Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
who knows warily how to prevent the inconveniences of poverty, is called a worldly wise man, though perhaps in the second judgment of the intelligences which are above he be esteemed a fool,—­so, on the contrary, is he most like, even in the thoughts of all celestial spirits, to be not only sage, but to presage events to come by divine inspiration, who laying quite aside those cares which are conducible to his body or his fortunes, and, as it were, departing from himself, rids all his senses of terrene affections, and clears his fancies of those plodding studies which harbour in the minds of thriving men.  All which neglects of sublunary things are vulgarily imputed folly.  After this manner, the son of Picus, King of the Latins, the great soothsayer Faunus, was called Fatuus by the witless rabble of the common people.  The like we daily see practised amongst the comic players, whose dramatic roles, in distribution of the personages, appoint the acting of the fool to him who is the wisest of the troop.  In approbation also of this fashion the mathematicians allow the very same horoscope to princes and to sots.  Whereof a right pregnant instance by them is given in the nativities of Aeneas and Choroebus; the latter of which two is by Euphorion said to have been a fool, and yet had with the former the same aspects and heavenly genethliac influences.

I shall not, I suppose, swerve much from the purpose in hand, if I relate unto you what John Andrew said upon the return of a papal writ, which was directed to the mayor and burgesses of Rochelle, and after him by Panorme, upon the same pontifical canon; Barbatias on the Pandects, and recently by Jason in his Councils, concerning Seyny John, the noted fool of Paris, and Caillet’s fore great-grandfather.  The case is this.

At Paris, in the roastmeat cookery of the Petit Chastelet, before the cookshop of one of the roastmeat sellers of that lane, a certain hungry porter was eating his bread, after he had by parcels kept it a while above the reek and steam of a fat goose on the spit, turning at a great fire, and found it, so besmoked with the vapour, to be savoury; which the cook observing, took no notice, till after having ravined his penny loaf, whereof no morsel had been unsmokified, he was about decamping and going away.  But, by your leave, as the fellow thought to have departed thence shot-free, the master-cook laid hold upon him by the gorget, and demanded payment for the smoke of his roast meat.  The porter answered, that he had sustained no loss at all; that by what he had done there was no diminution made of the flesh; that he had taken nothing of his, and that therefore he was not indebted to him in anything.  As for the smoke in question, that, although he had not been there, it would howsoever have been evaporated; besides, that before that time it had never been seen nor heard that roastmeat smoke was sold upon the streets of Paris.  The cook hereto replied, that he was

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.