Chapter 14 Panurge's dream, with the interpretation thereof
At seven o'clock of the next following morning Panurge did not fail to presen_imself before Pantagruel, in whose chamber were at that time Epistemon, Fria_ohn of the Funnels, Ponocrates, Eudemon, Carpalin, and others, to whom, a_he entry of Panurge, Pantagruel said, Lo! here cometh our dreamer. That word,
quoth Epistemon, in ancient times cost very much, and was dearly sold to th_hildren of Jacob. Then said Panurge, I have been plunged into my dumps s_eeply, as if I had been lodged with Gaffer Noddy-cap. Dreamed indeed I have,
and that right lustily; but I could take along with me no more thereof that _id goodly understand save only that I in my vision had a pretty, fair, young,
gallant, handsome woman, who no less lovingly and kindly treated an_ntertained me, hugged, cherished, cockered, dandled, and made much of me, a_f I had been another neat dilly-darling minion, like Adonis. Never was ma_ore glad than I was then; my joy at that time was incomparable. She flattere_e, tickled me, stroked me, groped me, frizzled me, curled me, kissed me,
embraced me, laid her hands about my neck, and now and then made jestingl_retty little horns above my forehead. I told her in the like disport, as _id play the fool with her, that she should rather place and fix them in _ittle below mine eyes, that I might see the better what I should stick a_ith them; for, being so situated, Momus then would find no fault therewith,
as he did once with the position of the horns of bulls. The wanton, toyin_irl, notwithstanding any remonstrance of mine to the contrary, did alway_rive and thrust them further in; yet thereby, which to me seemed wonderful,
she did not do me any hurt at all. A little after, though I know not how, _hought I was transformed into a tabor, and she into a chough.
My sleeping there being interrupted, I awaked in a start, angry, displeased,
perplexed, chafing, and very wroth. There have you a large platterful o_reams, make thereupon good cheer, and, if you please, spare not to interpre_hem according to the understanding which you may have in them. Come,
Carpalin, let us to breakfast. To my sense and meaning, quoth Pantagruel, if _ave skill or knowledge in the art of divination by dreams, your wife will no_eally, and to the outward appearance of the world, plant or set horns, an_tick them fast in your forehead, after a visible manner, as satyrs use t_ear and carry them; but she will be so far from preserving herself loyal i_he discharge and observance of a conjugal duty, that, on the contrary, sh_ill violate her plighted faith, break her marriage-oath, infringe al_atrimonial ties, prostitute her body to the dalliance of other men, and s_ake you a cuckold. This point is clearly and manifestly explained an_xpounded by Artemidorus just as I have related it. Nor will there be an_etamorphosis or transmutation made of you into a drum or tabor, but you wil_urely be as soundly beaten as ever was tabor at a merry wedding. Nor yet wil_he be changed into a chough, but will steal from you, chiefly in the night,
as is the nature of that thievish bird. Hereby may you perceive your dreams t_e in every jot conform and agreeable to the Virgilian lots. A cuckold yo_ill be, beaten and robbed. Then cried out Father John with a loud voice, H_ells the truth; upon my conscience, thou wilt be a cuckold—an honest one, _arrant thee. O the brave horns that will be borne by thee! Ha, ha, ha! Ou_ood Master de Cornibus. God save thee, and shield thee! Wilt thou be please_o preach but two words of a sermon to us, and I will go through the paris_hurch to gather up alms for the poor.
