Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
so, I prithee tell?  Because, when the feat of the loose-coat skirmish happeneth to be done underhand and privily, between two well-disposed, athwart the steps of a pair of stairs lurkingly, and in covert behind a suit of hangings, or close hid and trussed upon an unbound faggot, it is more pleasing to the Cyprian goddess, and to me also —­I speak this without prejudice to any better or more sound opinion—­than to perform that culbusting art after the Cynic manner, in the view of the clear sunshine, or in a rich tent, under a precious stately canopy, within a glorious and sublime pavilion, or yet on a soft couch betwixt rich curtains of cloth of gold, without affrightment, at long intermediate respites, enjoying of pleasures and delights a bellyfull, at all great ease, with a huge fly-flap fan of crimson satin and a bunch of feathers of some East-Indian ostrich serving to give chase unto the flies all round about; whilst, in the interim, the female picks her teeth with a stiff straw picked even then from out of the bottom of the bed she lies on.  If you be not content with this my exposition, are you of the mind that my wife will suck and sup me up as people use to gulp and swallow oysters out of the shell? or as the Cilician women, according to the testimony of Dioscorides, were wont to do the grain of alkermes?  Assuredly that is an error.  Who seizeth on it, doth neither gulch up nor swill down, but takes away what hath been packed up, catcheth, snatcheth, and plies the play of hey-pass, repass.

The fourth article doth imply that my wife will flay me, but not all.  O the fine word!  You interpret this to beating strokes and blows.  Speak wisely.  Will you eat a pudding?  Sir, I beseech you to raise up your spirits above the low-sized pitch of earthly thoughts unto that height of sublime contemplation which reacheth to the apprehension of the mysteries and wonders of Dame Nature.  And here be pleased to condemn yourself, by a renouncing of those errors which you have committed very grossly and somewhat perversely in expounding the prophetic sayings of the holy sibyl.  Yet put the case (albeit I yield not to it) that, by the instigation of the devil, my wife should go about to wrong me, make me a cuckold downwards to the very breech, disgrace me otherwise, steal my goods from me, yea, and lay violently her hands upon me;—­she nevertheless should fail of her attempts and not attain to the proposed end of her unreasonable undertakings.  The reason which induceth me hereto is grounded totally on this last point, which is extracted from the profoundest privacies of a monastic pantheology, as good Friar Arthur Wagtail told me once upon a Monday morning, as we were (if I have not forgot) eating a bushel of trotter-pies; and I remember well it rained hard.  God give him the good morrow!  The women at the beginning of the world, or a little after, conspired to flay the men quick, because they found the spirit of mankind inclined to domineer it, and bear rule

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.