Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Chapter 4.IX.

How Pantagruel arrived at the island of Ennasin, and of the strange ways of being akin in that country.

We had still the wind at south-south-west, and had been a whole day without making land.  On the third day, at the flies’ uprising (which, you know, is some two or three hours after the sun’s), we got sight of a triangular island, very much like Sicily for its form and situation.  It was called the Island of Alliances.

The people there are much like your carrot-pated Poitevins, save only that all of them, men, women, and children, have their noses shaped like an ace of clubs.  For that reason the ancient name of the country was Ennasin.  They were all akin, as the mayor of the place told us; at least they boasted so.

You people of the other world esteem it a wonderful thing that, out of the family of the Fabii at Rome, on a certain day, which was the 13th of February, at a certain gate, which was the Porta Carmentalis, since named Scelerata, formerly situated at the foot of the Capitol, between the Tarpeian rock and the Tiber, marched out against the Veientes of Etruria three hundred and six men bearing arms, all related to each other, with five thousand other soldiers, every one of them their vassals, who were all slain near the river Cremera, that comes out of the lake of Beccano.  Now from this same country of Ennasin, in case of need, above three hundred thousand, all relations and of one family, might march out.  Their degrees of consanguinity and alliance are very strange; for being thus akin and allied to one another, we found that none was either father or mother, brother or sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, son-in-law or daughter-in-law, godfather or godmother, to the other; unless, truly, a tall flat-nosed old fellow, who, as I perceived, called a little shitten-arsed girl of three or four years old, father, and the child called him daughter.

Their distinction of degrees of kindred was thus:  a man used to call a woman, my lean bit; the woman called him, my porpoise.  Those, said Friar John, must needs stink damnably of fish when they have rubbed their bacon one with the other.  One, smiling on a young buxom baggage, said, Good morrow, dear currycomb.  She, to return him his civility, said, The like to you, my steed.  Ha! ha! ha! said Panurge, that is pretty well, in faith; for indeed it stands her in good stead to currycomb this steed.  Another greeted his buttock with a Farewell, my case.  She replied, Adieu, trial.  By St. Winifred’s placket, cried Gymnast, this case has been often tried.  Another asked a she-friend of his, How is it, hatchet?  She answered him, At your service, dear helve.  Odds belly, saith Carpalin, this helve and this hatchet are well matched.  As we went on, I saw one who, calling his she-relation, styled her my crumb, and she called him, my crust.

Quoth one to a brisk, plump, juicy female, I am glad to see you, dear tap.  So am I to find you so merry, sweet spiggot, replied she.  One called a wench, his shovel; she called him, her peal:  one named his, my slipper; and she, my foot:  another, my boot; she, my shasoon.

Follow Us on Facebook