O’ Saturdays they gnawed bones; not that they were poor or needy, for every mother’s son of them had a very good fat belly-benefice.
As for their drink, ’twas an antifortunal; thus they called I don’t know what sort of a liquor of the place.
When they wanted to eat or drink, they turned down the back-points or flaps of their cowls forwards below their chins, and that served ’em instead of gorgets or slabbering-bibs.
When they had well dined, they prayed rarely all in quavers and shakes; and the rest of the day, expecting the day of judgment, they were taken up with acts of charity, and particularly—
O’ Sundays, rubbers at cuffs.
O’ Mondays, lending each other flirts and fillips on the nose.
O’ Tuesdays, clapperclawing one another.
O’ Wednesdays, sniting and fly-flapping.
O’ Thursdays, worming and pumping.
O’ Fridays, tickling.
O’ Saturdays, jerking and firking one another.
Such was their diet when they resided in the convent, and if the prior of the monk-house sent any of them abroad, then they were strictly enjoined neither to touch nor eat any manner of fish as long as they were on sea or rivers, and to abstain from all manner of flesh whenever they were at land, that everyone might be convinced that, while they enjoyed the object, they denied themselves the power, and even the desire, and were no more moved with it than the Marpesian rock.
All this was done with proper antiphones, still sung and chanted by ear, as we have already observed.
When the sun went to bed, they fairly booted and spurred each other as before, and having clapped on their barnacles e’en jogged to bed too. At midnight the Sandal came to them, and up they got, and having well whetted and set their razors, and been a-processioning, they clapped the tables over themselves, and like wire-drawers under their work fell to it as aforesaid.
Friar John des Entoumeures, having shrewdly observed these jolly Semiquaver Friars, and had a full account of their statutes, lost all patience, and cried out aloud: Bounce tail, and God ha’ mercy guts; if every fool should wear a bauble, fuel would be dear. A plague rot it, we must know how many farts go to an ounce. Would Priapus were here, as he used to be at the nocturnal festivals in Crete, that I might see him play backwards, and wriggle and shake to the purpose. Ay, ay, this is the world, and t’other is the country; may I never piss if this be not an antichthonian land, and our very antipodes. In Germany they pull down monasteries and unfrockify the monks; here they go quite kam, and act clean contrary to others, setting new ones up, against the hair.
How Panurge asked a Semiquaver Friar many questions, and was only answered in monosyllables.
Panurge, who had since been wholly taken up with staring at these royal Semiquavers, at last pulled one of them by the sleeve, who was as lean as a rake, and asked him,—