but an old mumper made his vaunts of having got three
testons, or five shillings. Ah, but, cried his
comrades, thou hast a leg of God; as if, continued
Friar John, some divine virtue could lie hid in a
stinking ulcerated rotten shank. Pray, said Pantagruel,
when you are for telling us some such nauseous tale,
be so kind as not to forget to provide a basin, Friar
John; I’ll assure you, I had much ado to forbear
bringing up my breakfast. Fie! I wonder
a man of your coat is not ashamed to use thus the
sacred name of God in speaking of things so filthy
and abominable! fie, I say. If among your monking
tribes such an abuse of words is allowed, I beseech
you leave it there, and do not let it come out of
the cloisters. Physicians, said Epistemon, thus
attribute a kind of divinity to some diseases.
Nero also extolled mushrooms, and, in a Greek proverb,
termed them divine food, because with them he had poisoned
Claudius his predecessor. But methinks, gentlemen,
this same picture is not over-like our late popes.
For I have seen them, not with their pallium, amice,
or rochet on, but with helmets on their heads, more
like the top of a Persian turban; and while the Christian
commonwealth was in peace, they alone were most furiously
and cruelly making war. This must have been
then, returned Homenas, against the rebellious, heretical
Protestants; reprobates who are disobedient to the
holiness of this good god on earth. ’Tis
not only lawful for him to do so, but it is enjoined
him by the sacred decretals; and if any dare transgress
one single iota against their commands, whether they
be emperors, kings, dukes, princes, or commonwealths,
he is immediately to pursue them with fire and sword,
strip them of all their goods, take their kingdoms
from them, proscribe them, anathematize them, and
destroy not only their bodies, those of their children,
relations, and others, but damn also their souls to
the very bottom of the most hot and burning cauldron
in hell. Here, in the devil’s name, said
Panurge, the people are no heretics; such as was our
Raminagrobis, and as they are in Germany and England.
You are Christians of the best edition, all picked
and culled, for aught I see. Ay, marry are we,
returned Homenas, and for that reason we shall all
be saved. Now let us go and bless ourselves
with holy water, and then to dinner.
Table-talk in praise of the decretals.
Now, topers, pray observe that while Homenas was saying
his dry mass, three collectors, or licensed beggars
of the church, each of them with a large basin, went
round among the people, with a loud voice: Pray
remember the blessed men who have seen his face.
As we came out of the temple they brought their basins
brimful of Papimany chink to Homenas, who told us that
it was plentifully to feast with; and that, of this
contribution and voluntary tax, one part should be
laid out in good drinking, another in good eating,
and the remainder in both, according to an admirable
exposition hidden in a corner of their holy decretals;
which was performed to a T, and that at a noted tavern
not much unlike that of Will’s at Amiens.
Believe me, we tickled it off there with copious cramming
and numerous swilling.