from that horned champion. He will not, trust
me, have to deal in my person with a sottish, dunsical
Amphitryon, nor with a silly witless Argus, for all
his hundred spectacles, nor yet with the cowardly meacock
Acrisius, the simple goose-cap Lycus of Thebes, the
doting blockhead Agenor, the phlegmatic pea-goose
Aesop, rough-footed Lycaon, the luskish misshapen
Corytus of Tuscany, nor with the large-backed and strong-reined
Atlas. Let him alter, change, transform, and
metamorphose himself into a hundred various shapes
and figures, into a swan, a bull, a satyr, a shower
of gold, or into a cuckoo, as he did when he unmaidened
his sister Juno; into an eagle, ram, or dove, as when
he was enamoured of the virgin Phthia, who then dwelt
in the Aegean territory; into fire, a serpent, yea,
even into a flea; into Epicurean and Democratical
atoms, or, more Magistronostralistically, into those
sly intentions of the mind, which in the schools are
called second notions,—I’ll catch
him in the nick, and take him napping. And would
you know what I would do unto him? Even that
which to his father Coelum Saturn did—Seneca
foretold it of me, and Lactantius hath confirmed it—what
the goddess Rhea did to Athis. I would make
him two stone lighter, rid him of his Cyprian cymbals,
and cut so close and neatly by the breech, that there
shall not remain thereof so much as one—,
so cleanly would I shave him, and disable him for ever
from being Pope, for Testiculos non habet. Hold
there, said Pantagruel; ho, soft and fair, my lad!
Enough of that,—cast up, turn over the
leaves, and try your fortune for the second time.
Then did he fall upon this ensuing verse:
Membra quatit, gelidusque coit formidine
His joints and members quake, he becomes
And sudden fear doth his cold blood congeal.
This importeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will soundly
bang your back and belly. Clean and quite contrary,
answered Panurge; it is of me that he prognosticates,
in saying that I will beat her like a tiger if she
vex me. Sir Martin Wagstaff will perform that
office, and in default of a cudgel, the devil gulp
him, if I should not eat her up quick, as Candaul the
Lydian king did his wife, whom he ravened and devoured.
You are very stout, says Pantagruel, and courageous;
Hercules himself durst hardly adventure to scuffle
with you in this your raging fury. Nor is it
strange; for the Jan is worth two, and two in fight
against Hercules are too too strong. Am I a
Jan? quoth Panurge. No, no, answered Pantagruel.
My mind was only running upon the lurch and tricktrack.
Thereafter did he hit, at the third opening of the
book, upon this verse:
Foemineo praedae, et spoliorum ardebat
After the spoil and pillage, as in fire,
He burnt with a strong feminine desire.