Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
to fatten them!  By my beard, they are competently scurvy for such a city as this is; for a cow with one fart would go near to overthrow above six fathoms of them.  O my friend, said Pantagruel, dost thou know what Agesilaus said when he was asked why the great city of Lacedaemon was not enclosed with walls?  Lo here, said he, the walls of the city! in showing them the inhabitants and citizens thereof, so strong, so well armed, and so expert in military discipline; signifying thereby that there is no wall but of bones, and that towns and cities cannot have a surer wall nor better fortification than the prowess and virtue of the citizens and inhabitants.  So is this city so strong, by the great number of warlike people that are in it, that they care not for making any other walls.  Besides, whosoever would go about to wall it, as Strasbourg, Orleans, or Ferrara, would find it almost impossible, the cost and charges would be so excessive.  Yea but, said Panurge, it is good, nevertheless, to have an outside of stone when we are invaded by our enemies, were it but to ask, Who is below there?  As for the enormous expense which you say would be needful for undertaking the great work of walling this city about, if the gentlemen of the town will be pleased to give me a good rough cup of wine, I will show them a pretty, strange, and new way, how they may build them good cheap.  How? said Pantagruel.  Do not speak of it then, answered Panurge, and I will tell it you.  I see that the sine quo nons, kallibistris, or contrapunctums of the women of this country are better cheap than stones.  Of them should the walls be built, ranging them in good symmetry by the rules of architecture, and placing the largest in the first ranks, then sloping downwards ridge-wise, like the back of an ass.  The middle-sized ones must be ranked next, and last of all the least and smallest.  This done, there must be a fine little interlacing of them, like points of diamonds, as is to be seen in the great tower of Bourges, with a like number of the nudinnudos, nilnisistandos, and stiff bracmards, that dwell in amongst the claustral codpieces.  What devil were able to overthrow such walls?  There is no metal like it to resist blows, in so far that, if culverin-shot should come to graze upon it, you would incontinently see distil from thence the blessed fruit of the great pox as small as rain.  Beware, in the name of the devils, and hold off.  Furthermore, no thunderbolt or lightning would fall upon it.  For why?  They are all either blest or consecrated.  I see but one inconveniency in it.  Ho, ho, ha, ha, ha! said Pantagruel, and what is that?  It is, that the flies would be so liquorish of them that you would wonder, and would quickly gather there together, and there leave their ordure and excretions, and so all the work would be spoiled.  But see how that might be remedied:  they must be wiped and made rid of the flies with fair foxtails, or great good viedazes, which are ass-pizzles, of Provence.  And to this purpose I will tell you, as we go to supper, a brave example set down by Frater Lubinus, Libro de compotationibus mendicantium.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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