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Chapter 16 Of the qualities and conditions of Panurge

  • Panurge was of a middle stature, not too high nor too low, and had somewhat a_quiline nose, made like the handle of a razor. He was at that time five an_hirty years old or thereabouts, fine to gild like a leaden dagger—for he wa_ notable cheater and coney-catcher—he was a very gallant and proper man o_is person, only that he was a little lecherous, and naturally subject to _ind of disease which at that time they called lack of money—it is a_ncomparable grief, yet, notwithstanding, he had three score and three trick_o come by it at his need, of which the most honourable and most ordinary wa_n manner of thieving, secret purloining and filching, for he was a wicke_ewd rogue, a cozener, drinker, roister, rover, and a very dissolute an_ebauched fellow, if there were any in Paris; otherwise, and in all matter_lse, the best and most virtuous man in the world; and he was still contrivin_ome plot, and devising mischief against the sergeants and the watch.
  • At one time he assembled three or four especial good hacksters and roarin_oys, made them in the evening drink like Templars, afterwards led them til_hey came under St. Genevieve, or about the college of Navarre, and, at th_our that the watch was coming up that way—which he knew by putting his swor_pon the pavement, and his ear by it, and, when he heard his sword shake, i_as an infallible sign that the watch was near at that instant—then he and hi_ompanions took a tumbrel or dung-cart, and gave it the brangle, hurling i_ith all their force down the hill, and so overthrew all the poor watchme_ike pigs, and then ran away upon the other side; for in less than two days h_new all the streets, lanes, and turnings in Paris as well as his Deus det.
  • At another time he made in some fair place, where the said watch was to pass,
  • a train of gunpowder, and, at the very instant that they went along, set fir_o it, and then made himself sport to see what good grace they had in runnin_way, thinking that St. Anthony's fire had caught them by the legs. As for th_oor masters of arts, he did persecute them above all others. When h_ncountered with any of them upon the street, he would not never fail to pu_ome trick or other upon them, sometimes putting the bit of a fried turd i_heir graduate hoods, at other times pinning on little foxtails or hares'-ear_ehind them, or some such other roguish prank. One day that they wer_ppointed all to meet in the Fodder Street (Sorbonne), he made a Borbones_art, or filthy and slovenly compound, made of store of garlic, o_ssafoetida, of castoreum, of dogs' turds very warm, which he steeped,
  • tempered, and liquefied in the corrupt matter of pocky boils and pestiferou_otches; and, very early in the morning therewith anointed all the pavement,
  • in such sort that the devil could not have endured it, which made all thes_ood people there to lay up their gorges, and vomit what was upon thei_tomachs before all the world, as if they had flayed the fox; and ten o_welve of them died of the plague, fourteen became lepers, eighteen gre_ousy, and about seven and twenty had the pox, but he did not care a butto_or it. He commonly carried a whip under his gown, wherewith he whippe_ithout remission the pages whom he found carrying wine to their masters, t_ake them mend their pace. In his coat he had above six and twenty little fob_nd pockets always full; one with some lead-water, and a little knife as shar_s a glover's needle, wherewith he used to cut purses; another with some kin_f bitter stuff, which he threw into the eyes of those he met; another wit_lotburrs, penned with little geese' or capon's feathers, which he cast upo_he gowns and caps of honest people, and often made them fair horns, whic_hey wore about all the city, sometimes all their life. Very often, also, upo_he women's French hoods would he stick in the hind part somewhat made in th_hape of a man's member. In another, he had a great many little horns full o_leas and lice, which he borrowed from the beggars of St. Innocent, and cas_hem with small canes or quills to write with into the necks of the dainties_entlewomen that he could find, yea, even in the church, for he never seate_imself above in the choir, but always sat in the body of the church amongs_he women, both at mass, at vespers, and at sermon. In another, he used t_ave good store of hooks and buckles, wherewith he would couple men and wome_ogether that sat in company close to one another, but especially those tha_ore gowns of crimson taffeties, that, when they were about to go away, the_ight rend all their gowns. In another, he had a squib furnished with tinder,
  • matches, stones to strike fire, and all other tackling necessary for it. I_nother, two or three burning glasses, wherewith he made both men and wome_ometimes mad, and in the church put them quite out of countenance; for h_aid that there was but an antistrophe, or little more difference than of _iteral inversion, between a woman folle a la messe and molle a la fesse, tha_s, foolish at the mass and of a pliant buttock.
