How could I help it? returned Panurge. Did you not see how Gripe-men-all held his gaping velvet pouch, and every moment roared and bellowed, By gold, give me out of hand; by gold, give, give, give me presently? Now, thought I to myself, we shall never come off scot-free. I’ll e’en stop their mouths with gold, that the wicket may be opened, and we may get out; the sooner the better. And I judged that lousy silver would not do the business; for, d’ye see, velvet pouches do not use to gape for little paltry clipt silver and small cash; no, they are made for gold, my friend John; that they are, my dainty cod. Ah! when thou hast been larded, basted, and roasted, as I was, thou wilt hardly talk at this rate, I doubt. But now what is to be done? We are enjoined by them to go forwards.
The scabby slabberdegullions still waited for us at the port, expecting to be greased in the fist as well as their masters. Now when they perceived that we were ready to put to sea, they came to Friar John and begged that we would not forget to gratify the apparitors before we went off, according to the assessment for the fees at our discharge. Hell and damnation! cried Friar John; are ye here still, ye bloodhounds, ye citing, scribbling imps of Satan? Rot you, am I not vexed enough already, but you must have the impudence to come and plague me, ye scurvy fly-catchers you? By cob’s-body, I’ll gratify your ruffianships as you deserve; I’ll apparitorize you presently with a wannion, that I will. With this, he lugged out his slashing cutlass, and in a mighty heat came out of the ship to cut the cozening varlets into steaks, but they scampered away and got out of sight in a trice.
However, there was somewhat more to do, for some of our sailors, having got leave of Pantagruel to go ashore while we were had before Gripe-men-all, had been at a tavern near the haven to make much of themselves, and roar it, as seamen will do when they come into some port. Now I don’t know whether they had paid their reckoning to the full or no, but, however it was, an old fat hostess, meeting Friar John on the quay, was making a woeful complaint before a sergeant, son-in-law to one of the furred law-cats, and a brace of bums, his assistants.
The friar, who did not much care to be tired with their impertinent prating, said to them, Harkee me, ye lubberly gnat-snappers! do ye presume to say that our seamen are not honest men? I’ll maintain they are, ye dotterels, and will prove it to your brazen faces, by justice—I mean, this trusty piece of cold iron by my side. With this he lugged it out and flourished with it. The forlorn lobcocks soon showed him their backs, betaking themselves to their heels; but the old fusty landlady kept her ground, swearing like any butter-whore that the tarpaulins were very honest cods, but that they only forgot to pay for the bed on which they had lain after dinner, and she asked fivepence, French money, for the said bed. May I never sup, said the friar, if it be not dog-cheap; they are sorry guests and unkind customers, that they are; they do not know when they have a pennyworth, and will not always meet with such bargains. Come, I myself will pay you the money, but I would willingly see it first.