This example putteth me in a suspense between hope and fear, misdoubting that, for the contentment which I aim at, I will but reap what shall be most distasteful to me: my cake will be dough, and for my Venus I shall have but some deformed puppy: instead of serving them, I shall but vex them, and offend them whom I purpose to exhilarate; resembling in this dubious adventure Euclion’s cook, so renowned by Plautus in his Pot, and by Ausonius in his Griphon, and by divers others; which cook, for having by his scraping discovered a treasure, had his hide well curried. Put the case I get no anger by it, though formerly such things fell out, and the like may occur again. Yet, by Hercules! it will not. So I perceive in them all one and the same specifical form, and the like individual properties, which our ancestors called Pantagruelism; by virtue whereof they will bear with anything that floweth from a good, free, and loyal heart. I have seen them ordinarily take goodwill in part of payment, and remain satisfied therewith when one was not able to do better. Having despatched this point, I return to my barrel.
Up, my lads, to this wine, spare it not! Drink, boys, and trowl it off at full bowls! If you do not think it good, let it alone. I am not like those officious and importunate sots, who by force, outrage, and violence, constrain an easy good-natured fellow to whiffle, quaff, carouse, and what is worse. All honest tipplers, all honest gouty men, all such as are a-dry, coming to this little barrel of mine, need not drink thereof if it please them not; but if they have a mind to it, and that the wine prove agreeable to the tastes of their worshipful worships, let them drink, frankly, freely, and boldly, without paying anything, and welcome. This is my decree, my statute and ordinance.
And let none fear there shall be any want of wine, as at the marriage of Cana in Galilee; for how much soever you shall draw forth at the faucet, so much shall I tun in at the bung. Thus shall the barrel remain inexhaustible; it hath a lively spring and perpetual current. Such was the beverage contained within the cup of Tantalus, which was figuratively represented amongst the Brachman sages. Such was in Iberia the mountain of salt so highly written of by Cato. Such was the branch of gold consecrated