You are, quoth Panurge, very far mistaken in your interpretation; for th_atter is quite contrary to your sense thereof. My dream presageth that _hall by marriage be stored with plenty of all manner of goods—the hornifyin_f me showing that I will possess a cornucopia, that Amalthaean horn which i_alled the horn of abundance, whereof the fruition did still portend th_ealth of the enjoyer. You possibly will say that they are rather like to b_atyr's horns; for you of these did make some mention. Amen, Amen, Fiat,
fiatur, ad differentiam papae. Thus shall I have my touch-her-home stil_eady. My staff of love, sempiternally in a good case, will, satyr-like, b_ever toiled out—a thing which all men wish for, and send up their prayers t_hat purpose, but such a thing as nevertheless is granted but to a few. Henc_oth it follow by a consequence as clear as the sunbeams that I will never b_n the danger of being made a cuckold, for the defect hereof is Causa sine qu_on; yea, the sole cause, as many think, of making husbands cuckolds. Wha_akes poor scoundrel rogues to beg, I pray you? Is it not because they hav_ot enough at home wherewith to fill their bellies and their pokes? What is i_akes the wolves to leave the woods? Is it not the want of flesh meat? Wha_aketh women whores? You understand me well enough. And herein may I very wel_ubmit my opinion to the judgment of learned lawyers, presidents, counsellors,
advocates, procurers, attorneys, and other glossers and commentators on th_enerable rubric, De frigidis et maleficiatis. You are, in truth, sir, as i_eems to me (excuse my boldness if I have transgressed), in a most palpabl_nd absurd error to attribute my horns to cuckoldry. Diana wears them on he_ead after the manner of a crescent. Is she a cucquean for that? How the devi_an she be cuckolded who never yet was married? Speak somewhat more correctly,
I beseech you, lest she, being offended, furnish you with a pair of horn_hapen by the pattern of those which she made for Actaeon. The goodly Bacchu_lso carries horns, —Pan, Jupiter Ammon, with a great many others. Are the_ll cuckolds? If Jove be a cuckold, Juno is a whore. This follows by th_igure metalepsis: as to call a child, in the presence of his father an_other, a bastard, or whore's son, is tacitly and underboard no less than i_e had said openly the father is a cuckold and his wife a punk. Let ou_iscourse come nearer to the purpose. The horns that my wife did make me ar_orns of abundance, planted and grafted in my head for the increase an_hooting up of all good things. This will I affirm for truth, upon my word,
and pawn my faith and credit both upon it. As for the rest, I will be no les_oyful, frolic, glad, cheerful, merry, jolly, and gamesome, than a well-bende_abor in the hands of a good drummer at a nuptial feast, still making a noise,
still rolling, still buzzing and cracking. Believe me, sir, in that consistet_one of my least good fortunes. And my wife will be jocund, feat, compt, neat,
quaint, dainty, trim, tricked up, brisk, smirk, and smug, even as a prett_ittle Cornish chough. Who will not believe this, let hell or the gallows b_he burden of his Christmas carol.
I remark, quoth Pantagruel, the last point or particle which you did speak of,
and, having seriously conferred it with the first, find that at the beginnin_ou were delighted with the sweetness of your dream; but in the end and fina_losure of it you startingly awaked, and on a sudden were forthwith vexed i_holer and annoyed. Yea, quoth Panurge, the reason of that was because I ha_asted too long. Flatter not yourself, quoth Pantagruel; all will go to ruin.
Know for a certain truth, that every sleep that endeth with a starting, an_eaves the person irksome, grieved, and fretting, doth either signify _resent evil, or otherwise presageth and portendeth a future imminent mishap.
To signify an evil, that is to say, to show some sickness hardly curable, _ind of pestilentious or malignant boil, botch, or sore, lying and lurkin_id, occult, and latent within the very centre of the body, which many time_oth by the means of sleep, whose nature is to reinforce and strengthen th_aculty and virtue of concoction, being according to the theorems of physic t_eclare itself, and moves toward the outward superficies. At this sad stirrin_s the sleeper's rest and ease disturbed and broken, whereof the first feelin_nd stinging smart admonisheth that he must patiently endure great pain an_rouble, and thereunto provide some remedy; as when we say proverbially, t_ncense hornets, to move a stinking puddle, and to awake a sleeping lion,
instead of these more usual expressions, and of a more familiar and plai_eaning, to provoke angry persons, to make a thing the worse by meddling wit_t, and to irritate a testy choleric man when he is at quiet. On the othe_art, to presage or foretell an evil, especially in what concerneth th_xploits of the soul in matter of somnial divinations, is as much to say a_hat it giveth us to understand that some dismal fortune or mischance i_estinated and prepared for us, which shortly will not fail to come to pass. _lear and evident example hereof is to be found in the dream and dreadfu_waking of Hecuba, as likewise in that of Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus,
neither of which was (no) sooner finished, saith Ennius, but tha_ncontinently thereafter they awaked in a start, and were affrighted horribly.
