Methinks, said Pantagruel, a man might have been more out of danger near the white of which Gymnast spoke than was formerly Diogenes near another. How is that? asked Homenas; what was it? Was he one of our decretalists? Rarely fallen in again, egad, said Epistemon, returning from stool; I see he will hook his decretals in, though by the head and shoulders.
Diogenes, said Pantagruel, one day for pastime went to see some archers that shot at butts, one of whom was so unskilful, that when it was his turn to shoot all the bystanders went aside, lest he should mistake them for the mark. Diogenes had seen him shoot extremely wide of it; so when the other was taking aim a second time, and the people removed at a great distance to the right and left of the white, he placed himself close by the mark, holding that place to be the safest, and that so bad an archer would certainly rather hit any other.
One of the Lord d’Estissac’s pages at last found out the charm, pursued Gymnast, and by his advice Perotou put in another white made up of some papers of Pouillac’s lawsuit, and then everyone shot cleverly.
At Landerousse, said Rhizotome, at John Delif’s wedding were very great doings, as ’twas then the custom of the country. After supper several farces, interludes, and comical scenes were acted; they had also several morris-dancers with bells and tabors, and divers sorts of masks and mummers were let in. My schoolfellows and I, to grace the festival to the best of our power (for fine white and purple liveries had been given to all of us in the morning), contrived a merry mask with store of cockle-shells, shells of snails, periwinkles, and such other. Then for want of cuckoo-pint, or priest-pintle, lousebur, clote, and paper, we made ourselves false faces with the leaves of an old Sextum that had been thrown by and lay there for anyone that would take it up, cutting out holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. Now, did you ever hear the like since you were born? When we had played our little boyish antic tricks, and came to take off our sham faces, we appeared more hideous and ugly than the little devils that acted the Passion at Douay; for our faces were utterly spoiled at the places which had been touched by those leaves. One had there the small-pox; another, God’s token, or the plague-spot; a third, the crinckums; a fourth, the measles; a fifth, botches, pushes, and carbuncles; in short, he came off the least hurt who only lost his teeth by the bargain. Miracle! bawled out Homenas, miracle!
Hold, hold! cried Rhizotome; it is not yet time to clap. My sister Kate and my sister Ren had put the crepines of their hoods, their ruffles, snuffekins, and neck-ruffs new washed, starched, and ironed, into that very book of decretals; for, you must know, it was covered with thick boards and had strong clasps. Now, by the virtue of God—Hold, interrupted Homenas, what god do you mean? There is but