Well, however, let us fast, a God’s name; yet I have fasted so long that it has quite undermined my flesh, and I fear that at last the bastions of this bodily fort of mine will fall to ruin. Besides, I am much more afraid of vexing you in this same trade of fasting; for the devil a bit I understand anything in it, and it becomes me very scurvily, as several people have told me, and I am apt to believe them. For my part, I have no great stomach to fasting; for alas! it is as easy as pissing a bed, and a trade of which anybody may set up; there needs no tools. I am much more inclined not to fast for the future; for to do so there is some stock required, and some tools are set a-work. No matter, since you are so steadfast, and would have us fast, let us fast as fast as we can, and then breakfast in the name of famine. Now we are come to these esurial idle days. I vow I had quite put them out of my head long ago. If we must fast, said Pantagruel, I see no other remedy but to get rid of it as soon as we can, as we would out of a bad way. I’ll in that space of time somewhat look over my papers, and examine whether the marine study be as good as ours at land. For Plato, to describe a silly, raw, ignorant fellow, compares him to those that are bred on shipboard, as we would do one bred up in a barrel, who never saw anything but through the bung-hole.
To tell you the short and the long of the matter, our fasting was most hideous and terrible; for the first day we fasted on fisticuffs, the second at cudgels, the third at sharps, and the fourth at blood and wounds: such was the order of the fairies.