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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
in his spirits, of a competent age, in an opportune time, and of a reasonably forward mind to be married.  Truly, if he encounter with a wife of the like nature, temperament, and constitution, he may beget upon her children worthy of some transpontine monarchy; and the sooner he marry it will be the better for him, and the more conducible for his profit if he would see and have his children in his own time well provided for.  Sir, my worthy master, quoth Panurge, I will do it, do not you doubt thereof, and that quickly enough, I warrant you.  Nevertheless, whilst you were busied in the uttering of your learned discourse, this flea which I have in mine ear hath tickled me more than ever.  I retain you in the number of my festival guests, and promise you that we shall not want for mirth and good cheer enough, yea, over and above the ordinary rate.  And, if it may please you, desire your wife to come along with you, together with her she-friends and neighbours—­that is to be understood—­and there shall be fair play.

Chapter 3.XXXII.

How Rondibilis declareth cuckoldry to be naturally one of the appendances of marriage.

There remaineth as yet, quoth Panurge, going on in his discourse, one small scruple to be cleared.  You have seen heretofore, I doubt not, in the Roman standards, S.P.Q.R., Si, Peu, Que, Rien.  Shall not I be a cuckold?  By the haven of safety, cried out Rondibilis, what is this you ask of me?  If you shall be a cuckold?  My noble friend, I am married, and you are like to be so very speedily; therefore be pleased, from my experiment in the matter, to write in your brain with a steel pen this subsequent ditton, There is no married man who doth not run the hazard of being made a cuckold.  Cuckoldry naturally attendeth marriage.  The shadow doth not more naturally follow the body, than cuckoldry ensueth after marriage to place fair horns upon the husbands’ heads.

And when you shall happen to hear any man pronounce these three words, He is married; if you then say he is, hath been, shall be, or may be a cuckold, you will not be accounted an unskilful artist in framing of true consequences.  Tripes and bowels of all the devils, cries Panurge, what do you tell me?  My dear friend, answered Rondibilis, as Hippocrates on a time was in the very nick of setting forwards from Lango to Polystilo to visit the philosopher Democritus, he wrote a familiar letter to his friend Dionysius, wherein he desired him that he would, during the interval of his absence, carry his wife to the house of her father and mother, who were an honourable couple and of good repute; because I would not have her at my home, said he, to make abode in solitude.  Yet, notwithstanding this her residence beside her parents, do not fail, quoth he, with a most heedful care and circumspection to pry into her ways, and to espy what places she shall go to with her mother, and who those be that shall repair unto her.  Not, quoth he, that I do mistrust her virtue, or that I seem to have any diffidence of her pudicity and chaste behaviour,—­for of that I have frequently had good and real proofs,—­but I must freely tell you, She is a woman.  There lies the suspicion.

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