Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 11

Of the youthful age of Gargantua.

Gargantua, from three years upwards unto five, was brought up and instructed in all convenient discipline by the commandment of his father; and spent that time like the other little children of the country, that is, in drinking, eating, and sleeping: in eating, sleeping, and drinking: and in sleeping, drinking, and eating. Still he wallowed and rolled up and down himself in the mire and dirt — he blurred and sullied his nose with filth — he blotted and smutched his face with any kind of scurvy stuff — he trod down his shoes in the heel — at the flies he did oftentimes yawn, and ran very heartily after the butterflies, the empire whereof belonged to his father. He pissed in his shoes, shit in his shirt, and wiped his nose on his sleeve — he did let his snot and snivel fall in his pottage, and dabbled, paddled, and slobbered everywhere — he would drink in his slipper, and ordinarily rub his belly against a pannier. He sharpened his teeth with a top, washed his hands with his broth, and combed his head with a bowl. He would sit down betwixt two stools, and his arse to the ground — would cover himself with a wet sack, and drink in eating of his soup. He did eat his cake sometimes without bread, would bite in laughing, and laugh in biting. Oftentimes did he spit in the basin, and fart for fatness, piss against the sun, and hide himself in the water for fear of rain. He would strike out of the cold iron, be often in the dumps, and frig and wriggle it. He would flay the fox, say the ape’s paternoster, return to his sheep, and turn the hogs to the hay. He would beat the dogs before the lion, put the plough before the oxen, and claw where it did not itch. He would pump one to draw somewhat out of him, by griping all would hold fast nothing, and always eat his white bread first. He shoed the geese, kept a self-tickling to make himself laugh, and was very steadable in the kitchen: made a mock at the gods, would cause sing Magnificat at matins, and found it very convenient so to do. He would eat cabbage, and shite beets — knew flies in a dish of milk, and would make them lose their feet. He would scrape paper, blur parchment, then run away as hard as he could. He would pull at the kid’s leather, or vomit up his dinner, then reckon without his host. He would beat the bushes without catching the birds, thought the moon was made of green cheese, and that bladders are lanterns. Out of one sack he would take two moultures or fees for grinding; would act the ass’s part to get some bran, and of his fist would make a mallet. He took the cranes at the first leap, and would have the mail-coats to be made link after link. He always looked a given horse in the mouth, leaped from the cock to the ass, and put one ripe between two green. By robbing Peter he paid Paul, he kept the moon from the wolves, and hoped to catch larks if ever the heavens should fall. He did make of necessity virtue, of such bread such pottage, and cared as little for the peeled as for the shaven. Every morning he did cast up his gorge, and his father’s little dogs eat out of the dish with him, and he with them. He would bite their ears, and they would scratch his nose — he would blow in their arses, and they would lick his chaps.

But hearken, good fellows, the spigot ill betake you, and whirl round your brains, if you do not give ear! This little lecher was always groping his nurses and governesses, upside down, arsiversy, topsyturvy, harri bourriquet, with a Yacco haick, hyck gio! handling them very rudely in jumbling and tumbling them to keep them going; for he had already begun to exercise the tools, and put his codpiece in practice. Which codpiece, or braguette, his governesses did every day deck up and adorn with fair nosegays, curious rubies, sweet flowers, and fine silken tufts, and very pleasantly would pass their time in taking you know what between their fingers, and dandling it, till it did revive and creep up to the bulk and stiffness of a suppository, or street magdaleon, which is a hard rolled-up salve spread upon leather. Then did they burst out in laughing, when they saw it lift up its ears, as if the sport had liked them. One of them would call it her little dille, her staff of love, her quillety, her faucetin, her dandilolly. Another, her peen, her jolly kyle, her bableret, her membretoon, her quickset imp: another again, her branch of coral, her female adamant, her placket-racket, her Cyprian sceptre, her jewel for ladies. And some of the other women would give it these names — my bunguetee, my stopple too, my bush-rusher, my gallant wimble, my pretty borer, my coney-burrow-ferret, my little piercer, my augretine, my dangling hangers, down right to it, stiff and stout, in and to, my pusher, dresser, pouting stick, my honey pipe, my pretty pillicock, linky pinky, futilletie, my lusty andouille, and crimson chitterling, my little couille bredouille, my pretty rogue, and so forth. It belongs to me, said one. It is mine, said the other. What, quoth a third, shall I have no share in it? By my faith, I will cut it then. Ha, to cut it, said the other, would hurt him. Madam, do you cut little children’s things? Were his cut off, he would be then Monsieur sans queue, the curtailed master. And that he might play sport himself after the manner of the other little children of the country, they made him a fair weather whirl-jack of the wings of the windmill of Myrebalais.


On the road to the Castle.

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/r/rabelais/francois/r11g/book1.11.html

Last updated Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 15:33