segunda-feira, 24 de setembro de 2012

Sobre as gajas burras (e outros pequenos animalejos desta casta)

I would more willingly, quoth Panurge, consult with and be advised by a dumb woman, were it not that I am afraid of two things. The first is, that the greater part of women, whatever be that they see, do always represent unto their fancies, think, and imagine, that it hath some relation to the sugared entering of the goodly ithyphallos, and graffing in the cleft of the overturned tree the quickset imp of the pin of copulation. Whatever signs, shows, or gestures we shall make, or whatever our behaviour, carriage, or demeanour shall happen to be in their view and presence, they will interpret the whole in reference to the act of androgynation and the culbutizing exercise, by which means we shall be abusively disappointed of our designs, in regard that she will take all our signs for nothing else but tokens and representations of our desire to entice her unto the lists of a Cyprian combat or catsenconny skirmish. Do you remember what happened at Rome two hundred and threescore years after the foundation thereof? A young Roman gentleman encountering by chance, at the foot of Mount Celion, with a beautiful Latin lady named Verona, who from her very cradle upwards had always been both deaf and dumb, very civilly asked her, not without a chironomatic Italianizing of his demand, with various jectigation of his fingers and other gesticulations as yet customary amongst the speakers of that country, what senators in her descent from the top of the hill she had met with going up thither. For you are to conceive that he, knowing no more of her deafness than dumbness, was ignorant of both. She in the meantime, who neither heard nor understood so much as one word of what he had said, straight imagined, by all that she could apprehend in the lovely gesture of his manual signs, that what he then required of her was what herself had a great mind to, even that which a young man doth naturally desire of a woman. Then was it that by signs, which in all occurrences of venereal love are incomparably more attractive, valid, and efficacious than words, she beckoned to him to come along with her to her house; which when he had done, she drew him aside to a privy room, and then made a most lively alluring sign unto him to show that the game did please her. Whereupon, without any more advertisement, or so much as the uttering of one word on either side, they fell to and bringuardized it lustily.

The other cause of my being averse from consulting with dumb women is, that to our signs they would make no answer at all, but suddenly fall backwards in a divarication posture, to intimate thereby unto us the reality of their consent to the supposed motion of our tacit demands. Or if they should chance to make any countersigns responsory to our propositions, they would prove so foolish, impertinent, and ridiculous, that by them ourselves should easily judge their thoughts to have no excursion beyond the duffling academy. You know very well how at Brignoles, when the religious nun, Sister Fatbum, was made big with child by the young Stiffly-stand-to't, her pregnancy came to be known, and she cited by the abbess, and, in a full convention of the convent, accused of incest. Her excuse was that she did not consent thereto, but that it was done by the violence and impetuous force of the Friar Stiffly-stand-to't. Hereto the abbess very austerely replying, Thou naughty wicked girl, why didst thou not cry, A rape, a rape! then should all of us have run to thy succour. Her answer was that the rape was committed in the dortour, where she durst not cry because it was a place of sempiternal silence. But, quoth the abbess, thou roguish wench, why didst not thou then make some sign to those that were in the next chamber beside thee? To this she answered that with her buttocks she made a sign unto them as vigorously as she could, yet never one of them did so much as offer to come to her help and assistance. But, quoth the abbess, thou scurvy baggage, why didst thou not tell it me immediately after the perpetration of the fact, that so we might orderly, regularly, and canonically have accused him? I would have done so, had the case been mine, for the clearer manifestation of mine innocency. I truly, madam, would have done the like with all my heart and soul, quoth Sister Fatbum, but that fearing I should remain in sin, and in the hazard of eternal damnation, if prevented by a sudden death, I did confess myself to the father friar before he went out of the room, who, for my penance, enjoined me not to tell it, or reveal the matter unto any. It were a most enormous and horrid offence, detestable before God and the angels, to reveal a confession. Such an abominable wickedness would have possibly brought down fire from heaven, wherewith to have burnt the whole nunnery, and sent us all headlong to the bottomless pit, to bear company with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.

You will not, quoth Pantagruel, with all your jesting, make me laugh. I know that all the monks, friars, and nuns had rather violate and infringe the highest of the commandments of God than break the least of their provincial statutes. Take you therefore Goatsnose, a man very fit for your present purpose; for he is, and hath been, both dumb and deaf from the very remotest infancy of his childhood.

F. Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel, Book III, ed. 1546, trad. por Sir Thomas Urquhart of Cromarty e Peter Antony Motteux, 1693.