Now, my masters, you have heard a beginning of the horrific history of my lord and master Pantagruel. Here will I make an end of the first book. My head aches a little, and I perceive that the registers of my brain are somewhat jumbled and disordered with this Septembral juice. You shall have the rest of the history at Frankfort mart next coming, and there shall you see how Panurge was married and made a cuckold within a month after his wedding; how Pantagruel found out the philosopher’s stone, the manner how he found it, and the way how to use it; how he passed over the Caspian mountains, and how he sailed through the Atlantic sea, defeated the Cannibals, and conquered the isles of Pearls; how he married the daughter of the King of India, called Presthan; how he fought against the devil and burnt up five chambers of hell, ransacked the great black chamber, threw Proserpina into the fire, broke five teeth to Lucifer, and the horn that was in his arse; how he visited the regions of the moon to know whether indeed the moon were not entire and whole, or if the women had three quarters of it in their heads, and a thousand other little merriments all veritable. These are brave things truly. Good night, gentlemen. Perdonate mi, and think not so much upon my faults that you forget your own.
If you say to me, Master, it would seem that you were not very wise in writing to us these flimflam stories and pleasant fooleries; I answer you, that you are not much wiser to spend your time in reading them. Nevertheless, if you read them to make yourselves merry, as in manner of pastime I wrote them, you and I both are far more worthy of pardon than a great rabble of squint-minded fellows, dissembling and counterfeit saints, demure lookers, hypocrites, pretended zealots, tough friars, buskin-monks, and other such sects of men, who disguise themselves like masquers to deceive the world. For, whilst they give the common people to understand that they are busied about nothing but contemplation and devotion in fastings and maceration of their sensuality—and that only to sustain and aliment the small frailty of their humanity—it is so far otherwise that, on the contrary, God knows what cheer they make; Et Curios simulant, sed Bacchanalia vivunt. You may read it in great letters in the colouring of their red snouts, and gulching bellies as big as a tun, unless it be when they perfume themselves with sulphur. As for their study, it is wholly taken up in reading of Pantagruelian books, not so much to pass the time merrily as to hurt someone or other mischievously, to wit, in articling, sole-articling, wry-neckifying, buttock-stirring, ballocking, and diabliculating, that is, calumniating. Wherein they are like unto the poor rogues of a village that are busy in stirring up and scraping in the ordure and filth of little children, in the season of cherries and guinds, and that only to find the kernels, that they may sell them to the druggists to make thereof pomander oil. Fly from these men, abhor and hate them as much as I do, and upon my faith you will find yourselves the better for it. And if you desire to be good Pantagruelists, that is to say, to live in peace, joy, health, making yourselves always merry, never trust those men that always peep out at one hole.