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.