Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

Chapter 4.LXIII.

How Pantagruel fell asleep near the island of Chaneph, and of the problems proposed to be solved when he waked.

The next day, merrily pursuing our voyage, we came in sight of the island of Chaneph, where Pantagruel’s ship could not arrive, the wind chopping about, and then failing us so that we were becalmed, and could hardly get ahead, tacking about from starboard to larboard, and larboard to starboard, though to our sails we added drabblers.

With this accident we were all out of sorts, moping, drooping, metagrabolized, as dull as dun in the mire, in C sol fa ut flat, out of tune, off the hinges, and I-don’t-know-howish, without caring to speak one single syllable to each other.

Pantagruel was taking a nap, slumbering and nodding on the quarter-deck by the cuddy, with an Heliodorus in his hand; for still it was his custom to sleep better by book than by heart.

Epistemon was conjuring, with his astrolabe, to know what latitude we were in.

Friar John was got into the cook-room, examining, by the ascendant of the spits and the horoscope of ragouts and fricassees, what time of day it might then be.

Panurge (sweet baby!) held a stalk of Pantagruelions, alias hemp, next his tongue, and with it made pretty bubbles and bladders.

Gymnast was making tooth-pickers with lentisk.

Ponocrates, dozing, dozed, and dreaming, dreamed; tickled himself to make himself laugh, and with one finger scratched his noddle where it did not itch.

Carpalin, with a nutshell and a trencher of verne (that’s a card in Gascony), was making a pretty little merry windmill, cutting the card longways into four slips, and fastening them with a pin to the convex of the nut, and its concave to the tarred side of the gunnel of the ship.

Eusthenes, bestriding one of the guns, was playing on it with his fingers as if it had been a trump-marine.

Rhizotome, with the soft coat of a field tortoise, alias ycleped a mole, was making himself a velvet purse.

Xenomanes was patching up an old weather-beaten lantern with a hawk’s jesses.

Our pilot (good man!) was pulling maggots out of the seamen’s noses.

At last Friar John, returning from the forecastle, perceived that Pantagruel was awake.  Then breaking this obstinate silence, he briskly and cheerfully asked him how a man should kill time, and raise good weather, during a calm at sea.

Panurge, whose belly thought his throat cut, backed the motion presently, and asked for a pill to purge melancholy.

Epistemon also came on, and asked how a man might be ready to bepiss himself with laughing when he has no heart to be merry.

Gymnast, arising, demanded a remedy for a dimness of eyes.

Ponocrates, after he had a while rubbed his noddle and shaken his ears, asked how one might avoid dog-sleep.  Hold! cried Pantagruel, the Peripatetics have wisely made a rule that all problems, questions, and doubts which are offered to be solved ought to be certain, clear, and intelligible.  What do you mean by dog-sleep?  I mean, answered Ponocrates, to sleep fasting in the sun at noonday, as the dogs do.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.