Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

  Emati ke tritato Phthien eribolon ikoimen,

  We, the third day, to fertile Pthia came—­

thereby foresaw that on the third subsequent day he was to die.  Of the truth whereof he assured Aeschines; as Plato, in Critone, Cicero, in Primo, de Divinatione, Diogenes Laertius, and others, have to the full recorded in their works.  The like is also witnessed by Opilius Macrinus, to whom, being desirous to know if he should be the Roman emperor, befell, by chance of lot, this sentence in the Eighth of the Iliads—­

  O geron, e mala de se neoi teirousi machetai,
  Ze de bin lelutai, chalepon de se geras opazei.

  Dotard, new warriors urge thee to be gone. 
  Thy life decays, and old age weighs thee down.

In fact, he, being then somewhat ancient, had hardly enjoyed the sovereignty of the empire for the space of fourteen months, when by Heliogabalus, then both young and strong, he was dispossessed thereof, thrust out of all, and killed.  Brutus doth also bear witness of another experiment of this nature, who willing, through this exploratory way by lot, to learn what the event and issue should be of the Pharsalian battle wherein he perished, he casually encountered on this verse, said of Patroclus in the Sixteenth of the Iliads—­

  Alla me moir oloe, kai Letous ektanen uios.

  Fate, and Latona’s son have shot me dead.

And accordingly Apollo was the field-word in the dreadful day of that fight.  Divers notable things of old have likewise been foretold and known by casting of Virgilian lots; yea, in matters of no less importance than the obtaining of the Roman empire, as it happened to Alexander Severus, who, trying his fortune at the said kind of lottery, did hit upon this verse written in the Sixth of the Aeneids—­

  Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento.

  Know, Roman, that thy business is to reign.

He, within very few years thereafter, was effectually and in good earnest created and installed Roman emperor.  A semblable story thereto is related of Adrian, who, being hugely perplexed within himself out of a longing humour to know in what account he was with the Emperor Trajan, and how large the measure of that affection was which he did bear unto him, had recourse, after the manner above specified, to the Maronian lottery, which by haphazard tendered him these lines out of the Sixth of the Aeneids—­

  Quis procul ille autem, ramis insignis olivae
  Sacra ferens?  Nosco crines incanaque menta
  Regis Romani.

  But who is he, conspicuous from afar,
  With olive boughs, that doth his offerings bear? 
  By the white hair and beard I know him plain,
  The Roman king.

Shortly thereafter was he adopted by Trajan, and succeeded to him in the empire.  Moreover, to the lot of the praiseworthy Emperor Claudius befell this line of Virgil, written in the Sixth of his Aeneids—­

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.