Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

We humbly thanked her queenship without saying a word, accepting of the noble office she conferred on us.

Chapter 5.XXIII.

How the Queen was served at dinner, and of her way of eating.

Queen Whims after this said to her gentlemen:  The orifice of the ventricle, that ordinary embassador for the alimentation of all members, whether superior or inferior, importunes us to restore, by the apposition of idoneous sustenance, what was dissipated by the internal calidity’s action on the radical humidity.  Therefore spodizators, gesinins, memains, and parazons, be not culpable of dilatory protractions in the apposition of every re-roborating species, but rather let them pullulate and superabound on the tables.  As for you, nobilissim praegustators, and my gentilissim masticators, your frequently experimented industry, internected with perdiligent sedulity and sedulous perdiligence, continually adjuvates you to perficiate all things in so expeditious a manner that there is no necessity of exciting in you a cupidity to consummate them.  Therefore I can only suggest to you still to operate as you are assuefacted indefatigably to operate.

Having made this fine speech, she retired for a while with part of her women, and we were told that ’twas to bathe, as the ancients did more commonly than we use nowadays to wash our hands before we eat.  The tables were soon placed, the cloth spread, and then the queen sat down.  She ate nothing but celestial ambrosia, and drank nothing but divine nectar.  As for the lords and ladies that were there, they, as well as we, fared on as rare, costly, and dainty dishes as ever Apicius wot or dreamed of in his life.

When we were as round as hoops, and as full as eggs, with stuffing the gut, an olla podrida (’Some call it an Olio.  Rabelais Pot-pourry.’—­Motteux.) was set before us to force hunger to come to terms with us, in case it had not granted us a truce; and such a huge vast thing it was that the plate which Pythius Althius gave King Darius would hardly have covered it.  The olla consisted of several sorts of pottages, salads, fricassees, saugrenees, cabirotadoes, roast and boiled meat, carbonadoes, swingeing pieces of powdered beef, good old hams, dainty somates, cakes, tarts, a world of curds after the Moorish way, fresh cheese, jellies, and fruit of all sorts.  All this seemed to me good and dainty; however, the sight of it made me sigh; for alas!  I could not taste a bit on’t, so full I had filled my puddings before, and a bellyful is a bellyful you know.  Yet I must tell you what I saw that seemed to me odd enough o’ conscience; ’twas some pasties in paste; and what should those pasties in paste be, d’ye think, but pasties in pots?  At the bottom I perceived store of dice, cards, tarots (’Great cards on which many different things are figured.’  —­Motteux.), luettes (’Pieces of ivory to play withal.’—­Motteux.), chessmen,

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.