It is also termed Pantagruelion by a similitude. For Pantagruel, at the very first minute of his birth, was no less tall than this herb is long whereof I speak unto you, his measure having been then taken the more easy that he was born in the season of the great drought, when they were busiest in the gathering of the said herb, to wit, at that time when Icarus’s dog, with his fiery bawling and barking at the sun, maketh the whole world Troglodytic, and enforceth people everywhere to hide themselves in dens and subterranean caves. It is likewise called Pantagruelion because of the notable and singular qualities, virtues, and properties thereof. For as Pantagruel hath been the idea, pattern, prototype, and exemplary of all jovial perfection and accomplishment—in the truth whereof I believe there is none of you gentlemen drinkers that putteth any question—so in this Pantagruelion have I found so much efficacy and energy, so much completeness and excellency, so much exquisiteness and rarity, and so many admirable effects and operations of a transcendent nature, that if the worth and virtue thereof had been known when those trees, by the relation of the prophet, made election of a wooden king to rule and govern over them, it without all doubt would have carried away from all the rest the plurality of votes and suffrages.
Shall I yet say more? If Oxylus, the son of Orius, had begotten this plant upon his sister Hamadryas, he had taken more delight in the value and perfection of it alone than in all his eight children, so highly renowned by our ablest mythologians that they have sedulously recommended their names to the never-failing tuition of an eternal remembrance. The eldest child was a daughter, whose name was Vine; the next born was a boy, and his name was Fig-tree; the third was called Walnut-tree; the fourth Oak; the fifth Sorbapple-tree; the sixth Ash; the seventh Poplar, and the last had the name of Elm, who was the greatest surgeon in his time. I shall forbear to tell you how the juice or sap thereof, being poured and distilled within the ears, killeth every kind of vermin that by any manner of putrefaction cometh to be bred and engendered there, and destroyeth also any whatsoever other animal that shall have entered in thereat. If, likewise, you put a little of the said juice within a pail or bucket full of water, you shall see the water instantly turn and grow thick therewith as