  • In another, he had a good deal of needles and thread, wherewith he did _housand little devilish pranks. One time, at the entry of the palace unto th_reat hall, where a certain grey friar or cordelier was to say mass to th_ounsellors, he did help to apparel him and put on his vestments, but in th_ccoutring of him he sewed on his alb, surplice, or stole, to his gown an_hirt, and then withdrew himself when the said lords of the court o_ounsellors came to hear the said mass; but when it came to the Ite, miss_st, that the poor frater would have laid by his stole or surplice, as th_ashion then was, he plucked off withal both his frock and shirt, which wer_ell sewed together, and thereby stripping himself up to the very shoulder_howed his bel vedere to all the world, together with his Don Cypriano, whic_as no small one, as you may imagine. And the friar still kept haling, but s_uch the more did he discover himself and lay open his back parts, till one o_he lords of the court said, How now! what's the matter? Will this fair fathe_ake us here an offering of his tail to kiss it? Nay, St. Anthony's fire kis_t for us! From thenceforth it was ordained that the poor fathers should neve_isrobe themselves any more before the world, but in their vestry-room, o_extry, as they call it; especially in the presence of women, lest it shoul_empt them to the sin of longing and disordinate desire. The people then aske_hy it was the friars had so long and large genitories? The said Panurg_esolved the problem very neatly, saying, That which makes asses to have suc_reat ears is that their dams did put no biggins on their heads, as Alliac_entioneth in his Suppositions. By the like reason, that which makes th_enitories or generation-tools of those so fair fraters so long is, for tha_hey wear no bottomed breeches, and therefore their jolly member, having n_mpediment, hangeth dangling at liberty as far as it can reach, with a wiggle-
  • waggle down to their knees, as women carry their paternoster beads. and th_ause wherefore they have it so correspondently great is, that in thi_onstant wig-wagging the humours of the body descend into the said member.
  • For, according to the Legists, agitation and continual motion is cause o_ttraction.
  • Item, he had another pocket full of itching powder, called stone-alum, whereo_e would cast some into the backs of those women whom he judged to be mos_eautiful and stately, which did so ticklishly gall them, that some woul_trip themselves in the open view of the world, and others dance like a coc_pon hot embers, or a drumstick on a tabor. Others, again, ran about th_treets, and he would run after them. To such as were in the stripping vein h_ould very civilly come to offer his attendance, and cover them with hi_loak, like a courteous and very gracious man.
  • Item, in another he had a little leather bottle full of old oil, wherewith,
  • when he saw any man or woman in a rich new handsome suit, he would grease,
  • smutch, and spoil all the best parts of it under colour and pretence o_ouching them, saying, This is good cloth; this is good satin; good taffeties!
  • Madam, God give you all that your noble heart desireth! You have a new suit,
  • pretty sir;—and you a new gown, sweet mistress;—God give you joy of it, an_aintain you in all prosperity! And with this would lay his hand upon thei_houlder, at which touch such a villainous spot was left behind, so enormousl_ngraven to perpetuity in the very soul, body, and reputation, that the devi_imself could never have taken it away. Then, upon his departing, he woul_ay, Madam, take heed you do not fall, for there is a filthy great hole befor_ou, whereinto if you put your foot, you will quite spoil yourself.
  • Another he had all full of euphorbium, very finely pulverized. In that powde_id he lay a fair handkerchief curiously wrought, which he had stolen from _retty seamstress of the palace, in taking away a louse from off her boso_hich he had put there himself, and, when he came into the company of som_ood ladies, he would trifle them into a discourse of some fine workmanship o_one-lace, then immediately put his hand into their bosom, asking them, An_his work, is it of Flanders, or of Hainault? and then drew out hi_andkerchief, and said, Hold, hold, look what work here is, it is of Foutigna_r of Fontarabia, and shaking it hard at their nose, made them sneeze for fou_ours without ceasing. In the meanwhile he would fart like a horse, and th_omen would laugh and say, How now, do you fart, Panurge? No, no, madam, sai_e, I do but tune my tail to the plain song of the music which you make wit_our nose. In another he had a picklock, a pelican, a crampiron, a crook, an_ome other iron tools, wherewith there was no door nor coffer which he woul_ot pick open. He had another full of little cups, wherewith he played ver_rtificially, for he had his fingers made to his hand, like those of Minerv_r Arachne, and had heretofore cried treacle. And when he changed a teston,
  • cardecu, or any other piece of money, the changer had been more subtle than _ox if Panurge had not at every time made five or six sols (that is, some si_r seven pence,) vanish away invisibly, openly, and manifestly, without makin_ny hurt or lesion, whereof the changer should have felt nothing but the wind.