Rhizotome, who lay stooping on the pump, raised his drowsy head, and lazily yawning, by natural sympathy set almost everyone in the ship a-yawning too; then he asked for a remedy against oscitations and gapings.
Xenomanes, half puzzled, and tired out with new-vamping his antiquated lantern, asked how the hold of the stomach might be so well ballasted and freighted from the keel to the main hatch, with stores well stowed, that our human vessels might not heel or be walt, but well trimmed and stiff.
Carpalin, twirling his diminutive windmill, asked how many motions are to be felt in nature before a gentleman may be said to be hungry.
Eusthenes, hearing them talk, came from between decks, and from the capstan called out to know why a man that is fasting, bit by a serpent also fasting, is in greater danger of death than when man and serpent have eat their breakfasts;—why a man’s fasting-spittle is poisonous to serpents and venomous creatures.
One single solution may serve for all your problems, gentlemen, answered Pantagruel; and one single medicine for all such symptoms and accidents. My answer shall be short, not to tire you with a long needless train of pedantic cant. The belly has no ears, nor is it to be filled with fair words; you shall be answered to content by signs and gestures. As formerly at Rome, Tarquin the Proud, its last king, sent an answer by signs to his son Sextus, who was among the Gabii at Gabii. (Saying this, he pulled the string of a little bell, and Friar John hurried away to the cook-room.) The son having sent his father a messenger to know how he might bring the Gabii under a close subjection, the king, mistrusting the messenger, made him no answer, and only took him into his privy garden, and in his presence with his sword lopped off the heads of the tall poppies that were there. The express returned without any other despatch, yet having related to the prince what he had seen his father do, he easily understood that by those signs he advised him to cut off the heads of the chief men in the town, the better to keep under the rest of the people.
How Pantagruel gave no answer to the problems.
Pantagruel then asked what sort of people dwelt in that damned island. They are, answered Xenomanes, all hypocrites, holy mountebanks, tumblers of beads, mumblers of ave-marias, spiritual comedians, sham saints, hermits, all of them poor rogues who, like the hermit of Lormont between Blaye and Bordeaux, live wholly on alms given them by passengers. Catch me there if you can, cried Panurge; may the devil’s head-cook conjure my bumgut into a pair of bellows if ever you find me among them! Hermits, sham saints, living forms of mortification, holy mountebanks, avaunt! in the name of your father Satan, get out of my sight! When the devil’s a hog, you shall eat bacon. I shall not forget yet awhile our fat Concilipetes