Chapter 20 How Goatsnose by signs maketh answer to Panurge
Goatsnose being sent for, came the day thereafter to Pantagruel's court; a_is arrival to which Panurge gave him a fat calf, the half of a hog, tw_uncheons of wine, one load of corn, and thirty francs of small money; then,
having brought him before Pantagruel, in presence of the gentlemen of the bed-
chamber he made this sign unto him. He yawned a long time, and in yawning mad_ithout his mouth with the thumb of his right hand the figure of the Gree_etter Tau by frequent reiterations. Afterwards he lifted up his eyes t_eavenwards, then turned them in his head like a she-goat in the painful fi_f an absolute birth, in doing whereof he did cough and sigh exceedin_eavily. This done, after that he had made demonstration of the want of hi_odpiece, he from under his shirt took his placket-racket in a full grip,
making it therewithal clack very melodiously betwixt his thighs; then, n_ooner had he with his body stooped a little forwards, and bowed his lef_nee, but that immediately thereupon holding both his arms on his breast, in _oose faint-like posture, the one over the other, he paused awhile. Goatsnos_ooked wistly upon him, and having heedfully enough viewed him all over, h_ifted up into the air his left hand, the whole fingers whereof he retaine_istwise close together, except the thumb and the forefinger, whose nails h_oftly joined and coupled to one another. I understand, quoth Pantagruel, wha_e meaneth by that sign. It denotes marriage, and withal the number thirty,
according to the profession of the Pythagoreans. You will be married. Thank_o you, quoth Panurge, in turning himself towards Goatsnose, my little sewer,
pretty master's mate, dainty bailie, curious sergeant-marshal, and joll_atchpole-leader. Then did he lift higher up than before his said left hand,
stretching out all the five fingers thereof, and severing them as wide fro_ne another as he possibly could get done. Here, says Pantagruel, doth he mor_mply and fully insinuate unto us, by the token which he showeth forth of th_uinary number, that you shall be married. Yea, that you shall not only b_ffianced, betrothed, wedded, and married, but that you shall furthermor_ohabit and live jollily and merrily with your wife; for Pythagoras calle_ive the nuptial number, which, together with marriage, signifieth th_onsummation of matrimony, because it is composed of a ternary, the first o_he odd, and binary, the first of the even numbers, as of a male and femal_nit and united together. In very deed it was the fashion of old in the cit_f Rome at marriage festivals to light five wax tapers; nor was it permitte_o kindle any more at the magnific nuptials of the most potent and wealthy,
nor yet any fewer at the penurious weddings of the poorest and most abject o_he world. Moreover, in times past, the heathen or paynims implored th_ssistance of five deities, or of one helpful, at least, in five several goo_ffices to those that were to be married. Of this sort were the nuptial Jove,
Juno, president of the feast, the fair Venus, Pitho, the goddess of eloquenc_nd persuasion, and Diana, whose aid and succour was required to the labour o_hild-bearing. Then shouted Panurge, O the gentle Goatsnose, I will give him _arm near Cinais, and a windmill hard by Mirebalais! Hereupon the dumb fello_neezeth with an impetuous vehemency and huge concussion of the spirits of th_hole body, withdrawing himself in so doing with a jerking turn towards th_eft hand. By the body of a fox new slain, quoth Pantagruel, what is that?
This maketh nothing for your advantage; for he betokeneth thereby that you_arriage will be inauspicious and unfortunate. This sneezing, according to th_octrine of Terpsion, is the Socratic demon. If done towards the right side,
it imports and portendeth that boldly and with all assurance one may g_hither he will and do what he listeth, according to what deliberation h_hall be pleased to have thereupon taken; his entries in the beginning,
progress in his proceedings, and success in the events and issues will be al_ucky, good, and happy. The quite contrary thereto is thereby implied an_resaged if it be done towards the left. You, quoth Panurge, do take alway_he matter at the worst, and continually, like another Davus, casteth in ne_isturbances and obstructions; nor ever yet did I know this old paltr_erpsion worthy of citation but in points only of cosenage and imposture.
Nevertheless, quoth Pantagruel, Cicero hath written I know not what to th_ame purpose in his Second Book of Divination.
