Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

In taking this course I save the expense of the weed-grubbers, who gain money,—­of the reapers in harvest-time, who drink lustily, and without water,—­of gleaners, who will expect their cakes and bannocks,—­of threshers, who leave no garlic, scallions, leeks, nor onions in our gardens, by the authority of Thestilis in Virgil,—­and of the millers, who are generally thieves,—­and of the bakers, who are little better.  Is this small saving or frugality?  Besides the mischief and damage of the field-mice, the decay of barns, and the destruction usually made by weasels and other vermin.

Of corn in the blade you may make good green sauce of a light concoction and easy digestion, which recreates the brain and exhilarates the animal spirits, rejoiceth the sight, openeth the appetite, delighteth the taste, comforteth the heart, tickleth the tongue, cheereth the countenance, striking a fresh and lively colour, strengthening the muscles, tempers the blood, disburdens the midriff, refresheth the liver, disobstructs the spleen, easeth the kidneys, suppleth the reins, quickens the joints of the back, cleanseth the urine-conduits, dilates the spermatic vessels, shortens the cremasters, purgeth the bladder, puffeth up the genitories, correcteth the prepuce, hardens the nut, and rectifies the member.  It will make you have a current belly to trot, fart, dung, piss, sneeze, cough, spit, belch, spew, yawn, snuff, blow, breathe, snort, sweat, and set taut your Robin, with a thousand other rare advantages.  I understand you very well, says Pantagruel; you would thereby infer that those of a mean spirit and shallow capacity have not the skill to spend much in a short time.  You are not the first in whose conceit that heresy hath entered.  Nero maintained it, and above all mortals admired most his uncle Caius Caligula, for having in a few days, by a most wonderfully pregnant invention, totally spent all the goods and patrimony which Tiberius had left him.

But, instead of observing the sumptuous supper-curbing laws of the Romans —­to wit, the Orchia, the Fannia, the Didia, the Licinia, the Cornelia, the Lepidiana, the Antia, and of the Corinthians—­by the which they were inhibited, under pain of great punishment, not to spend more in one year than their annual revenue did amount to, you have offered up the oblation of Protervia, which was with the Romans such a sacrifice as the paschal lamb was amongst the Jews, wherein all that was eatable was to be eaten, and the remainder to be thrown into the fire, without reserving anything for the next day.  I may very justly say of you, as Cato did of Albidius, who after that he had by a most extravagant expense wasted all the means and possessions he had to one only house, he fairly set it on fire, that he might the better say, Consummatum est.  Even just as since his time St. Thomas Aquinas did, when he had eaten up the whole lamprey, although there was no necessity in it.

Chapter 3.III.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.