together, and thereby stripping himself up to the
very shoulders showed his bel vedere to all the world,
together with his Don Cypriano, which was no small
one, as you may imagine. And the friar still
kept haling, but so much the more did he discover himself
and lay open his back parts, till one of the lords
of the court said, How now! what’s the matter?
Will this fair father make us here an offering of
his tail to kiss it? Nay, St. Anthony’s
fire kiss it for us! From thenceforth it was
ordained that the poor fathers should never disrobe
themselves any more before the world, but in their
vestry-room, or sextry, as they call it; especially
in the presence of women, lest it should tempt them
to the sin of longing and disordinate desire.
The people then asked why it was the friars had so
long and large genitories? The said Panurge resolved
the problem very neatly, saying, That which makes
asses to have such great ears is that their dams did
put no biggins on their heads, as Alliaco mentioneth
in his Suppositions. By the like reason, that
which makes the genitories or generation-tools of
those so fair fraters so long is, for that they wear
no bottomed breeches, and therefore their jolly member,
having no impediment, hangeth dangling at liberty
as far as it can reach, with a wiggle-waggle down
to their knees, as women carry their paternoster beads.
and the cause wherefore they have it so correspondently
great is, that in this constant wig-wagging the humours
of the body descend into the said member. For,
according to the Legists, agitation and continual motion
is cause of attraction.
Item, he had another pocket full of itching powder,
called stone-alum, whereof he would cast some into
the backs of those women whom he judged to be most
beautiful and stately, which did so ticklishly gall
them, that some would strip themselves in the open
view of the world, and others dance like a cock upon
hot embers, or a drumstick on a tabor. Others,
again, ran about the streets, and he would run after
them. To such as were in the stripping vein
he would very civilly come to offer his attendance,
and cover them with his cloak, like a courteous and
very gracious man.
Item, in another he had a little leather bottle full
of old oil, wherewith, when he saw any man or woman
in a rich new handsome suit, he would grease, smutch,
and spoil all the best parts of it under colour and
pretence of touching them, saying, This is good cloth;
this is good satin; good taffeties! Madam, God
give you all that your noble heart desireth!
You have a new suit, pretty sir;—and you
a new gown, sweet mistress;—God give you
joy of it, and maintain you in all prosperity!
And with this would lay his hand upon their shoulder,
at which touch such a villainous spot was left behind,
so enormously engraven to perpetuity in the very soul,
body, and reputation, that the devil himself could
never have taken it away. Then, upon his departing,
he would say, Madam, take heed you do not fall, for
there is a filthy great hole before you, whereinto
if you put your foot, you will quite spoil yourself.