Gargantua and Pantagruel, by Francois Rabelais

Chapter 59

Of the ridiculous statue Manduce; and how and what the Gastrolaters sacrifice to their ventripotent god.

While we fed our eyes with the sight of the phizzes and actions of these lounging gulligutted Gastrolaters, we on a sudden heard the sound of a musical instrument called a bell; at which all of them placed themselves in rank and file as for some mighty battle, everyone according to his office, degree, and seniority.

In this order they moved towards Master Gaster, after a plump, young, lusty, gorbellied fellow, who on a long staff fairly gilt carried a wooden statue, grossly carved, and as scurvily daubed over with paint; such a one as Plautus, Juvenal, and Pomp. Festus describe it. At Lyons during the Carnival it is called Maschecroute or Gnawcrust; they call’d this Manduce.

It was a monstrous, ridiculous, hideous figure, fit to fright little children; its eyes were bigger than its belly, and its head larger than all the rest of its body; well mouth-cloven however, having a goodly pair of wide, broad jaws, lined with two rows of teeth, upper tier and under tier, which, by the magic of a small twine hid in the hollow part of the golden staff, were made to clash, clatter, and rattle dreadfully one against another; as they do at Metz with St. Clement’s dragon.

Coming near the Gastrolaters I saw they were followed by a great number of fat waiters and tenders, laden with baskets, dossers, hampers, dishes, wallets, pots, and kettles. Then, under the conduct of Manduce, and singing I do not know what dithyrambics, crepalocomes, and epenons, opening their baskets and pots, they offered their god:

White hippocras, Fricassees, nine Cold loins of veal,
with dry toasts. sorts. with spice.
White bread. Monastical brewis. Zinziberine.
Brown bread. Gravy soup. Beatille pies.
Carbonadoes, six Hotch-pots. Brewis.
sorts. Soft bread. Marrow-bones, toast,
Brawn. Household bread. and cabbage.
Sweetbreads. Capirotadoes. Hashes.

Eternal drink intermixed. Brisk delicate white wine led the van; claret and champagne followed, cool, nay, as cold as the very ice, I say, filled and offered in large silver cups. Then they offered:

Chitterlings, gar-Chines and peas. Hams.
nished with mus-Hog’s haslets. Brawn heads.
tard. Scotch collops. Powdered venison,
Sausages. Puddings. with turnips.
Neats’ tongues. Cervelats. Pickled olives.
Hung beef. Bologna sausages.

All this associated with sempiternal liquor. Then they housed within his muzzle:

Legs of mutton, with Ribs of pork, with Caponets.
shallots. onion sauce. Caviare and toast.
Olias. Roast capons, basted Fawns, deer.
Lumber pies, with with their own Hares, leverets.
hot sauce. dripping. Plovers.
Partridges and young Flamingoes. Herons, and young
partridges. Cygnets. herons.
Dwarf-herons. A reinforcement of Olives.
Teals. vinegar intermixed. Thrushes.
Duckers. Venison pasties. Young sea-ravens.
Bitterns. Lark pies. Geese, goslings.
Shovellers. Dormice pies. Queests.
Curlews. Cabretto pasties. Widgeons.
Wood-hens. Roebuck pasties. Mavises.
Coots, with leeks. Pigeon pies. Grouses.
Fat kids. Kid pasties. Turtles.
Shoulders of mutton, Capon pies. Doe-coneys.
with capers. Bacon pies. Hedgehogs.
Sirloins of beef. Soused hog’s feet. Snites.
Breasts of veal. Fried pasty-crust. Then large puffs.
Pheasants and phea-Forced capons. Thistle-finches.
sant poots. Parmesan cheese. Whore’s farts.
Peacocks. Red and pale hip-Fritters.
Storks. pocras. Cakes, sixteen sorts.
Woodcocks. Gold-peaches. Crisp wafers.
Snipes. Artichokes. Quince tarts.
Ortolans. Dry and wet sweet-Curds and cream.
Turkey cocks, hen meats, seventy-Whipped cream.
turkeys, and turkey eight sorts. Preserved mirabo-
poots. Boiled hens, and fat lans.
Stock-doves, and capons marinated. Jellies.
wood-culvers. Pullets, with eggs. Welsh barrapyclids.
Pigs, with wine sauce. Chickens. Macaroons.
Blackbirds, ousels, and Rabbits, and sucking Tarts, twenty sorts.
rails. rabbits. Lemon cream, rasp-
Moorhens. Quails, and young berry cream, &c.
Bustards, and bustard quails. Comfits, one hundred
poots. Pigeons, squabs, and colours.
Fig-peckers. squeakers. Cream wafers.
Young Guinea hens. Fieldfares. Cream cheese.

Vinegar brought up the rear to wash the mouth, and for fear of the squinsy; also toasts to scour the grinders.

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