The Father Hippothadee, in obedience to the bidding of Pantagruel, and with much courtesy to the company, answered exceeding modestly after this manner: My friend, you are pleased to ask counsel of us; but first you must consult with yourself. Do you find any trouble or disquiet in your body by the importunate stings and pricklings of the flesh? That I do, quoth Panurge, in a hugely strong and almost irresistible measure. Be not offended, I beseech you, good father, at the freedom of my expression. No truly, friend, not I, quoth Hippothadee, there is no reason why I should be displeased therewith. But in this carnal strife and debate of yours have you obtained from God the gift and special grace of continency? In good faith, not, quoth Panurge. My counsel to you in that case, my friend, is that you marry, quoth Hippothadee; for you should rather choose to marry once than to burn still in fires of concupiscence. Then Panurge, with a jovial heart and a loud voice, cried out, That is spoke gallantly, without circumbilivaginating about and about, and never hitting it in its centred point. Gramercy, my good father! In truth I am resolved now to marry, and without fail I shall do it quickly. I invite you to my wedding. By the body of a hen, we shall make good cheer, and be as merry as crickets. You shall wear the bridegroom’s colours, and, if we eat a goose, my wife shall not roast it for me. I will entreat you to lead up the first dance of the bridesmaids, if it may please you to do me so much favour and honour. There resteth yet a small difficulty, a little scruple, yea, even less than nothing, whereof I humbly crave your resolution. Shall I be a cuckold, father, yea or no? By no means, answered Hippothadee, will you be cuckolded, if it please God. O the Lord help us now, quoth Panurge; whither are we driven to, good folks? To the conditionals, which, according to the rules and precepts of the dialectic faculty, admit of all contradictions and impossibilities. If my Transalpine mule had wings, my Transalpine mule would fly, if it please God, I shall not be a cuckold; but I shall be a cuckold, if it please him. Good God, if this were a condition which I knew how to prevent, my hopes should be as high as ever, nor would I despair. But you here send me to God’s privy council, to the closet of his little pleasures. You, my French countrymen, which is the way you take to go thither?
My honest father, I believe it will be your best not to come to my wedding. The clutter and dingle-dangle noise of marriage guests will but disturb you, and break the serious fancies of your brain. You love repose, with solitude and silence; I really believe you will not come. And then you dance but indifferently, and would be out of countenance at the first entry. I will send you some good things to your chamber, together with the bride’s favour, and there you may drink our health, if it may stand with your