Panurge then, turning himself towards Goatsnose, made this sign unto him. H_nverted his eyelids upwards, wrenched his jaws from the right to the lef_ide, and drew forth his tongue half out of his mouth. This done, he posite_is left hand wholly open, the mid-finger wholly excepted, which wa_erpendicularly placed upon the palm thereof, and set it just in the roo_here his codpiece had been. Then did he keep his right hand altogether shu_p in a fist, save only the thumb, which he straight turned backwards directl_nder the right armpit, and settled it afterwards on that most eminent part o_he buttocks which the Arabs call the Al-Katim. Suddenly thereafter he mad_his interchange: he held his right hand after the manner of the left, an_osited it on the place wherein his codpiece sometime was, and retaining hi_eft hand in the form and fashion of the right, he placed it upon his Al-
Katim. This altering of hands did he reiterate nine several times; at the las_hereof he reseated his eyelids into their own first natural position. The_oing the like also with his jaws and tongue, he did cast a squinting loo_pon Goatsnose, diddering and shivering his chaps, as apes use to do nowadays,
and rabbits, whilst, almost starved with hunger, they are eating oats in th_heaf.
Then was it that Goatsnose, lifting up into the air his right hand wholly ope_nd displayed, put the thumb thereof, even close unto its first articulation,
between the two third joints of the middle and ring fingers, pressing abou_he said thumb thereof very hard with them both, and, whilst the remanen_oints were contracted and shrunk in towards the wrist, he stretched fort_ith as much straightness as he could the fore and little fingers. That han_hus framed and disposed of he laid and posited upon Panurge's navel, movin_ithal continually the aforesaid thumb, and bearing up, supporting, or under-
propping that hand upon the above-specified fore and little fingers, as upo_wo legs. Thereafter did he make in this posture his hand by little an_ittle, and by degrees and pauses, successively to mount from athwart th_elly to the stomach, from whence he made it to ascend to the breast, eve_pwards to Panurge's neck, still gaining ground, till, having reached hi_hin, he had put within the concave of his mouth his afore-mentioned thumb;
then fiercely brandishing the whole hand, which he made to rub and grat_gainst his nose, he heaved it further up, and made the fashion as if with th_humb thereof he would have put out his eyes. With this Panurge grew a littl_ngry, and went about to withdraw and rid himself from this ruggedly untowar_umb devil. But Goatsnose in the meantime, prosecuting the intended purpose o_is prognosticatory response, touched very rudely, with the above-mentione_haking thumb, now his eyes, then his forehead, and after that the borders an_orners of his cap. At last Panurge cried out, saying, Before God, maste_ool, if you do not let me alone, or that you will presume to vex me any more,
you shall receive from the best hand I have a mask wherewith to cover you_ascally scroundrel face, you paltry shitten varlet. Then said Friar John, H_s deaf, and doth not understand what thou sayest unto him. Bulliballock, mak_ign to him of a hail of fisticuffs upon the muzzle.
What the devil, quoth Panurge, means this busy restless fellow? What is i_hat this polypragmonetic ardelion to all the fiends of hell doth aim at? H_ath almost thrust out mine eyes, as if he had been to poach them in a skille_ith butter and eggs. By God, da jurandi, I will feast you with flirts an_aps on the snout, interlarded with a double row of bobs and finger-
fillipings! Then did he leave him in giving him by way of salvo a volley o_arts for his farewell. Goatsnose, perceiving Panurge thus to slip away fro_im, got before him, and, by mere strength enforcing him to stand, made thi_ign unto him. He let fall his right arm toward his knee on the same side a_ow as he could, and, raising all the fingers of that hand into a close fist,
passed his dexter thumb betwixt the foremost and mid fingers theret_elonging. Then scrubbing and swingeing a little with his left hand alongs_nd upon the uppermost in the very bough of the elbow of the said dexter arm,
the whole cubit thereof, by leisure, fair and softly, at these thumpator_arnings, did raise and elevate itself even to the elbow, and above it; on _udden did he then let it fall down as low as before, and after that, a_ertain intervals and such spaces of time, raising and abasing it, he made _how thereof to Panurge. This so incensed Panurge that he forthwith lifted hi_and to have stricken him the dumb roister and given him a sound whirret o_he ear, but that the respect and reverence which he carried to the presenc_f Pantagruel restrained his choler and kept his fury within bounds an_imits. Then said Pantagruel, If the bare signs now vex and trouble you, ho_uch more grievously will you be perplexed and disquieted with the real thing_hich by them are represented and signified! All truths agree and ar_onsonant with one another. This dumb fellow prophesieth and foretelleth tha_ou will be married, cuckolded, beaten, and robbed. As for the marriage, quot_anurge, I yield thereto, and acknowledge the verity of that point of hi_rediction; as for the rest, I utterly abjure and deny it: and believe, sir, _eseech you, if it may please you so to do, that in the matter of wives an_orses never any man was predestinated to a better fortune than I.