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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.