Chapter 15 How Panurge showed a very new way to build the walls of Paris
Pantagruel one day, to refresh himself of his study, went a-walking toward_t. Marcel's suburbs, to see the extravagancy of the Gobeline building, and t_aste of their spiced bread. Panurge was with him, having always a flago_nder his gown and a good slice of a gammon of bacon; for without this h_ever went, saying that it was as a yeoman of the guard to him, to preserv_is body from harm. Other sword carried he none; and, when Pantagruel woul_ave given him one, he answered that he needed none, for that it would bu_eat his milt. Yea but, said Epistemon, if thou shouldst be set upon, ho_ouldst thou defend thyself? With great buskinades or brodkin blows, answere_e, provided thrusts were forbidden. At their return, Panurge considered th_alls of the city of Paris, and in derision said to Pantagruel, See what fai_alls here are! O how strong they are, and well fitted to keep geese in a me_r coop to fatten them! By my beard, they are competently scurvy for such _ity as this is; for a cow with one fart would go near to overthrow above si_athoms of them. O my friend, said Pantagruel, dost thou know what Agesilau_aid when he was asked why the great city of Lacedaemon was not enclosed wit_alls? Lo here, said he, the walls of the city! in showing them th_nhabitants and citizens thereof, so strong, so well armed, and so expert i_ilitary discipline; signifying thereby that there is no wall but of bones,
and that towns and cities cannot have a surer wall nor better fortificatio_han the prowess and virtue of the citizens and inhabitants. So is this cit_o strong, by the great number of warlike people that are in it, that the_are not for making any other walls. Besides, whosoever would go about to wal_t, as Strasbourg, Orleans, or Ferrara, would find it almost impossible, th_ost and charges would be so excessive. Yea but, said Panurge, it is good,
nevertheless, to have an outside of stone when we are invaded by our enemies,
were it but to ask, Who is below there? As for the enormous expense which yo_ay would be needful for undertaking the great work of walling this cit_bout, if the gentlemen of the town will be pleased to give me a good roug_up of wine, I will show them a pretty, strange, and new way, how they ma_uild them good cheap. How? said Pantagruel. Do not speak of it then, answere_anurge, and I will tell it you. I see that the sine quo nons, kallibistris,
or contrapunctums of the women of this country are better cheap than stones.
Of them should the walls be built, ranging them in good symmetry by the rule_f architecture, and placing the largest in the first ranks, then slopin_ownwards ridge-wise, like the back of an ass. The middle-sized ones must b_anked next, and last of all the least and smallest. This done, there must b_ fine little interlacing of them, like points of diamonds, as is to be see_n the great tower of Bourges, with a like number of the nudinnudos,
nilnisistandos, and stiff bracmards, that dwell in amongst the claustra_odpieces. What devil were able to overthrow such walls? There is no meta_ike it to resist blows, in so far that, if culverin-shot should come to graz_pon it, you would incontinently see distil from thence the blessed fruit o_he great pox as small as rain. Beware, in the name of the devils, and hol_ff. Furthermore, no thunderbolt or lightning would fall upon it. For why?
They are all either blest or consecrated. I see but one inconveniency in it.
Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha! said Pantagruel, and what is that? It is, that the flie_ould be so liquorish of them that you would wonder, and would quickly gathe_here together, and there leave their ordure and excretions, and so all th_ork would be spoiled. But see how that might be remedied: they must be wipe_nd made rid of the flies with fair foxtails, or great good viedazes, whic_re ass-pizzles, of Provence. And to this purpose I will tell you, as we go t_upper, a brave example set down by Frater Lubinus, Libro de compotationibu_endicantium.
In the time that the beasts did speak, which is not yet three days since, _oor lion, walking through the forest of Bieure, and saying his own littl_rivate devotions, passed under a tree where there was a roguish collie_otten up to cut down wood, who, seeing the lion, cast his hatchet at him an_ounded him enormously in one of his legs; whereupon the lion halting, he s_ong toiled and turmoiled himself in roaming up and down the forest to fin_elp, that at last he met with a carpenter, who willingly looked upon hi_ound, cleansed it as well as he could, and filled it with moss, telling hi_hat he must wipe his wound well that the flies might not do their excrement_n it, whilst he should go search for some yarrow or millefoil, commonl_alled the carpenter's herb. The lion, being thus healed, walked along in th_orest at what time a sempiternous crone and old hag was picking up an_athering some sticks in the said forest, who, seeing the lion coming toward_er, for fear fell down backwards, in such sort that the wind blew up he_own, coats, and smock, even as far as above her shoulders; which the lio_erceiving, for pity ran to see whether she had taken any hurt by the fall,
and thereupon considering her how do you call it, said, O poor woman, who hat_hus wounded thee? Which words when he had spoken, he espied a fox, whom h_alled to come to him saying, Gossip Reynard, hau, hither, hither, and fo_ause! When the fox was come, he said unto him, My gossip and friend, the_ave hurt this good woman here between the legs most villainously, and ther_s a manifest solution of continuity. See how great a wound it is, even fro_he tail up to the navel, in measure four, nay full five handfuls and a half.
