All the officers, droggermen, pilots, captains, mates, boatswains, midshipmen, quartermasters, and sailors, met in the Thalamege, Pantagruel’s principal flag-ship, which had in her stern for her ensign a huge large bottle, half silver well polished, the other half gold enamelled with carnation; whereby it was easy to guess that white and red were the colours of the noble travellers, and that they went for the word of the Bottle.
On the stern of the second was a lantern like those of the ancients, industriously made with diaphanous stone, implying that they were to pass by Lanternland. The third ship had for her device a fine deep china ewer. The fourth, a double-handed jar of gold, much like an ancient urn. The fifth, a famous can made of sperm of emerald. The sixth, a monk’s mumping bottle made of the four metals together. The seventh, an ebony funnel, all embossed and wrought with gold after the Tauchic manner. The eighth, an ivy goblet, very precious, inlaid with gold. The ninth, a cup of fine Obriz gold. The tenth, a tumbler of aromatic agoloch (you call it lignum aloes) edged with Cyprian gold, after the Azemine make. The eleventh, a golden vine-tub of mosaic work. The twelfth, a runlet of unpolished gold, covered with a small vine of large Indian pearl of Topiarian work. Insomuch that there was not a man, however in the dumps, musty, sour-looked, or melancholic he were, not even excepting that blubbering whiner Heraclitus, had he been there, but seeing this noble convoy of ships and their devices, must have been seized with present gladness of heart, and, smiling at the conceit, have said that the travellers were all honest topers, true pitcher-men, and have judged by a most sure prognostication that their voyage, both outward and homeward-bound, would be performed in mirth and perfect health.
In the Thalamege, where was the general meeting, Pantagruel made a short but sweet exhortation, wholly backed with authorities from Scripture upon navigation; which being ended, with an audible voice prayers were said in the presence and hearing of all the burghers of Thalassa, who had flocked to the mole to see them take shipping. After the prayers was melodiously sung a psalm of the holy King David, which begins, When Israel went out of Egypt; and that being ended, tables were placed upon deck, and a feast speedily served up. The Thalassians, who had also borne a chorus in the psalm, caused store of belly-timber to be brought out of their houses. All drank to them; they drank to all; which was the cause that none of the whole company gave up what they had eaten, nor were sea-sick, with a pain at the head and stomach; which inconveniency they could not so easily have prevented by drinking, for some time before, salt water, either alone or mixed with wine; using quinces, citron peel, juice of pomegranates, sourish sweetmeats, fasting a long time, covering their stomachs with paper, or following such other idle remedies as foolish physicians prescribe to those that go to sea.