Panurge then held his peace. Pantagruel would have had him to have gone on to the end of the chapter; but Aedituus said, A word to the wise is enough; I can pick out the meaning of that fable, and know who is that ass, and who the horse; but you are a bashful youth, I perceive. Well, know that there’s nothing for you here; scatter no words. Yet, returned Panurge, I saw but even now a pretty kind of a cooing abbess-kite as white as a dove, and her I had rather ride than lead. May I never stir if she is not a dainty bit, and very well worth a sin or two. Heaven forgive me! I meant no more harm in it than you; may the harm I meant in it befall me presently.
How with much ado we got a sight of the pope-hawk.
Our junketting and banqueting held on at the same rate the third day as the two former. Pantagruel then earnestly desired to see the pope-hawk; but Aedituus told him it was not such an easy matter to get a sight of him. How, asked Pantagruel, has he Plato’s helmet on his crown, Gyges’s ring on his pounces, or a chameleon on his breast, to make him invisible when he pleases? No, sir, returned Aedituus; but he is naturally of pretty difficult access. However, I’ll see and take care that you may see him, if possible. With this he left us piddling; then within a quarter of an hour came back, and told us the pope-hawk is now to be seen. So he led us, without the least noise, directly to the cage wherein he sat drooping, with his feathers staring about him, attended by a brace of little cardin-hawks and six lusty fusty bish-hawks.
Panurge stared at him like a dead pig, examining exactly his figure, size, and motions. Then with a loud voice he said, A curse light on the hatcher of the ill bird; o’ my word, this is a filthy whoop-hooper. Tush, speak softly, said Aedituus; by G—, he has a pair of ears, as formerly Michael de Matiscones remarked. What then? returned Panurge; so hath a whoopcat. So, said Aedituus; if he but hear you speak such another blasphemous word, you had as good be damned. Do you see that basin yonder in his cage? Out of it shall sally thunderbolts and lightnings, storms, bulls, and the devil and all, that will sink you down to Peg Trantum’s, an hundred fathom under ground. It were better to drink and be merry, quoth Friar John.
Panurge was still feeding his eyes with the sight of the pope-hawk and his attendants, when somewhere under his cage he perceived a madge-howlet. With this he cried out, By the devil’s maker, master, there’s roguery in the case; they put tricks upon travellers here more than anywhere else, and would make us believe that a t—d’s a sugarloaf. What damned cozening, gulling, and coney-catching have we here! Do you see this madge-howlet? By Minerva, we are all beshit. Odsoons, said Aedituus, speak softly, I tell you. It is no madge-howlet, no she-thing on my honest word; but a male, and a noble bird.