Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
to have perished and been cast away.  Moreover, Turnus being prompted, instigated, and stirred up by the fantastic vision of an infernal fury to enter into a bloody war against Aeneas, awaked in a start much troubled and disquieted in spirit; in sequel whereof, after many notable and famous routs, defeats, and discomfitures in open field, he came at last to be killed in a single combat by the said Aeneas.  A thousand other instances I could afford, if it were needful, of this matter.  Whilst I relate these stories of Aeneas, remark the saying of Fabius Pictor, who faithfully averred that nothing had at any time befallen unto, was done, or enterprised by him, whereof he preallably had not notice, and beforehand foreseen it to the full, by sure predictions altogether founded on the oracles of somnial divination.  To this there is no want of pregnant reasons, no more than of examples.  For if repose and rest in sleeping be a special gift and favour of the gods, as is maintained by the philosophers, and by the poet attested in these lines,

  Then sleep, that heavenly gift, came to refresh
  Of human labourers the wearied flesh;

such a gift or benefit can never finish or terminate in wrath and indignation without portending some unlucky fate and most disastrous fortune to ensue.  Otherwise it were a molestation, and not an ease; a scourge, and not a gift; at least, (not) proceeding from the gods above, but from the infernal devils our enemies, according to the common vulgar saying.

Suppose the lord, father, or master of a family, sitting at a very sumptuous dinner, furnished with all manner of good cheer, and having at his entry to the table his appetite sharp set upon his victuals, whereof there was great plenty, should be seen rise in a start, and on a sudden fling out of his chair, abandoning his meat, frighted, appalled, and in a horrid terror, who should not know the cause hereof would wonder, and be astonished exceedingly.  But what? he heard his male servants cry, Fire, fire, fire, fire! his serving-maids and women yell, Stop thief, stop thief! and all his children shout as loud as ever they could, Murder, O murder, murder!  Then was it not high time for him to leave his banqueting, for application of a remedy in haste, and to give speedy order for succouring of his distressed household?  Truly I remember that the Cabalists and Massorets, interpreters of the sacred Scriptures, in treating how with verity one might judge of evangelical apparitions (because oftentimes the angel of Satan is disguised and transfigured into an angel of light), said that the difference of these two mainly did consist in this:  the favourable and comforting angel useth in his appearing unto man at first to terrify and hugely affright him, but in the end he bringeth consolation, leaveth the person who hath seen him joyful, well-pleased, fully content, and satisfied; on the other side, the angel of perdition, that wicked, devilish, and malignant spirit, at his appearance unto any person in the beginning cheereth up the heart of his beholder, but at last forsakes him, and leaves him troubled, angry, and perplexed.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.