Then dinner being done, and the tables drawn and removed, when Pantagruel had very cordially and affectionately thanked his invited guests for the favour which he had enjoyed of their company, he presented them with several rich and costly gifts, such as jewels, rings set with precious stones, gold and silver vessels, with a great deal of other sort of plate besides, and lastly, taking of them all his leave, retired himself into an inner chamber.
How Pantagruel persuaded Panurge to take counsel of a fool.
When Pantagruel had withdrawn himself, he, by a little sloping window in one of the galleries, perceived Panurge in a lobby not far from thence, walking alone, with the gesture, carriage, and garb of a fond dotard, raving, wagging, and shaking his hands, dandling, lolling, and nodding with his head, like a cow bellowing for her calf; and, having then called him nearer, spoke unto him thus: You are at this present, as I think, not unlike to a mouse entangled in a snare, who the more that she goeth about to rid and unwind herself out of the gin wherein she is caught, by endeavouring to clear and deliver her feet from the pitch whereto they stick, the foulier she is bewrayed with it, and the more strongly pestered therein. Even so is it with you. For the more that you labour, strive, and enforce yourself to disencumber and extricate your thoughts out of the implicating involutions and fetterings of the grievous and lamentable gins and springs of anguish and perplexity, the greater difficulty there is in the relieving of you, and you remain faster bound than ever. Nor do I know for the removal of this inconveniency any remedy but one.
Take heed, I have often heard it said in a vulgar proverb, The wise may be instructed by a fool. Seeing the answers and responses of sage and judicious men have in no manner of way satisfied you, take advice of some fool, and possibly by so doing you may come to get that counsel which will be agreeable to your own heart’s desire and contentment. You know how by the advice and counsel and prediction of fools, many kings, princes, states, and commonwealths have been preserved, several battles gained, and divers doubts of a most perplexed intricacy resolved. I am not so diffident of your memory as to hold it needful to refresh it with a quotation of examples, nor do I so far undervalue your judgment but that I think it will acquiesce in the reason of this my subsequent discourse. As he who narrowly takes heed to what concerns the dexterous management of his private affairs, domestic businesses, and those adoes which are confined within the strait-laced compass of one family, who is attentive, vigilant, and active in the economic rule of his own house, whose frugal spirit never strays from home, who loseth no occasion whereby he may purchase to himself more riches, and build up new heaps of treasure on his former wealth, and