Just such another case fell out this same year: for on a certain Friday, when the whole people were bent upon their devotions, and had made goodly processions, with store of litanies, and fair preachings, and beseechings of God Almighty to look down with his eye of mercy upon their miserable and disconsolate condition, there was even then visibly seen issue out of the ground great drops of water, such as fall from a puff-bagged man in a top sweat, and the poor hoidens began to rejoice as if it had been a thing very profitable unto them; for some said that there was not one drop of moisture in the air whence they might have any rain, and that the earth did supply the default of that. Other learned men said that it was a shower of the antipodes, as Seneca saith in his fourth book Quaestionum naturalium, speaking of the source and spring of Nilus. But they were deceived, for, the procession being ended, when everyone went about to gather of this dew, and to drink of it with full bowls, they found that it was nothing but pickle and the very brine of salt, more brackish in taste than the saltest water of the sea. And because in that very day Pantagruel was born, his father gave him that name; for Panta in Greek is as much to say as all, and Gruel in the Hagarene language doth signify thirsty, inferring hereby that at his birth the whole world was a-dry and thirsty, as likewise foreseeing that he would be some day supreme lord and sovereign of the thirsty Ethrappels, which was shown to him at that very same hour by a more evident sign. For when his mother Badebec was in the bringing of him forth, and that the midwives did wait to receive him, there came first out of her belly three score and eight tregeneers, that is, salt-sellers, every one of them leading in a halter a mule heavy laden with salt; after whom issued forth nine dromedaries, with great loads of gammons of bacon and dried neat’s tongues on their backs. Then followed seven camels loaded with links and chitterlings, hogs’ puddings, and sausages. After them came out five great wains, full of leeks, garlic, onions, and chibots, drawn with five-and-thirty strong cart-horses, which was six for every one, besides the thiller. At the sight hereof the said midwives were much amazed, yet some of them said, Lo, here is good provision, and indeed we need it; for we drink but lazily, as if our tongues walked on crutches, and not lustily like Lansman Dutches. Truly this is a good sign; there is nothing here but what is fit for us; these are the spurs of wine, that set it a-going. As they were tattling thus together after their own manner of chat, behold! out comes Pantagruel all hairy like a bear, whereupon one of them, inspired with a prophetical spirit, said, This will be a terrible fellow; he is born with all his hair; he is undoubtedly to do wonderful things, and if he live he shall have age.
Of the grief wherewith Gargantua was moved at the decease of his wife Badebec.