Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
from that horned champion.  He will not, trust me, have to deal in my person with a sottish, dunsical Amphitryon, nor with a silly witless Argus, for all his hundred spectacles, nor yet with the cowardly meacock Acrisius, the simple goose-cap Lycus of Thebes, the doting blockhead Agenor, the phlegmatic pea-goose Aesop, rough-footed Lycaon, the luskish misshapen Corytus of Tuscany, nor with the large-backed and strong-reined Atlas.  Let him alter, change, transform, and metamorphose himself into a hundred various shapes and figures, into a swan, a bull, a satyr, a shower of gold, or into a cuckoo, as he did when he unmaidened his sister Juno; into an eagle, ram, or dove, as when he was enamoured of the virgin Phthia, who then dwelt in the Aegean territory; into fire, a serpent, yea, even into a flea; into Epicurean and Democratical atoms, or, more Magistronostralistically, into those sly intentions of the mind, which in the schools are called second notions,—­I’ll catch him in the nick, and take him napping.  And would you know what I would do unto him?  Even that which to his father Coelum Saturn did—­Seneca foretold it of me, and Lactantius hath confirmed it—­what the goddess Rhea did to Athis.  I would make him two stone lighter, rid him of his Cyprian cymbals, and cut so close and neatly by the breech, that there shall not remain thereof so much as one—­, so cleanly would I shave him, and disable him for ever from being Pope, for Testiculos non habet.  Hold there, said Pantagruel; ho, soft and fair, my lad!  Enough of that,—­cast up, turn over the leaves, and try your fortune for the second time.  Then did he fall upon this ensuing verse: 

  Membra quatit, gelidusque coit formidine sanguis.

  His joints and members quake, he becomes pale,
  And sudden fear doth his cold blood congeal.

This importeth, quoth Pantagruel, that she will soundly bang your back and belly.  Clean and quite contrary, answered Panurge; it is of me that he prognosticates, in saying that I will beat her like a tiger if she vex me.  Sir Martin Wagstaff will perform that office, and in default of a cudgel, the devil gulp him, if I should not eat her up quick, as Candaul the Lydian king did his wife, whom he ravened and devoured.

You are very stout, says Pantagruel, and courageous; Hercules himself durst hardly adventure to scuffle with you in this your raging fury.  Nor is it strange; for the Jan is worth two, and two in fight against Hercules are too too strong.  Am I a Jan? quoth Panurge.  No, no, answered Pantagruel.  My mind was only running upon the lurch and tricktrack.  Thereafter did he hit, at the third opening of the book, upon this verse: 

  Foemineo praedae, et spoliorum ardebat amore.

  After the spoil and pillage, as in fire,
  He burnt with a strong feminine desire.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.