Then came the Busby (!) of the place, with all his pedagogues, ushers, and schoolboys, whom he magisterially flogged, as they used to whip children in our country formerly when some criminal was hanged, that they might remember it. This displeased Pantagruel, who said to them, Gentlemen, if you do not leave off whipping these poor children, I am gone. The people were amazed, hearing his stentorian voice; and I saw a little hump with long fingers say to the hypodidascal, What, in the name of wonder! do all those that see the pope grow as tall as yon huge fellow that threatens us? Ah! how I shall think time long till I have seen him too, that I may grow and look as big. In short, the acclamations were so great that Homenas (so they called their bishop) hastened thither on an unbridled mule with green trappings, attended by his apposts (as they said) and his supposts, or officers bearing crosses, banners, standards, canopies, torches, holy-water pots, &c. He too wanted to kiss our feet (as the good Christian Valfinier did to Pope Clement), saying that one of their hypothetes, that’s one of the scavengers, scourers, and commentators of their holy decretals, had written that, in the same manner as the Messiah, so long and so much expected by the Jews, at last appeared among them; so, on some happy day of God, the pope would come into that island; and that, while they waited for that blessed time, if any who had seen him at Rome or elsewhere chanced to come among them, they should be sure to make much of them, feast them plentifully, and treat them with a great deal of reverence. However, we civilly desired to be excused.
How Homenas, Bishop of Papimany, showed us the Uranopet decretals.
Homenas then said to us: ’Tis enjoined us by our holy decretals to visit churches first and taverns after. Therefore, not to decline that fine institution, let us go to church; we will afterwards go and feast ourselves. Man of God, quoth Friar John, do you go before, we’ll follow you. You spoke in the matter properly, and like a good Christian; ’tis long since we saw any such. For my part, this rejoices my mind very much, and I verily believe that I shall have the better stomach after it. Well, ’tis a happy thing to meet with good men! Being come near the gate of the church, we spied a huge thick book, gilt, and covered all over with precious stones, as rubies, emeralds, (diamonds,) and pearls, more, or at least as valuable as those which Augustus consecrated to Jupiter Capitolinus. This book hanged in the air, being fastened with two thick chains of gold to the zoophore of the porch. We looked on it and admired it. As for Pantagruel, he handled it and dandled it and turned it as he pleased, for he could reach it without straining; and he protested that whenever he touched it, he was seized with a pleasant tickling at his fingers’ end, new life