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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
our Members, allegeth that the head was made for the eyes.  For nature might have placed our heads in our knees or elbows, but having beforehand determined that the eyes should serve to discover things from afar, she for the better enabling them to execute their designed office, fixed them in the head, as on the top of a long pole, in the most eminent part of all the body—­no otherwise than we see the phares, or high towers erected in the mouths of havens, that navigators may the further off perceive with ease the lights of the nightly fires and lanterns.  And because I would gladly, for some short while, a year at least, take a little rest and breathing time from the toilsome labour of the military profession, that is to say, be married, I have desisted from wearing any more a codpiece, and consequently have laid aside my breeches.  For the codpiece is the principal and most especial piece of armour that a warrior doth carry; and therefore do I maintain even to the fire (exclusively, understand you me), that no Turks can properly be said to be armed men, in regard that codpieces are by their law forbidden to be worn.

Chapter 3.VIII.

Why the codpiece is held to be the chief piece of armour amongst warriors.

Will you maintain, quoth Pantagruel, that the codpiece is the chief piece of a military harness?  It is a new kind of doctrine, very paradoxical; for we say, At spurs begins the arming of a man.  Sir, I maintain it, answered Panurge, and not wrongfully do I maintain it.  Behold how nature, having a fervent desire, after its production of plants, trees, shrubs, herbs, sponges, and plant-animals, to eternize and continue them unto all succession of ages (in their several kinds or sorts, at least, although the individuals perish) unruinable, and in an everlasting being, hath most curiously armed and fenced their buds, sprouts, shoots, and seeds, wherein the above-mentioned perpetuity consisteth, by strengthening, covering, guarding, and fortifying them with an admirable industry, with husks, cases, scurfs and swads, hulls, cods, stones, films, cartels, shells, ears, rinds, barks, skins, ridges, and prickles, which serve them instead of strong, fair, and natural codpieces.  As is manifestly apparent in pease, beans, fasels, pomegranates, peaches, cottons, gourds, pumpions, melons, corn, lemons, almonds, walnuts, filberts, and chestnuts; as likewise in all plants, slips, or sets whatsoever, wherein it is plainly and evidently seen, that the sperm and semence is more closely veiled, overshadowed, corroborated, and thoroughly harnessed, than any other part, portion, or parcel of the whole.

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