Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
in the very bough of the elbow of the said dexter arm, the whole cubit thereof, by leisure, fair and softly, at these thumpatory warnings, did raise and elevate itself even to the elbow, and above it; on a sudden did he then let it fall down as low as before, and after that, at certain intervals and such spaces of time, raising and abasing it, he made a show thereof to Panurge.  This so incensed Panurge that he forthwith lifted his hand to have stricken him the dumb roister and given him a sound whirret on the ear, but that the respect and reverence which he carried to the presence of Pantagruel restrained his choler and kept his fury within bounds and limits.  Then said Pantagruel, If the bare signs now vex and trouble you, how much more grievously will you be perplexed and disquieted with the real things which by them are represented and signified!  All truths agree and are consonant with one another.  This dumb fellow prophesieth and foretelleth that you will be married, cuckolded, beaten, and robbed.  As for the marriage, quoth Panurge, I yield thereto, and acknowledge the verity of that point of his prediction; as for the rest, I utterly abjure and deny it:  and believe, sir, I beseech you, if it may please you so to do, that in the matter of wives and horses never any man was predestinated to a better fortune than I.

Chapter 3.XXI.

How Panurge consulteth with an old French poet, named Raminagrobis.

I never thought, said Pantagruel, to have encountered with any man so headstrong in his apprehensions, or in his opinions so wilful, as I have found you to be and see you are.  Nevertheless, the better to clear and extricate your doubts, let us try all courses, and leave no stone unturned nor wind unsailed by.  Take good heed to what I am to say unto you.  The swans, which are fowls consecrated to Apollo, never chant but in the hour of their approaching death, especially in the Meander flood, which is a river that runneth along some of the territories of Phrygia.  This I say, because Aelianus and Alexander Myndius write that they had seen several swans in other places die, but never heard any of them sing or chant before their death.  However, it passeth for current that the imminent death of a swan is presaged by his foregoing song, and that no swan dieth until preallably he have sung.

After the same manner, poets, who are under the protection of Apollo, when they are drawing near their latter end do ordinarily become prophets, and by the inspiration of that god sing sweetly in vaticinating things which are to come.  It hath been likewise told me frequently, that old decrepit men upon the brinks of Charon’s banks do usher their decease with a disclosure all at ease, to those that are desirous of such informations, of the determinate and assured truth of future accidents and contingencies.  I remember also that Aristophanes, in a certain comedy of his, calleth the old folks

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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