Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Yet neither by natural equity, by the law of nations, nor by any imperial law whatsoever, hath there been found so much as one rubric, paragraph, point, or tittle, by the which any kind of chastisement or correction hath been adjudged due to be inflicted upon any for their delinquency in that kind.  Reason opposeth, and nature is repugnant.  For there is no virtuous man in the world who both naturally and with good reason will not be more hugely troubled in mind, hearing of the news of the rapt, disgrace, ignominy, and dishonour of his daughter, than of her death.  Now any man, finding in hot blood one who with a forethought felony hath murdered his daughter, may, without tying himself to the formalities and circumstances of a legal proceeding, kill him on a sudden and out of hand without incurring any hazard of being attainted and apprehended by the officers of justice for so doing.  What wonder is it then?  Or how little strange should it appear to any rational man, if a lechering rogue, together with his mole-catching abettor, be entrapped in the flagrant act of suborning his daughter, and stealing her out of his house, though herself consent thereto, that the father in such a case of stain and infamy by them brought upon his family, should put them both to a shameful death, and cast their carcasses upon dunghills to be devoured and eaten up by dogs and swine, or otherwise fling them a little further off to the direption, tearing, and rending asunder of their joints and members by the wild beasts of the field (as unworthy to receive the gentle, the desired, the last kind embraces of the great Alma Mater, the earth, commonly called burial).

Dearly beloved son, have an especial care that after my decease none of these laws be received in any of your kingdoms; for whilst I breathe, by the grace and assistance of God, I shall give good order.  Seeing, therefore, you have totally referred unto my discretion the disposure of you in marriage, I am fully of an opinion that I shall provide sufficiently well for you in that point.  Make ready and prepare yourself for Panurge’s voyage.  Take along with you Epistemon, Friar John, and such others as you will choose.  Do with my treasures what unto yourself shall seem most expedient.  None of your actions, I promise you, can in any manner of way displease me.  Take out of my arsenal Thalasse whatsoever equipage, furniture, or provision you please, together with such pilots, mariners, and truchmen as you have a mind to, and with the first fair and favourable wind set sail and make out to sea in the name of God our Saviour.  In the meanwhile, during your absence, I shall not be neglective of providing a wife for you, nor of those preparations which are requisite to be made for the more sumptuous solemnizing of your nuptials with a most splendid feast, if ever there was any in the world, since the days of Ahasuerus.

Chapter 3.XLIX.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.