How Panurge patrocinates and defendeth the Order of the Begging Friars.
Panurge, at his issuing forth of Raminagrobis’s chamber, said, as if he had been horribly affrighted, By the virtue of God, I believe that he is an heretic; the devil take me, if I do not! he doth so villainously rail at the Mendicant Friars and Jacobins, who are the two hemispheres of the Christian world; by whose gyronomonic circumbilvaginations, as by two celivagous filopendulums, all the autonomatic metagrobolism of the Romish Church, when tottering and emblustricated with the gibble-gabble gibberish of this odious error and heresy, is homocentrically poised. But what harm, in the devil’s name, have these poor devils the Capuchins and Minims done unto him? Are not these beggarly devils sufficiently wretched already? Who can imagine that these poor snakes, the very extracts of ichthyophagy, are not thoroughly enough besmoked and besmeared with misery, distress, and calamity? Dost thou think, Friar John, by thy faith, that he is in the state of salvation? He goeth, before God, as surely damned to thirty thousand basketsful of devils as a pruning-bill to the lopping of a vine-branch. To revile with opprobrious speeches the good and courageous props and pillars of the Church,—is that to be called a poetical fury? I cannot rest satisfied with him; he sinneth grossly, and blasphemeth against the true religion. I am very much offended at his scandalizing words and contumelious obloquy. I do not care a straw, quoth Friar John, for what he hath said; for although everybody should twit and jerk them, it were but a just retaliation, seeing all persons are served by them with the like sauce: therefore do I pretend no interest therein. Let us see, nevertheless, what he hath written. Panurge very attentively read the paper which the old man had penned; then said to his two fellow-travellers, The poor drinker doteth. Howsoever, I excuse him, for that I believe he is now drawing near to the end and final closure of his life. Let us go make his epitaph. By the answer which he hath given us, I am not, I protest, one jot wiser than I was. Hearken here, Epistemon, my little bully, dost not thou hold him to be very resolute in his responsory verdicts? He is a witty, quick, and subtle sophister. I will lay an even wager that he is a miscreant apostate. By the belly of a stalled ox, how careful he is not to be mistaken in his words. He answered but by disjunctives, therefore can it not be true which he saith; for the verity of such-like propositions is inherent only in one of its two members. O the cozening prattler that he is! I wonder if Santiago of Bressure be one of these cogging shirks. Such was of old, quoth Epistemon, the custom of the grand vaticinator and prophet Tiresias, who used always, by way of a preface, to say openly and plainly at the beginning of his divinations and predictions that what he was to tell would either come to pass or not. And such is truly the style of all prudently presaging prognosticators. He was nevertheless, quoth Panurge, so unfortunately misadventurous in the lot of his own destiny, that Juno thrust out both his eyes.