I wonder, said Epistemon to Panurge, what pleasure you can find in talking thus with this lousy tatterdemalion of a monk. I vow, did I not know you well, I might be ready to think you had no more wit in your head than he has in both his shoulders. Come, come, scatter no words, returned Panurge; everyone as they like, as the woman said when she kissed her cow. I wish I might carry him to Gargantua; when I’m married he might be my wife’s fool. And make you one, cried Epistemon. Well said, quoth Friar John. Now, poor Panurge, take that along with thee, thou’rt e’en fitted; ’tis a plain case thou’lt never escape wearing the bull’s feather; thy wife will be as common as the highway, that’s certain.
How we came to the land of Satin.
Having pleased ourselves with observing that new order of Semiquaver Friars, we set sail, and in three days our skipper made the finest and most delightful island that ever was seen. He called it the island of Frieze, for all the ways were of frieze.
In that island is the land of Satin, so celebrated by our court pages. Its trees and herbage never lose their leaves or flowers, and are all damask and flowered velvet. As for the beasts and birds, they are all of tapestry work. There we saw many beasts, birds on trees, of the same colour, bigness, and shape of those in our country; with this difference, however, that these did eat nothing, and never sung or bit like ours; and we also saw there many sorts of creatures which we never had seen before.
Among the rest, several elephants in various postures; twelve of which were the six males and six females that were brought to Rome by their governor in the time of Germanicus, Tiberius’s nephew. Some of them were learned elephants, some musicians, others philosophers, dancers, and showers of tricks; and all sat down at table in good order, silently eating and drinking like so many fathers in a fratery-room.
With their snouts or proboscises, some two cubits long, they draw up water for their own drinking, and take hold of palm leaves, plums, and all manner of edibles, using them offensively or defensively as we do our fists; with them tossing men high into the air in fight, and making them burst with laughing when they come to the ground.
They have joints (in their legs), whatever some men, who doubtless never saw any but painted, may have written to the contrary. Between their teeth they have two huge horns; thus Juba called ’em, and Pausanias tells us they are not teeth, but horns; however, Philostratus will have ’em to be teeth, and not horns. ’Tis all one to me, provided you will be pleased to own them to be true ivory. These are some three or four cubits long, and are fixed in the upper jawbone, and consequently not in the lowermost. If you hearken to those who will tell you to the contrary, you will find yourself damnably