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Chapter 12 Of Gargantua's wooden horses

  • Afterwards, that he might be all his lifetime a good rider, they made to him _air great horse of wood, which he did make leap, curvet, jerk out behind, an_kip forward, all at a time: to pace, trot, rack, gallop, amble, to play th_obby, the hackney-gelding: go the gait of the camel, and of the wild ass. H_ade him also change his colour of hair, as the monks of Coultibo (accordin_o the variety of their holidays) use to do their clothes, from bay brown, t_orrel, dapple-grey, mouse-dun, deer-colour, roan, cow-colour, gingioline,
  • skewed colour, piebald, and the colour of the savage elk.
  • Himself of a huge big post made a hunting nag, and another for daily servic_f the beam of a vinepress: and of a great oak made up a mule, with _ootcloth, for his chamber. Besides this, he had ten or twelve spare horses,
  • and seven horses for post; and all these were lodged in his own chamber, clos_y his bedside. One day the Lord of Breadinbag (Painensac.) came to visit hi_ather in great bravery, and with a gallant train: and, at the same time, t_ee him came likewise the Duke of Freemeal (Francrepas.) and the Earl o_etgullet (Mouillevent.). The house truly for so many guests at once wa_omewhat narrow, but especially the stables; whereupon the steward an_arbinger of the said Lord Breadinbag, to know if there were any other empt_table in the house, came to Gargantua, a little young lad, and secretly aske_im where the stables of the great horses were, thinking that children woul_e ready to tell all. Then he led them up along the stairs of the castle,
  • passing by the second hall unto a broad great gallery, by which they entere_nto a large tower, and as they were going up at another pair of stairs, sai_he harbinger to the steward, This child deceives us, for the stables ar_ever on the top of the house. You may be mistaken, said the steward, for _now some places at Lyons, at the Basmette, at Chaisnon, and elsewhere, whic_ave their stables at the very tops of the houses: so it may be that behin_he house there is a way to come to this ascent. But I will question with hi_urther. Then said he to Gargantua, My pretty little boy, whither do you lea_s? To the stable, said he, of my great horses. We are almost come to it; w_ave but these stairs to go up at. Then leading them alongst another grea_all, he brought them into his chamber, and, opening the door, said unto them,
  • This is the stable you ask for; this is my jennet; this is my gelding; this i_y courser, and this is my hackney, and laid on them with a great lever. _ill bestow upon you, said he, this Friesland horse; I had him from Frankfort,
  • yet will I give him you; for he is a pretty little nag, and will go very well,
  • with a tessel of goshawks, half a dozen of spaniels, and a brace o_reyhounds: thus are you king of the hares and partridges for all this winter.
  • By St. John, said they, now we are paid, he hath gleeked us to some purpose,
  • bobbed we are now for ever. I deny it, said he,—he was not here above thre_ays. Judge you now, whether they had most cause, either to hide their head_or shame, or to laugh at the jest. As they were going down again thus amazed,
  • he asked them, Will you have a whimwham (Aubeliere.)? What is that, said they?
  • It is, said he, five turds to make you a muzzle. To-day, said the steward,
  • though we happen to be roasted, we shall not be burnt, for we are pretty wel_uipped and larded, in my opinion. O my jolly dapper boy, thou hast given us _udgeon; I hope to see thee Pope before I die. I think so, said he, myself;
  • and then shall you be a puppy, and this gentle popinjay a perfect papelard,
  • that is, dissembler. Well, well, said the harbinger. But, said Gargantua,
  • guess how many stitches there are in my mother's smock. Sixteen, quoth th_arbinger. You do not speak gospel, said Gargantua, for there is cent before,
  • and cent behind, and you did not reckon them ill, considering the two unde_oles. When? said the harbinger. Even then, said Gargantua, when they made _hovel of your nose to take up a quarter of dirt, and of your throat a funnel,
  • wherewith to put it into another vessel, because the bottom of the old one wa_ut. Cocksbod, said the steward, we have met with a prater. Farewell, maste_attler, God keep you, so goodly are the words which you come out with, and s_resh in your mouth, that it had need to be salted.
  • Thus going down in great haste, under the arch of the stairs they let fall th_reat lever, which he had put upon their backs; whereupon Gargantua said, Wha_ devil! you are, it seems, but bad horsemen, that suffer your bilder to fai_ou when you need him most. If you were to go from hence to Cahusac, whethe_ad you rather, ride on a gosling or lead a sow in a leash? I had rathe_rink, said the harbinger. With this they entered into the lower hall, wher_he company was, and relating to them this new story, they made them laug_ike a swarm of flies.