Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Left on the shelf: WHR 3

This ‘ugly old trot’ is one of the midwives who appear in Chapter VI – ‘How Gargantua was borne in a strange Manner.’ Heath Robinson must have had some difficulty knowing what to illustrate in this chapter. Here’s the passage that describes the birth (be warned; it’s not pleasant, but it is funny):

‘… a little while after she began to groane, lament and cry, then suddenly came the midwives from all quarters, who groping her below, found some peloderies, which was a certaine filthy stuffe, and of a taste truly bad enough, this they thought had been the childe, but it was her fundament, that was slipt out with the mollification of her streight intrall, which you call the bum-gut, and that meerly by eating of too many tripes, as we have shewed you before: whereupon an old ugly trot in the company, who had the repute of an expert she-Physician, and was come from Brispaille, near to Saint Gnou, three score years before, made her so horrible a restrictive and binding medicine, and whereby all her larris, arse-pipes and conduits were so opilated, stopped, obstructed, and contracted, that you could hardily have opened and enlarged them with your teeth, which is a terrible thing to think upon; seeing the Devill at the masse at Saint Martins was puzled with the like task, when with his teeth he had lengthened out the parchment whereon he wrote the tittle tattle of two young mangy whoores; by this inconvenient the cotyledons of her matrix were presently loosed, through which the childe sprung up and leapt, and so entering into the hollow veine, did climbe by the diaphragm even above her shoulders, where that veine divides it self into two, and from thence taking his way towards the left side, issued forth at her left eare…’

Enough said.

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