Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Green Sauce

Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel III.2 (tr. Michael A. Screech):
From corn when 'tis yet but grass you can make a lovely green sauce: it is easily concocted and readily digested; it enlivens your brain, gladdens your animal spirits, delights your sight, whets your appetite, flatters your taste-buds, steels your heart, tickles your palate, clarifies your complexion, tones up your muscles, tempers the blood, lightens the diaphragm, freshens up the liver, unbungs the spleen, comforts the kidneys, settles the bladder, limbers up the spondyls, voids the ureters, dilates the spermatic vessels, tightens up the genital sinews, purges the bladder, swells the genitals, retracts the foreskin, hardens the glans and erects the member; it improves the belly and makes you break wind, fart, let off, defecate, urinate, sneeze, hiccup, cough, gob, spew, yawn, dribble snot, breathe deep, breathe in, breathe out, snore, sweat, and get your gimlet up, together with hundreds of other extraordinary benefits.

De bled en herbe vous faictez belle saulce verde, de legiere concoction, de facile digestion, laquelle vous esbanoist le cerveau, esbaudist les espritz animaulx, resjouist la veue, ouvre l'appetit, delecte le goust, assere le coeur, chatouille la langue, faict le tainct clair, fortifie les muscles, tempere le sang, allegre le diaphragme, refraischist le foye, desoppile la ratelle, soulaige les roignons, assouplist les reins, desgourdist les spondyles, vuide les ureteres, dilate les vases spermacticques, abbrevie les cremasteres, expurge la vessie, enfle les genitoires, corrige le prepuce, incruste le balane, rectifie le membre: vous faict bon ventre, bien rotter, vessir, peder, fianter, uriner, esternuer, sangloutir, toussir, cracher, vomiter, baisler, mouscher, haleiner, inspirer, respirer, ronfler, suer, dresser le virolet, et mille autres rares adventaiges.
Is the difference between vessir and peder in Rabelais' French the same as the difference between vissire and pedere in Latin, i.e., between farting silently and audibly? See J.N. Adams, The Latin Sexual Vocabulary (1982; rpt. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), p. 249.

Related post: Panacea.

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