But would you not hold it expedient, before we proceed any further, that we should invocate Hercules and the Tenetian goddesses who in the chamber of lots are said to rule, sit in judgment, and bear a presidential sway? Neither him nor them, answered Pantagruel; only open up the leaves of the book with your fingers, and set your nails awork.
How Pantagruel doth explore by the Virgilian lottery what fortune Panurge shall have in his marriage.
Then at the opening of the book in the sixteenth row of the lines of the disclosed page did Panurge encounter upon this following verse:
Nec Deus hunc mensa, Dea nec dignata cubili est.
The god him from his table banished,
Nor would the goddess have him in her bed.
This response, quoth Pantagruel, maketh not very much for your benefit or advantage; for it plainly signifies and denoteth that your wife shall be a strumpet, and yourself by consequence a cuckold. The goddess, whom you shall not find propitious nor favourable unto you, is Minerva, a most redoubtable and dreadful virgin, a powerful and fulminating goddess, an enemy to cuckolds and effeminate youngsters, to cuckold-makers and adulterers. The god is Jupiter, a terrible and thunder-striking god from heaven. And withal it is to be remarked, that, conform to the doctrine of the ancient Etrurians, the manubes, for so did they call the darting hurls or slinging casts of the Vulcanian thunderbolts, did only appertain to her and to Jupiter her father capital. This was verified in the conflagration of the ships of Ajax Oileus, nor doth this fulminating power belong to any other of the Olympic gods. Men, therefore, stand not in such fear of them. Moreover, I will tell you, and you may take it as extracted out of the profoundest mysteries of mythology, that, when the giants had enterprised