Mediocrity at all times is commendable; nor in this case are you to abandon it. You may take a little supper, but thereat must you not eat of a hare, nor of any other flesh. You are likewise to abstain from beans, from the preak, by some called the polyp, as also from coleworts, cabbage, and all other such like windy victuals, which may endanger the troubling of your brains and the dimming or casting a kind of mist over your animal spirits. For, as a looking-glass cannot exhibit the semblance or representation of the object set before it, and exposed to have its image to the life expressed, if that the polished sleekedness thereof be darkened by gross breathings, dampish vapours, and foggy, thick, infectious exhalations, even so the fancy cannot well receive the impression of the likeness of those things which divination doth afford by dreams, if any way the body be annoyed or troubled with the fumish steam of meat which it had taken in a while before; because betwixt these two there still hath been a mutual sympathy and fellow-feeling of an indissolubly knit affection. You shall eat good Eusebian and Bergamot pears, one apple of the short-shank pippin kind, a parcel of the little plums of Tours, and some few cherries of the growth of my orchard. Nor shall you need to fear that thereupon will ensue doubtful dreams, fallacious, uncertain, and not to be trusted to, as by some peripatetic philosophers hath been related; for that, say they, men do more copiously in the season of harvest feed on fruitages than at any other time. The same is mystically taught us by the ancient prophets and poets, who allege that all vain and deceitful dreams lie hid and in covert under the leaves which are spread on the ground—by reason that the leaves fall from the trees in the autumnal quarter. For the natural fervour which, abounding in ripe, fresh, recent fruits, cometh by the quickness of its ebullition to be with ease evaporated into the animal parts of the dreaming person—the experiment is obvious in most—is a pretty while before it be expired, dissolved, and evanished. As for your drink, you are to have it of the fair, pure water of my fountain.
The condition, quoth Panurge, is very hard. Nevertheless, cost what price it will, or whatsoever come of it, I heartily condescend thereto; protesting that I shall to-morrow break my fast betimes after my somniatory exercitations. Furthermore, I recommend myself to Homer’s two gates, to Morpheus, to Iselon, to Phantasus, and unto Phobetor. If they in this my great need succour me and grant me that assistance which is fitting, I will in honour of them all erect a jolly, genteel altar, composed of the softest down. If I were now in Laconia, in the temple of Juno, betwixt Oetile and Thalamis, she suddenly would disentangle my perplexity, resolve me of my doubts, and cheer me up with fair and jovial dreams in a deep sleep.