How Panurge consulteth with Epistemon.
Having left the town of Villomere, as they were upon their return towards Pantagruel, Panurge, in addressing his discourse to Epistemon, spoke thus: My most ancient friend and gossip, thou seest the perplexity of my thoughts, and knowest many remedies for the removal thereof; art thou not able to help and succour me? Epistemon, thereupon taking the speech in hand, represented unto Panurge how the open voice and common fame of the whole country did run upon no other discourse but the derision and mockery of his new disguise; wherefore his counsel unto him was that he would in the first place be pleased to make use of a little hellebore for the purging of his brain of that peccant humour which, through that extravagant and fantastic mummery of his, had furnished the people with a too just occasion of flouting and gibing, jeering and scoffing him, and that next he would resume his ordinary fashion of accoutrement, and go apparelled as he was wont to do. I am, quoth Panurge, my dear gossip Epistemon, of a mind and resolution to marry, but am afraid of being a cuckold and to be unfortunate in my wedlock. For this cause have I made a vow to young St. Francis—who at Plessis-les-Tours is much reverenced of all women, earnestly cried unto by them, and with great devotion, for he was the first founder of the confraternity of good men, whom they naturally covet, affect, and long for—to wear spectacles in my cap, and to carry no codpiece in my breeches, until the present inquietude and perturbation of my spirits be fully settled.