Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
to incline to.  On the one hand, it was an execrable crime to cut off at once both her second husband and her son.  On the other hand, the cause of the murder seemed to be so natural, as to be grounded upon the law of nations and the rational instinct of all the people of the world, seeing they two together had feloniously and murderously destroyed her first son; not that they had been in any manner of way wronged, outraged, or injured by him, but out of an avaricious intent to possess his inheritance.  In this doubtful quandary and uncertainty what to pitch upon, he sent to the Areopagites then sitting at Athens to learn and obtain their advice and judgment.  That judicious senate, very sagely perpending the reasons of his perplexity, sent him word to summon her personally to compear before him a precise hundred years thereafter, to answer to some interrogatories touching certain points which were not contained in the verbal defence.  Which resolution of theirs did import that it was in their opinion a so difficult and inextricable matter that they knew not what to say or judge therein.  Who had decided that plea by the chance and fortune of the dice, could not have erred nor awarded amiss on which side soever he had passed his casting and condemnatory sentence.  If against the woman, she deserved punishment for usurping sovereign authority by taking that vengeance at her own hand, the inflicting whereof was only competent to the supreme power to administer justice in criminal cases.  If for her, the just resentment of a so atrocious injury done unto her, in murdering her innocent son, did fully excuse and vindicate her of any trespass or offence about that particular committed by her.  But this continuation of Bridlegoose for so many years still hitting the nail on the head, never missing the mark, and always judging aright, by the mere throwing of the dice and chance thereof, is that which most astonisheth and amazeth me.

To answer, quoth Pantagruel (Epistemon, says the English edition of 1694, following the reading of the modern French editions.  Le Duchat has pointed out the mistake.—­M.), categorically to that which you wonder at, I must ingeniously confess and avow that I cannot; yet, conjecturally to guess at the reason of it, I would refer the cause of that marvellously long-continued happy success in the judiciary results of his definitive sentences to the favourable aspect of the heavens and benignity of the intelligences; who, out of their love to goodness, after having contemplated the pure simplicity and sincere unfeignedness of Judge Bridlegoose in the acknowledgment of his inabilities, did regulate that for him by chance which by the profoundest act of his maturest deliberation he was not able to reach unto.  That, likewise, which possibly made him to diffide in his own skill and capacity, notwithstanding his being an expert and understanding lawyer, for anything that I know to the contrary, was the knowledge

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.