Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
see them in a so frantic mood run mad after lechery, and hie apace up and down with haste and lust, in quest of and to fix some chamber-standard in their Paphian ground, that never did the Proetides, Mimallonides, nor Lyaean Thyades deport themselves in the time of their bacchanalian festivals more shamelessly, or with a so affronted and brazen-faced impudency; because this terrible animal is knit unto, and hath an union with all the chief and most principal parts of the body, as to anatomists is evident.  Let it not here be thought strange that I should call it an animal, seeing therein I do no otherwise than follow and adhere to the doctrine of the academic and peripatetic philosophers.  For if a proper motion be a certain mark and infallible token of the life and animation of the mover, as Aristotle writeth, and that any such thing as moveth of itself ought to be held animated and of a living nature, then assuredly Plato with very good reason did give it the denomination of an animal, for that he perceived and observed in it the proper and self-stirring motions of suffocation, precipitation, corrugation, and of indignation so extremely violent, that oftentimes by them is taken and removed from the woman all other sense and moving whatsoever, as if she were in a swounding lipothymy, benumbing syncope, epileptic, apoplectic palsy, and true resemblance of a pale-faced death.

Furthermore, in the said member there is a manifest discerning faculty of scents and odours very perceptible to women, who feel it fly from what is rank and unsavoury, and follow fragrant and aromatic smells.  It is not unknown to me how Cl.  Galen striveth with might and main to prove that these are not proper and particular notions proceeding intrinsically from the thing itself, but accidentally and by chance.  Nor hath it escaped my notice how others of that sect have laboured hardly, yea, to the utmost of their abilities, to demonstrate that it is not a sensitive discerning or perception in it of the difference of wafts and smells, but merely a various manner of virtue and efficacy passing forth and flowing from the diversity of odoriferous substances applied near unto it.  Nevertheless, if you will studiously examine and seriously ponder and weigh in Critolaus’s balance the strength of their reasons and arguments, you shall find that they, not only in this, but in several other matters also of the like nature, have spoken at random, and rather out of an ambitious envy to check and reprehend their betters than for any design to make inquiry into the solid truth.

I will not launch my little skiff any further into the wide ocean of this dispute, only will I tell you that the praise and commendation is not mean and slender which is due to those honest and good women who, living chastely and without blame, have had the power and virtue to curb, range, and subdue that unbridled, heady, and wild animal to an obedient, submissive, and obsequious yielding unto reason.  Therefore

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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