Thereupon these accidents ensued: Hecuba had her husband Priamus, togethe_ith her children, slain before her eyes, and saw then the destruction of he_ountry; and Eurydice died speedily thereafter in a most miserable manner.
Aeneas, dreaming that he spoke to Hector a little after his decease, did on _udden in a great start awake, and was afraid. Now hereupon did follow thi_vent: Troy that same night was spoiled, sacked, and burnt. At another tim_he same Aeneas dreaming that he saw his familiar geniuses and penates, in _hastly fright and astonishment awaked, of which terror and amazement th_ssue was, that the very next day subsequent, by a most horrible tempest o_he sea, he was like to have perished and been cast away. Moreover, Turnu_eing prompted, instigated, and stirred up by the fantastic vision of a_nfernal fury to enter into a bloody war against Aeneas, awaked in a star_uch troubled and disquieted in spirit; in sequel whereof, after many notabl_nd famous routs, defeats, and discomfitures in open field, he came at last t_e killed in a single combat by the said Aeneas. A thousand other instances _ould afford, if it were needful, of this matter. Whilst I relate thes_tories of Aeneas, remark the saying of Fabius Pictor, who faithfully averre_hat nothing had at any time befallen unto, was done, or enterprised by him,
whereof he preallably had not notice, and beforehand foreseen it to the full,
by sure predictions altogether founded on the oracles of somnial divination.
To this there is no want of pregnant reasons, no more than of examples. For i_epose and rest in sleeping be a special gift and favour of the gods, as i_aintained by the philosophers, and by the poet attested in these lines,
Then sleep, that heavenly gift, came to refresh
Of human labourers the wearied flesh;
such a gift or benefit can never finish or terminate in wrath and indignatio_ithout portending some unlucky fate and most disastrous fortune to ensue.
Otherwise it were a molestation, and not an ease; a scourge, and not a gift;
at least, (not) proceeding from the gods above, but from the infernal devil_ur enemies, according to the common vulgar saying.
Suppose the lord, father, or master of a family, sitting at a very sumptuou_inner, furnished with all manner of good cheer, and having at his entry t_he table his appetite sharp set upon his victuals, whereof there was grea_lenty, should be seen rise in a start, and on a sudden fling out of hi_hair, abandoning his meat, frighted, appalled, and in a horrid terror, wh_hould not know the cause hereof would wonder, and be astonished exceedingly.
But what? he heard his male servants cry, Fire, fire, fire, fire! his serving-
maids and women yell, Stop thief, stop thief! and all his children shout a_oud as ever they could, Murder, O murder, murder! Then was it not high tim_or him to leave his banqueting, for application of a remedy in haste, and t_ive speedy order for succouring of his distressed household? Truly I remembe_hat the Cabalists and Massorets, interpreters of the sacred Scriptures, i_reating how with verity one might judge of evangelical apparitions (becaus_ftentimes the angel of Satan is disguised and transfigured into an angel o_ight), said that the difference of these two mainly did consist in this: th_avourable and comforting angel useth in his appearing unto man at first t_errify and hugely affright him, but in the end he bringeth consolation,
leaveth the person who hath seen him joyful, well-pleased, fully content, an_atisfied; on the other side, the angel of perdition, that wicked, devilish,
and malignant spirit, at his appearance unto any person in the beginnin_heereth up the heart of his beholder, but at last forsakes him, and leave_im troubled, angry, and perplexed.