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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
revenues, but that they may work for their livelihood by breaking ground within the Paphian trenches.  Nay truly, answered Panurge, Friar John, my left ballock, I will believe thee, for thou dealest plain with me, and fallest downright square upon the business, without going about the bush with frivolous circumstances and unnecessary reservations.  Thou with the splendour of a piercing wit hast dissipated all the lowering clouds of anxious apprehensions and suspicions which did intimidate and terrify me; therefore the heavens be pleased to grant to thee at all she-conflicts a stiff-standing fortune.  Well then, as thou hast said, so will I do; I will, in good faith, marry,—­in that point there shall be no failing, I promise thee,—­and shall have always by me pretty girls clothed with the name of my wife’s waiting-maids, that, lying under thy wings, thou mayest be night-protector of their sisterhood.

Let this serve for the first part of the sermon.  Hearken, quoth Friar John, to the oracle of the bells of Varenes.  What say they?  I hear and understand them, quoth Panurge; their sound is, by my thirst, more uprightly fatidical than that of Jove’s great kettles in Dodona.  Hearken!  Take thee a wife, take thee a wife, and marry, marry, marry; for if thou marry, thou shalt find good therein, herein, here in a wife thou shalt find good; so marry, marry.  I will assure thee that I shall be married; all the elements invite and prompt me to it.  Let this word be to thee a brazen wall, by diffidence not to be broken through.  As for the second part of this our doctrine,—­thou seemest in some measure to mistrust the readiness of my paternity in the practising of my placket-racket within the Aphrodisian tennis-court at all times fitting, as if the stiff god of gardens were not favourable to me.  I pray thee, favour me so much as to believe that I still have him at a beck, attending always my commandments, docile, obedient, vigorous, and active in all things and everywhere, and never stubborn or refractory to my will or pleasure.  I need no more but to let go the reins, and slacken the leash, which is the belly-point, and when the game is shown unto him, say, Hey, Jack, to thy booty! he will not fail even then to flesh himself upon his prey, and tuzzle it to some purpose.  Hereby you may perceive, although my future wife were as unsatiable and gluttonous in her voluptuousness and the delights of venery as ever was the Empress Messalina, or yet the Marchioness (of Oincester) in England, and I desire thee to give credit to it, that I lack not for what is requisite to overlay the stomach of her lust, but have wherewith aboundingly to please her.  I am not ignorant that Solomon said, who indeed of that matter speaketh clerklike and learnedly,—­as also how Aristotle after him declared for a truth that, for the greater part, the lechery of a woman is ravenous and unsatisfiable.  Nevertheless, let such as are my friends who read those passages

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