being taken by the Jews in the garden of Olivet. And the devil fail me, if I should have failed to cut off the hams of these gentlemen apostles who ran away so basely after they had well supped, and left their good master in the lurch. I hate that man worse than poison that offers to run away when he should fight and lay stoutly about him. Oh that I were but King of France for fourscore or a hundred years! By G—, I should whip like curtail-dogs these runaways of Pavia. A plague take them; why did they not choose rather to die there than to leave their good prince in that pinch and necessity? Is it not better and more honourable to perish in fighting valiantly than to live in disgrace by a cowardly running away? We are like to eat no great store of goslings this year; therefore, friend, reach me some of that roasted pig there.