Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
past, the heathen or paynims implored the assistance of five deities, or of one helpful, at least, in five several good offices to those that were to be married.  Of this sort were the nuptial Jove, Juno, president of the feast, the fair Venus, Pitho, the goddess of eloquence and persuasion, and Diana, whose aid and succour was required to the labour of child-bearing.  Then shouted Panurge, O the gentle Goatsnose, I will give him a farm near Cinais, and a windmill hard by Mirebalais!  Hereupon the dumb fellow sneezeth with an impetuous vehemency and huge concussion of the spirits of the whole body, withdrawing himself in so doing with a jerking turn towards the left hand.  By the body of a fox new slain, quoth Pantagruel, what is that?  This maketh nothing for your advantage; for he betokeneth thereby that your marriage will be inauspicious and unfortunate.  This sneezing, according to the doctrine of Terpsion, is the Socratic demon.  If done towards the right side, it imports and portendeth that boldly and with all assurance one may go whither he will and do what he listeth, according to what deliberation he shall be pleased to have thereupon taken; his entries in the beginning, progress in his proceedings, and success in the events and issues will be all lucky, good, and happy.  The quite contrary thereto is thereby implied and presaged if it be done towards the left.  You, quoth Panurge, do take always the matter at the worst, and continually, like another Davus, casteth in new disturbances and obstructions; nor ever yet did I know this old paltry Terpsion worthy of citation but in points only of cosenage and imposture.  Nevertheless, quoth Pantagruel, Cicero hath written I know not what to the same purpose in his Second Book of Divination.

Panurge then, turning himself towards Goatsnose, made this sign unto him.  He inverted his eyelids upwards, wrenched his jaws from the right to the left side, and drew forth his tongue half out of his mouth.  This done, he posited his left hand wholly open, the mid-finger wholly excepted, which was perpendicularly placed upon the palm thereof, and set it just in the room where his codpiece had been.  Then did he keep his right hand altogether shut up in a fist, save only the thumb, which he straight turned backwards directly under the right armpit, and settled it afterwards on that most eminent part of the buttocks which the Arabs call the Al-Katim.  Suddenly thereafter he made this interchange:  he held his right hand after the manner of the left, and posited it on the place wherein his codpiece sometime was, and retaining his left hand in the form and fashion of the right, he placed it upon his Al-Katim.  This altering of hands did he reiterate nine several times; at the last whereof he reseated his eyelids into their own first natural position.  Then doing the like also with his jaws and tongue, he did cast a squinting look upon Goatsnose, diddering and shivering his chaps, as apes use to do nowadays, and rabbits, whilst, almost starved with hunger, they are eating oats in the sheaf.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.