Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

I will not bring you to this purpose the testimony of ancient writers.  It shall suffice to put you in mind of what your fathers have seen thereof, and yourselves too, if you be not very babes.  Newborn, they must be given suck to, rocked in a cradle, and dandled.  Trees newly planted must be supported, underpropped, strengthened and defended against all tempests, mischiefs, injuries, and calamities.  And one lately saved from a long and dangerous sickness, and new upon his recovery, must be forborn, spared, and cherished, in such sort that they may harbour in their own breasts this opinion, that there is not in the world a king or a prince who does not desire fewer enemies and more friends.  Thus Osiris, the great king of the Egyptians, conquered almost the whole earth, not so much by force of arms as by easing the people of their troubles, teaching them how to live well, and honestly giving them good laws, and using them with all possible affability, courtesy, gentleness, and liberality.  Therefore was he by all men deservedly entitled the Great King Euergetes, that is to say, Benefactor, which style he obtained by virtue of the command of Jupiter to (one) Pamyla.

And in effect, Hesiod, in his Hierarchy, placed the good demons (call them angels if you will, or geniuses,) as intercessors and mediators betwixt the gods and men, they being of a degree inferior to the gods, but superior to men.  And for that through their hands the riches and benefits we get from heaven are dealt to us, and that they are continually doing us good and still protecting us from evil, he saith that they exercise the offices of kings; because to do always good, and never ill, is an act most singularly royal.

Just such another was the emperor of the universe, Alexander the Macedonian.  After this manner was Hercules sovereign possessor of the whole continent, relieving men from monstrous oppressions, exactions, and tyrannies; governing them with discretion, maintaining them in equity and justice, instructing them with seasonable policies and wholesome laws, convenient for and suitable to the soil, climate, and disposition of the country, supplying what was wanting, abating what was superfluous, and pardoning all that was past, with a sempiternal forgetfulness of all preceding offences, as was the amnesty of the Athenians, when by the prowess, valour, and industry of Thrasybulus the tyrants were exterminated; afterwards at Rome by Cicero exposed, and renewed under the Emperor Aurelian.  These are the philtres, allurements, iynges, inveiglements, baits, and enticements of love, by the means whereof that may be peaceably revived which was painfully acquired.  Nor can a conqueror reign more happily, whether he be a monarch, emperor, king, prince, or philosopher, than by making his justice to second his valour.  His valour shows itself in victory and conquest; his justice will appear in the goodwill and affection of the people, when he maketh laws, publisheth ordinances, establisheth religion, and doth what is right to everyone, as the noble poet Virgil writes of Octavian Augustus: 

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.