pit, the lemures, hobthrushes, and goblins will certainly
swallow us alive, just as they devoured formerly one
of Demetrius’s halberdiers for want of bridles.
Art thou here, Friar John? Prithee, dear, dear
cod, stay by me; I’m almost dead with fear.
Hast thou got thy bilbo? Alas! poor pilgarlic’s
defenceless. I’m a naked man, thou knowest;
let’s go back. Zoons, fear nothing, cried
Friar John; I’m by thee, and have thee fast by
the collar; eighteen devils shan’t get thee
out of my clutches, though I were unarmed. Never
did a man yet want weapons who had a good arm with
as stout a heart. Heaven would sooner send down
a shower of them; even as in Provence, in the fields
of La Crau, near Mariannes, there rained stones (they
are there to this day) to help Hercules, who otherwise
wanted wherewithal to fight Neptune’s two bastards.
But whither are we bound? Are we a-going to
the little children’s limbo? By Pluto,
they’ll bepaw and conskite us all. Or
are we going to hell for orders? By cob’s
body, I’ll hamper, bethwack, and belabour all
the devils, now I have some vine-leaves in my shoes.
Thou shalt see me lay about me like mad, old boy.
Which way? where the devil are they? I fear
nothing but their damned horns; but cuckoldy Panurge’s
bull-feather will altogether secure me from ’em.
Lo! in a prophetic spirit I already see him, like
another Actaeon, horned, horny, hornified. Prithee,
quoth Panurge, take heed thyself, dear frater, lest,
till monks have leave to marry, thou weddest something
thou dostn’t like, as some cat-o’-nine-tails
or the quartan ague; if thou dost, may I never come
safe and sound out of this hypogeum, this subterranean
cave, if I don’t tup and ram that disease merely
for the sake of making thee a cornuted, corniferous
property; otherwise I fancy the quartan ague is but
an indifferent bedfellow. I remember Gripe-men-all
threatened to wed thee to some such thing; for which
thou calledest him heretic.
Here our splendid lantern interrupted them, letting
us know this was the place where we were to have a
taste of the creature, and be silent; bidding us not
despair of having the word of the Bottle before we
went back, since we had lined our shoes with vine-leaves.
Come on then, cried Panurge, let’s charge through
and through all the devils of hell; we can but perish,
and that’s soon done. However, I thought
to have reserved my life for some mighty battle.
Move, move, move forwards; I am as stout as Hercules,
my breeches are full of courage; my heart trembles
a little, I own, but that’s only an effect of
the coldness and dampness of this vault; ’tis
neither fear nor ague. Come on, move on, piss,
pish, push on. My name’s William Dreadnought.
How the temple gates in a wonderful manner opened