Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 19

The oration of Master Janotus de Bragmardo for recovery of the bells.

Hem, hem, gud-day, sirs, gud-day. Et vobis, my masters. It were but reason that you should restore to us our bells; for we have great need of them. Hem, hem, aihfuhash. We have oftentimes heretofore refused good money for them of those of London in Cahors, yea and those of Bourdeaux in Brie, who would have bought them for the substantific quality of the elementary complexion, which is intronificated in the terrestreity of their quidditative nature, to extraneize the blasting mists and whirlwinds upon our vines, indeed not ours, but these round about us. For if we lose the piot and liquor of the grape, we lose all, both sense and law. If you restore them unto us at my request, I shall gain by it six basketfuls of sausages and a fine pair of breeches, which will do my legs a great deal of good, or else they will not keep their promise to me. Ho by gob, Domine, a pair of breeches is good, et vir sapiens non abhorrebit eam. Ha, ha, a pair of breeches is not so easily got; I have experience of it myself. Consider, Domine, I have been these eighteen days in matagrabolizing this brave speech. Reddite quae sunt Caesaris, Caesari, et quae sunt Dei, Deo. Ibi jacet lepus. By my faith, Domine, if you will sup with me in cameris, by cox body, charitatis, nos faciemus bonum cherubin. Ego occiditunum porcum, et ego habet bonum vino: but of good wine we cannot make bad Latin. Well, de parte Dei date nobis bellas nostras. Hold, I give you in the name of the faculty a Sermones de Utino, that utinam you would give us our bells. Vultis etiam pardonos? Per diem vos habebitis, et nihil payabitis. O, sir, Domine, bellagivaminor nobis; verily, est bonum vobis. They are useful to everybody. If they fit your mare well, so do they do our faculty; quae comparata est jumentis insipientibus, et similis facta est eis, Psalmo nescio quo. Yet did I quote it in my note-book, et est unum bonum Achilles, a good defending argument. Hem, hem, hem, haikhash! For I prove unto you, that you should give me them. Ego sic argumentor. Omnis bella bellabilis in bellerio bellando, bellans, bellativo, bellare facit, bellabiliter bellantes. Parisius habet bellas. Ergo gluc, Ha, ha, ha. This is spoken to some purpose. It is in tertio primae, in Darii, or elsewhere. By my soul, I have seen the time that I could play the devil in arguing, but now I am much failed, and henceforward want nothing but a cup of good wine, a good bed, my back to the fire, my belly to the table, and a good deep dish. Hei, Domine, I beseech you, in nomine Patris, Filii, et Spiritus sancti, Amen, to restore unto us our bells: and God keep you from evil, and our Lady from health, qui vivit et regnat per omnia secula seculorum, Amen. Hem, hashchehhawksash, qzrchremhemhash.

Verum enim vero, quandoquidem, dubio procul. Edepol, quoniam, ita certe, medius fidius; a town without bells is like a blind man without a staff, an ass without a crupper, and a cow without cymbals. Therefore be assured, until you have restored them unto us, we will never leave crying after you, like a blind man that hath lost his staff, braying like an ass without a crupper, and making a noise like a cow without cymbals. A certain latinisator, dwelling near the hospital, said since, producing the authority of one Taponnus — I lie, it was one Pontanus the secular poet — who wished those bells had been made of feathers, and the clapper of a foxtail, to the end they might have begot a chronicle in the bowels of his brain, when he was about the composing of his carminiformal lines. But nac petetin petetac, tic, torche lorgne, or rot kipipur kipipot put pantse malf, he was declared an heretic. We make them as of wax. And no more saith the deponent. Valete et plaudite. Calepinus recensui.

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