For my part, had I one hundred mouths, as many tongues, a voice of iron, a heart of oak, and lungs of leather, together with the mellifluous abundance of Plato, yet I never could give you a full account of a third part of a second of the whole.
Pantagruel was telling me that he believed the queen had given the symbolic word used among her subjects to denote sovereign good cheer, when she said to her tabachins, A panacea; just as Lucullus used to say, In Apollo, when he designed to give his friends a singular treat; though sometimes they took him at unawares, as, among the rest, Cicero and Hortensius sometimes used to do.
How the Queen passed her time after dinner.
When we had dined, a chachanin led us into the queen’s hall, and there we saw how, after dinner, with the ladies and the princes of her court, she used to sift, searce, bolt, range, and pass away time with a fine large white and blue silk sieve. We also perceived how they revived ancient sports, diverting themselves together at—
1. Cordax. 6. Phrygia. 11.
Monogas. 2. Emmelia. 7. Thracia.
12. Terminalia. 3. Sicinnia.
8. Calabrisme. 13. Floralia. 4.
Jambics. 9. Molossia. 14. Pyrrhice.
5. Persica. 10. Cernophorum. 15.
And a thousand other dances.
(Motteux has the following footnote:—’1. A sort of country-dance. 2. A still tragic dance. 3. Dancing and singing used at funerals. 4. Cutting sarcasms and lampoons. 5. The Persian dance. 6. Tunes, whose measure inspired men with a kind of divine fury. 7. The Thracian movement. 8. Smutty verses. 9. A measure to which the Molossi of Epirus danced a certain morrice. 10. A dance with bowls or pots in their hands. 11. A song where one sings alone. 12. Sports at the holidays of the god of bounds. 13. Dancing naked at Flora’s holidays. 14. The Trojan dance in armour.’)
Afterwards she gave orders that they should show us the apartments and curiosities in her palace. Accordingly we saw there such new, strange, and wonderful things, that I am still ravished in admiration every time I think of’t. However, nothing surprised us more than what was done by the gentlemen of her household, abstractors, parazons, nebidins, spodizators, and others, who freely and without the least dissembling told us that the queen their mistress did all impossible things, and cured men of incurable diseases; and they, her officers, used to do the rest.
I saw there a young parazon cure many of the new consumption, I mean the pox, though they were never so peppered. Had it been the rankest Roan ague (Anglice, the Covent-garden gout), ’twas all one to him; touching only their dentiform vertebrae thrice with a piece of a wooden shoe, he made them as wholesome as so many sucking-pigs.