Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 22

The games of Gargantua.

Then blockishly mumbling with a set on countenance a piece of scurvy grace, he washed his hands in fresh wine, picked his teeth with the foot of a hog, and talked jovially with his attendants. Then the carpet being spread, they brought plenty of cards, many dice, with great store and abundance of chequers and chessboards.

There he played.

At flush. At love.
At primero. At the chess.
At the beast. At Reynard the fox.
At the rifle. At the squares.
At trump. At the cows.
At the prick and spare not. At the lottery.
At the hundred. At the chance or mumchance.
At the peeny. At three dice or maniest bleaks.
At the unfortunate woman. At the tables.
At the fib. At nivinivinack.
At the pass ten. At the lurch.
At one-and-thirty. At doublets or queen’s game.
At post and pair, or even and At the faily.
sequence. At the French trictrac.
At three hundred. At the long tables or ferkeering.
At the unlucky man. At feldown.
At the last couple in hell. At tod’s body.
At the hock. At needs must.
At the surly. At the dames or draughts.
At the lansquenet. At bob and mow.
At the cuckoo. At primus secundus.
At puff, or let him speak that At mark-knife.
hath it. At the keys.
At take nothing and throw out. At span-counter.
At the marriage. At even or odd.
At the frolic or jackdaw. At cross or pile.
At the opinion. At ball and huckle-bones.
At who doth the one, doth the At ivory balls.
other. At the billiards.
At the sequences. At bob and hit.
At the ivory bundles. At the owl.
At the tarots. At the charming of the hare.
At losing load him. At pull yet a little.
At he’s gulled and esto. At trudgepig.
At the torture. At the magatapies.
At the handruff. At the horn.
At the click. At the flowered or Shrovetide ox.
At honours. At the madge-owlet.
At pinch without laughing. At tilt at weeky.
At prickle me tickle me. At ninepins.
At the unshoeing of the ass. At the cock quintin.
At the cocksess. At tip and hurl.
At hari hohi. At the flat bowls.
At I set me down. At the veer and turn.
At earl beardy. At rogue and ruffian.
At the old mode. At bumbatch touch.
At draw the spit. At the mysterious trough.
At put out. At the short bowls.
At gossip lend me your sack. At the dapple-grey.
At the ramcod ball. At cock and crank it.
At thrust out the harlot. At break-pot.
At Marseilles figs. At my desire.
At nicknamry. At twirly whirlytrill.
At stick and hole. At the rush bundles.
At boke or him, or flaying the fox. At the short staff.
At the branching it. At the whirling gig.
At trill madam, or grapple my lady. At hide and seek, or are you all
At the cat selling. hid?
At blow the coal. At the picket.
At the re-wedding. At the blank.
At the quick and dead judge. At the pilferers.
At unoven the iron. At the caveson.
At the false clown. At prison bars.
At the flints, or at the nine stones.At have at the nuts.
At to the crutch hulch back. At cherry-pit.
At the Sanct is found. At rub and rice.
At hinch, pinch and laugh not. At whiptop.
At the leek. At the casting top.
At bumdockdousse. At the hobgoblins.
At the loose gig. At the O wonderful.
At the hoop. At the soily smutchy.
At the sow. At fast and loose.
At belly to belly. At scutchbreech.
At the dales or straths. At the broom-besom.
At the twigs. At St. Cosme, I come to adore
At the quoits. thee.
At I’m for that. At the lusty brown boy.
At I take you napping. At greedy glutton.
At fair and softly passeth Lent. At the morris dance.
At the forked oak. At feeby.
At truss. At the whole frisk and gambol.
At the wolf’s tail. At battabum, or riding of the
At bum to buss, or nose in breech. wild mare.
At Geordie, give me my lance. At Hind the ploughman.
At swaggy, waggy or shoggyshou. At the good mawkin.
At stook and rook, shear and At the dead beast.
threave. At climb the ladder, Billy.
At the birch. At the dying hog.
At the muss. At the salt doup.
At the dilly dilly darling. At the pretty pigeon.
At ox moudy. At barley break.
At purpose in purpose. At the bavine.
At nine less. At the bush leap.
At blind-man-buff. At crossing.
At the fallen bridges. At bo-peep.
At bridled nick. At the hardit arsepursy.
At the white at butts. At the harrower’s nest.
At thwack swinge him. At forward hey.
At apple, pear, plum. At the fig.
At mumgi. At gunshot crack.
At the toad. At mustard peel.
At cricket. At the gome.
At the pounding stick. At the relapse.
At jack and the box. At jog breech, or prick him for-
At the queens. ward.
At the trades. At knockpate.
At heads and points. At the Cornish c(h)ough.
At the vine-tree hug. At the crane-dance.
At black be thy fall. At slash and cut.
At ho the distaff. At bobbing, or flirt on the
At Joan Thomson. nose.
At the bolting cloth. At the larks.
At the oat’s seed. At fillipping.

After he had thus well played, revelled, past and spent his time, it was thought fit to drink a little, and that was eleven glassfuls the man, and, immediately after making good cheer again, he would stretch himself upon a fair bench, or a good large bed, and there sleep two or three hours together, without thinking or speaking any hurt. After he was awakened he would shake his ears a little. In the mean time they brought him fresh wine. There he drank better than ever. Ponocrates showed him that it was an ill diet to drink so after sleeping. It is, answered Gargantua, the very life of the patriarchs and holy fathers; for naturally I sleep salt, and my sleep hath been to me in stead of so many gammons of bacon. Then began he to study a little, and out came the paternosters or rosary of beads, which the better and more formally to despatch, he got upon an old mule, which had served nine kings, and so mumbling with his mouth, nodding and doddling his head, would go see a coney ferreted or caught in a gin. At his return he went into the kitchen to know what roast meat was on the spit, and what otherwise was to be dressed for supper. And supped very well, upon my conscience, and commonly did invite some of his neighbours that were good drinkers, with whom carousing and drinking merrily, they told stories of all sorts from the old to the new. Amongst others he had for domestics the Lords of Fou, of Gourville, of Griniot, and of Marigny. After supper were brought in upon the place the fair wooden gospels and the books of the four kings, that is to say, many pairs of tables and cards — or the fair flush, one, two, three — or at all, to make short work; or else they went to see the wenches thereabouts, with little small banquets, intermixed with collations and rear-suppers. Then did he sleep, without unbridling, until eight o’clock in the next morning.

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