Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
Sibyls, Eith o geron Zibullia.  For as when, being upon a pier by the shore, we see afar off mariners, seafaring men, and other travellers alongst the curled waves of azure Thetis within their ships, we then consider them in silence only, and seldom proceed any further than to wish them a happy and prosperous arrival; but when they do approach near to the haven, and come to wet their keels within their harbour, then both with words and gestures we salute them, and heartily congratulate their access safe to the port wherein we are ourselves.  Just so the angels, heroes, and good demons, according to the doctrine of the Platonics, when they see mortals drawing near unto the harbour of the grave, as the most sure and calmest port of any, full of repose, ease, rest, tranquillity, free from the troubles and solicitudes of this tumultuous and tempestuous world; then is it that they with alacrity hail and salute them, cherish and comfort them, and, speaking to them lovingly, begin even then to bless them with illuminations, and to communicate unto them the abstrusest mysteries of divination.  I will not offer here to confound your memory by quoting antique examples of Isaac, of Jacob, of Patroclus towards Hector, of Hector towards Achilles, of Polymnestor towards Agamemnon, of Hecuba, of the Rhodian renowned by Posidonius, of Calanus the Indian towards Alexander the Great, of Orodes towards Mezentius, and of many others.  It shall suffice for the present that I commemorate unto you the learned and valiant knight and cavalier William of Bellay, late Lord of Langey, who died on the Hill of Tarara, the 10th of January, in the climacteric year of his age, and of our supputation 1543, according to the Roman account.  The last three or four hours of his life he did employ in the serious utterance of a very pithy discourse, whilst with a clear judgment and spirit void of all trouble he did foretell several important things, whereof a great deal is come to pass, and the rest we wait for.  Howbeit, his prophecies did at that time seem unto us somewhat strange, absurd, and unlikely, because there did not then appear any sign of efficacy enough to engage our faith to the belief of what he did prognosticate.  We have here, near to the town of Villomere, a man that is both old and a poet, to wit, Raminagrobis, who to his second wife espoused my Lady Broadsow, on whom he begot the fair Basoche.  It hath been told me he is a-dying, and so near unto his latter end that he is almost upon the very last moment, point, and article thereof.  Repair thither as fast as you can, and be ready to give an attentive ear to what he shall chant unto you.  It may be that you shall obtain from him what you desire, and that Apollo will be pleased by his means to clear your scruples.  I am content, quoth Panurge.  Let us go thither, Epistemon, and that both instantly and in all haste, lest otherwise his death prevent our coming.  Wilt thou come along with us, Friar John?  Yes, that I will, quoth Friar John, right heartily to do thee a courtesy, my billy-ballocks; for I love thee with the best of my milt and liver.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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