Then did he say thus unto Pantagruel: Sir, were it not expedient for my purpose to put a branch or two of curious laurel betwixt the quilt and bolster of my bed, under the pillow on which my head must lean? There is no need at all of that, quoth Pantagruel; for, besides that it is a thing very superstitious, the cheat thereof hath been at large discovered unto us in the writings of Serapion, Ascalonites, Antiphon, Philochorus, Artemon, and Fulgentius Planciades. I could say as much to you of the left shoulder of a crocodile, as also of a chameleon, without prejudice be it spoken to the credit which is due to the opinion of old Democritus; and likewise of the stone of the Bactrians, called Eumetrides, and of the Ammonian horn; for so by the Aethiopians is termed a certain precious stone, coloured like gold, and in the fashion, shape, form, and proportion of a ram’s horn, as the horn of Jupiter Ammon is reported to have been: they over and above assuredly affirming that the dreams of those who carry it about them are no less veritable and infallible than the truth of the divine oracles. Nor is this much unlike to what Homer and Virgil wrote of these two gates of sleep, to which you have been pleased to recommend the management of what you have in hand. The one is of ivory, which letteth in confused, doubtful, and uncertain dreams; for through ivory, how small and slender soever it be, we can see nothing, the density, opacity, and close compactedness of its material parts hindering the penetration of the visual rays and the reception of the specieses of such things as are visible. The other is of horn, at which an entry is made to sure and certain dreams, even as through horn, by reason of the diaphanous splendour and bright transparency thereof, the species of all objects of the sight distinctly pass, and so without confusion appear, that they are clearly seen. Your meaning is, and you would thereby infer, quoth Friar John, that the dreams of all horned cuckolds, of which number Panurge, by the help of God and his future wife, is without controversy to be one, are always true and infallible.
Panurge’s dream, with the interpretation thereof.
At seven o’clock of the next following morning Panurge did not fail to present himself before Pantagruel, in whose chamber were at that time Epistemon, Friar John of the Funnels, Ponocrates, Eudemon, Carpalin, and others, to whom, at the entry of Panurge, Pantagruel said, Lo! here cometh our dreamer. That word, quoth Epistemon, in ancient times cost very much, and was dearly sold to the children of Jacob. Then said Panurge, I have been plunged into my dumps so deeply, as if I had been lodged with Gaffer Noddy-cap. Dreamed indeed I have, and that right lustily; but I could take along with me no more thereof that I did goodly understand save only that I in my vision had a pretty, fair, young, gallant, handsome woman,