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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
mind, through his rash opinion of the improbability of performing a so strange and impossible-like undertaking, dismissed the merchant without giving ear to what he had to say, and vilified him.  What could it have cost him to hearken unto what the honest man had invented and contrived for his good?  What detriment, annoyance, damage, or loss could he have undergone to listen to the discovery of that secret which the good fellow would have most willingly revealed unto him?  Nature, I am persuaded, did not without a cause frame our ears open, putting thereto no gate at all, nor shutting them up with any manner of enclosures, as she hath done unto the tongue, the eyes, and other such out-jetting parts of the body.  The cause, as I imagine, is to the end that every day and every night, and that continually, we may be ready to hear, and by a perpetual hearing apt to learn.  For, of all the senses, it is the fittest for the reception of the knowledge of arts, sciences, and disciplines; and it may be that man was an angel, that is to say, a messenger sent from God, as Raphael was to Tobit.  Too suddenly did he contemn, despise, and misregard him; but too long thereafter, by an untimely and too late repentance, did he do penance for it.  You say very well, answered Epistemon, yet shall you never for all that induce me to believe that it can tend any way to the advantage or commodity of a man to take advice and counsel of a woman, namely, of such a woman, and the woman of such a country.  Truly I have found, quoth Panurge, a great deal of good in the counsel of women, chiefly in that of the old wives amongst them; for every time I consult with them I readily get a stool or two extraordinary, to the great solace of my bumgut passage.  They are as sleuthhounds in the infallibility of their scent, and in their sayings no less sententious than the rubrics of the law.  Therefore in my conceit it is not an improper kind of speech to call them sage or wise women.  In confirmation of which opinion of mine, the customary style of my language alloweth them the denomination of presage women.  The epithet of sage is due unto them because they are surpassing dexterous in the knowledge of most things.  And I give them the title of presage, for that they divinely foresee and certainly foretell future contingencies and events of things to come.  Sometimes I call them not maunettes, but monettes, from their wholesome monitions.  Whether it be so, ask Pythagoras, Socrates, Empedocles, and our master Ortuinus.  I furthermore praise and commend above the skies the ancient memorable institution of the pristine Germans, who ordained the responses and documents of old women to be highly extolled, most cordially reverenced, and prized at a rate in nothing inferior to the weight, test, and standard of the sanctuary.  And as they were respectfully prudent in receiving of these sound advices, so by honouring and following them did they prove no less fortunate in the happy
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