First, By the means of wine. I shall easily believe that, quoth Friar John, for when I am well whittled with the juice of the grape I care for nothing else, so I may sleep. When I say, quoth Rondibilis, that wine abateth lust, my meaning is, wine immoderately taken; for by intemperancy proceeding from the excessive drinking of strong liquor there is brought upon the body of such a swill-down boozer a chillness in the blood, a slackening in the sinews, a dissipation of the generative seed, a numbness and hebetation of the senses, with a perversive wryness and convulsion of the muscles—all which are great lets and impediments to the act of generation. Hence it is that Bacchus, the god of bibbers, tipplers, and drunkards, is most commonly painted beardless and clad in a woman’s habit, as a person altogether effeminate, or like a libbed eunuch. Wine, nevertheless, taken moderately, worketh quite contrary effects, as is implied by the old proverb, which saith that Venus takes cold when not accompanied with Ceres and Bacchus. This opinion is of great antiquity, as appeareth by the testimony of Diodorus the Sicilian, and confirmed by Pausanias, and universally held amongst the Lampsacians, that Don Priapus was the son of Bacchus and Venus.
Secondly, The fervency of lust is abated by certain drugs, plants, herbs, and roots, which make the taker cold, maleficiated, unfit for, and unable to perform the act of generation; as hath been often experimented in the water-lily, heraclea, agnus castus, willow-twigs, hemp-stalks, woodbine, honeysuckle, tamarisk, chaste tree, mandrake, bennet, keckbugloss, the skin of a hippopotam, and many other such, which, by convenient doses proportioned to the peccant humour and constitution of the patient, being duly and seasonably received within the body—what by their elementary virtues on the one side and peculiar properties on the other—do either benumb, mortify, and beclumpse with cold the prolific semence, or scatter and disperse the spirits which ought to have gone along with and conducted the sperm to the places destined and appointed for its reception, or lastly, shut up, stop, and obstruct the ways, passages, and conduits through which the seed should have been expelled, evacuated, and ejected. We have nevertheless of those ingredients which, being of a contrary operation, heat the blood, bend the nerves, unite the spirits, quicken the senses, strengthen the muscles, and thereby rouse up, provoke, excite, and enable a man to the vigorous accomplishment of the feat of amorous dalliance. I have no need of those, quoth Panurge, God be thanked, and you, my good master. Howsoever, I pray you, take no exception or offence at these my words; for what I have said was not out of any illwill I did bear to you, the Lord he knows.