Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 54

The inscription set upon the great gate of Theleme.

Here enter not vile bigots, hypocrites,

Externally devoted apes, base snites,

Puffed-up, wry-necked beasts, worse than the Huns,

Or Ostrogoths, forerunners of baboons:

Cursed snakes, dissembled varlets, seeming sancts,

Slipshod caffards, beggars pretending wants,

Fat chuffcats, smell-feast knockers, doltish gulls,

Out-strouting cluster-fists, contentious bulls,

Fomenters of divisions and debates,

Elsewhere, not here, make sale of your deceits.

Your filthy trumperies

Stuffed with pernicious lies

(Not worth a bubble),

Would do but trouble

Our earthly paradise,

Your filthy trumperies.

Here enter not attorneys, barristers,

Nor bridle-champing law-practitioners:

Clerks, commissaries, scribes, nor pharisees,

Wilful disturbers of the people’s ease:

Judges, destroyers, with an unjust breath,

Of honest men, like dogs, even unto death.

Your salary is at the gibbet-foot:

Go drink there! for we do not here fly out

On those excessive courses, which may draw

A waiting on your courts by suits in law.

Lawsuits, debates, and wrangling

Hence are exiled, and jangling.

Here we are very

Frolic and merry,

And free from all entangling,

Lawsuits, debates, and wrangling.

Here enter not base pinching usurers,

Pelf-lickers, everlasting gatherers,

Gold-graspers, coin-gripers, gulpers of mists,

Niggish deformed sots, who, though your chests

Vast sums of money should to you afford,

Would ne’ertheless add more unto that hoard,

And yet not be content — you clunchfist dastards,

Insatiable fiends, and Pluto’s bastards,

Greedy devourers, chichy sneakbill rogues,

Hell-mastiffs gnaw your bones, you ravenous dogs.

You beastly-looking fellows,

Reason doth plainly tell us

That we should not

To you allot

Room here, but at the gallows,

You beastly-looking fellows.

Here enter not fond makers of demurs

In love adventures, peevish, jealous curs,

Sad pensive dotards, raisers of garboils,

Hags, goblins, ghosts, firebrands of household broils,

Nor drunkards, liars, cowards, cheaters, clowns,

Thieves, cannibals, faces o’ercast with frowns,

Nor lazy slugs, envious, covetous,

Nor blockish, cruel, nor too credulous —

Here mangy, pocky folks shall have no place,

No ugly lusks, nor persons of disgrace.

Grace, honour, praise, delight,

Here sojourn day and night.

Sound bodies lined

With a good mind,

Do here pursue with might

Grace, honour, praise, delight.

Here enter you, and welcome from our hearts,

All noble sparks, endowed with gallant parts.

This is the glorious place, which bravely shall

Afford wherewith to entertain you all.

Were you a thousand, here you shall not want

For anything; for what you’ll ask we’ll grant.

Stay here, you lively, jovial, handsome, brisk,

Gay, witty, frolic, cheerful, merry, frisk,

Spruce, jocund, courteous, furtherers of trades,

And, in a word, all worthy gentle blades.

Blades of heroic breasts

Shall taste here of the feasts,

Both privily

And civilly

Of the celestial guests,

Blades of heroic breasts.

Here enter you, pure, honest, faithful, true

Expounders of the Scriptures old and new.

Whose glosses do not blind our reason, but

Make it to see the clearer, and who shut

Its passages from hatred, avarice,

Pride, factions, covenants, and all sort of vice.

Come, settle here a charitable faith,

Which neighbourly affection nourisheth.

And whose light chaseth all corrupters hence,

Of the blest word, from the aforesaid sense.

The holy sacred Word,

May it always afford

T’ us all in common,

Both man and woman,

A spiritual shield and sword,

The holy sacred Word.

Here enter you all ladies of high birth,

Delicious, stately, charming, full of mirth,

Ingenious, lovely, miniard, proper, fair,

Magnetic, graceful, splendid, pleasant, rare,

Obliging, sprightly, virtuous, young, solacious,

Kind, neat, quick, feat, bright, compt, ripe, choice, dear, precious.

Alluring, courtly, comely, fine, complete,

Wise, personable, ravishing, and sweet,

Come joys enjoy. The Lord celestial

Hath given enough wherewith to please us all.

Gold give us, God forgive us,

And from all woes relieve us;

That we the treasure

May reap of pleasure,

And shun whate’er is grievous,

Gold give us, God forgive us.

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