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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
as is manifest by the noble Valentine Viardiere, whom I found at Nancy, on the first day of May—­the more flauntingly to gallantrize it afterwards—­rubbing his ballocks, spread out upon a table after the manner of a Spanish cloak.  Wherefore it is, that none should henceforth say, who would not speak improperly, when any country bumpkin hieth to the wars, Have a care, my roister, of the wine-pot, that is, the skull, but, Have a care, my roister, of the milk-pot, that is, the testicles.  By the whole rabble of the horned fiends of hell, the head being cut off, that single person only thereby dieth.  But, if the ballocks be marred, the whole race of human kind would forthwith perish, and be lost for ever.

This was the motive which incited the goodly writer Galen, Lib. 1.  De Spermate, to aver with boldness that it were better, that is to say, a less evil, to have no heart at all than to be quite destitute of genitories; for there is laid up, conserved, and put in store, as in a secessive repository and sacred warehouse, the semence and original source of the whole offspring of mankind.  Therefore would I be apt to believe, for less than a hundred francs, that those are the very same stones by means whereof Deucalion and Pyrrha restored the human race, in peopling with men and women the world, which a little before that had been drowned in the overflowing waves of a poetical deluge.  This stirred up the valiant Justinian, L. 4.  De Cagotis tollendis, to collocate his Summum Bonum, in Braguibus, et Braguetis.  For this and other causes, the Lord Humphrey de Merville, following of his king to a certain warlike expedition, whilst he was in trying upon his own person a new suit of armour, for of his old rusty harness he could make no more use, by reason that some few years since the skin of his belly was a great way removed from his kidneys, his lady thereupon, in the profound musing of a contemplative spirit, very maturely considering that he had but small care of the staff of love and packet of marriage, seeing he did no otherwise arm that part of the body than with links of mail, advised him to shield, fence, and gabionate it with a big tilting helmet which she had lying in her closet, to her otherwise utterly unprofitable.  On this lady were penned these subsequent verses, which are extant in the third book of the Shitbrana of Paltry Wenches.

  When Yoland saw her spouse equipp’d for fight,
  And, save the codpiece, all in armour dight,
  My dear, she cried, why, pray, of all the rest
  Is that exposed, you know I love the best? 
  Was she to blame for an ill-managed fear,—­
  Or rather pious, conscionable care? 
  Wise lady, she!  In hurlyburly fight,
  Can any tell where random blows may light?

Leave off then, sir, from being astonished, and wonder no more at this new manner of decking and trimming up of myself as you now see me.

Chapter 3.IX.

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