This is the blow of a hatchet, I doubt me; it is an old wound, and therefore,
that the flies may not get into it, wipe it lustily well and hard, I prithee,
both within and without; thou hast a good tail, and long. Wipe, my friend,
wipe, I beseech thee, and in the meanwhile I will go get some moss to put int_t; for thus ought we to succour and help one another. Wipe it hard, thus, m_riend; wipe it well, for this wound must be often wiped, otherwise the part_annot be at ease. Go to, wipe well, my little gossip, wipe; God hat_urnished thee with a tail; thou hast a long one, and of a bignes_roportionable; wipe hard, and be not weary. A good wiper, who, in wipin_ontinually, wipeth with his wipard, by wasps shall never be wounded. Wipe, m_retty minion; wipe, my little bully; I will not stay long. Then went he t_et store of moss; and when he was a little way off, he cried out in speakin_o the fox thus, Wipe well still, gossip, wipe, and let it never grieve the_o wipe well, my little gossip; I will put thee into service to be wiper t_on Pedro de Castile; wipe, only wipe, and no more. The poor fox wiped as har_s he could, here and there, within and without; but the false old trot did s_izzle and fist that she stunk like a hundred devils, which put the poor fo_o a great deal of ill ease, for he knew not to what side to turn himself t_scape the unsavoury perfume of this old woman's postern blasts. And whilst t_hat effect he was shifting hither and thither, without knowing how to shu_he annoyance of those unwholesome gusts, he saw that behind there was ye_nother hole, not so great as that which he did wipe, out of which came thi_ilthy and infectious air. The lion at last returned, bringing with him o_oss more than eighteen packs would hold, and began to put into the wound wit_ staff which he had provided for that purpose, and had already put in ful_ixteen packs and a half, at which he was amazed. What a devil! said he, thi_ound is very deep; it would hold above two cartloads of moss. The fox,
perceiving this, said unto the lion, O gossip lion, my friend, I pray thee d_ot put in all thy moss there; keep somewhat, for there is yet here anothe_ittle hole, that stinks like five hundred devils; I am almost choked with th_mell thereof, it is so pestiferous and empoisoning.
Thus must these walls be kept from the flies, and wages allowed to some fo_iping of them. Then said Pantagruel, How dost thou know that the privy part_f women are at such a cheap rate? For in this city there are many virtuous,
honest, and chaste women besides the maids. Et ubi prenus? said Panurge. _ill give you my opinion of it, and that upon certain and assured knowledge. _o not brag that I have bumbasted four hundred and seventeen since I came int_his city, though it be but nine days ago; but this very morning I met with _ood fellow, who, in a wallet such as Aesop's was, carried two little girls o_wo or three years old at the most, one before and the other behind. H_emanded alms of me, but I made him answer that I had more cods than pence.
Afterwards I asked him, Good man, these two girls, are they maids? Brother,
said he, I have carried them thus these two years, and in regard of her tha_s before, whom I see continually, in my opinion she is a virgin, nevertheles_ will not put my finger in the fire for it; as for her that is behind,
doubtless I can say nothing.
Indeed, said Pantagruel, thou art a gentle companion; I will have thee to b_pparelled in my livery. And therefore caused him to be clothed most gallantl_ccording to the fashion that then was, only that Panurge would have th_odpiece of his breeches three foot long, and in shape square, not round;
which was done, and was well worth the seeing. Oftentimes was he wont to say,
that the world had not yet known the emolument and utility that is in wearin_reat codpieces; but time would one day teach it them, as all things have bee_nvented in time. God keep from hurt, said he, the good fellow whose lon_odpiece or braguet hath saved his life! God keep from hurt him whose lon_raguet hath been worth to him in one day one hundred threescore thousand an_ine crowns! God keep from hurt him who by his long braguet hath saved a whol_ity from dying by famine! And, by G-, I will make a book of the commodity o_ong braguets when I shall have more leisure. And indeed he composed a fai_reat book with figures, but it is not printed as yet that I know of.