Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

On the faith of true lanterners, quoth Friar John, ’tis gallant, sparkling Greek wine.  Now, for God’s sake, sweetheart, do but teach me how the devil you make it.  It seems to me Mirevaux wine, said Pantagruel; for before I drank I supposed it to be such.  Nothing can be misliked in it, but that ’tis cold; colder, I say, than the very ice; colder than the Nonacrian and Dercean (Motteux reads ‘Deraen.’) water, or the Conthoporian (Motteux, ‘Conthopian.’) spring at Corinth, that froze up the stomach and nutritive parts of those that drank of it.

Drink once, twice, or thrice more, said Bacbuc, still changing your imagination, and you shall find its taste and flavour to be exactly that on which you shall have pitched.  Then never presume to say that anything is impossible to God.  We never offered to say such a thing, said I; far from it, we maintain he is omnipotent.

Chapter 5.XLIII.

How the Priestess Bacbuc equipped Panurge in order to have the word of the Bottle.

When we had thus chatted and tippled, Bacbuc asked, Who of you here would have the word of the Bottle?  I, your most humble little funnel, an’t please you, quoth Panurge.  Friend, saith she, I have but one thing to tell you, which is, that when you come to the Oracle, you take care to hearken and hear the word only with one ear.  This, cried Friar John, is wine of one ear, as Frenchmen call it.

She then wrapped him up in a gaberdine, bound his noddle with a goodly clean biggin, clapped over it a felt such as those through which hippocras is distilled, at the bottom of which, instead of a cowl, she put three obelisks, made him draw on a pair of old-fashioned codpieces instead of mittens, girded him about with three bagpipes bound together, bathed his jobbernowl thrice in the fountain; then threw a handful of meal on his phiz, fixed three cock’s feathers on the right side of the hippocratical felt, made him take a jaunt nine times round the fountain, caused him to take three little leaps and to bump his a—­ seven times against the ground, repeating I don’t know what kind of conjurations all the while in the Tuscan tongue, and ever and anon reading in a ritual or book of ceremonies, carried after her by one of her mystagogues.

For my part, may I never stir if I don’t really believe that neither Numa Pompilius, the second King of the Romans, nor the Cerites of Tuscia, and the old Hebrew captain ever instituted so many ceremonies as I then saw performed; nor were ever half so many religious forms used by the soothsayers of Memphis in Egypt to Apis, or by the Euboeans, at Rhamnus (Motteux gives ’or by the Embrians, or at Rhamnus.’), to Rhamnusia, or to Jupiter Ammon, or to Feronia.

When she had thus accoutred my gentleman, she took him out of our company, and led him out of the temple, through a golden gate on the right, into a round chapel made of transparent speculary stones, by whose solid clearness the sun’s light shined there through the precipice of the rock without any windows or other entrance, and so easily and fully dispersed itself through the greater temple that the light seemed rather to spring out of it than to flow into it.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.