Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

Chapter 3.LII.

How a certain kind of Pantagruelion is of that nature that the fire is not able to consume it.

I have already related to you great and admirable things; but, if you might be induced to adventure upon the hazard of believing some other divinity of this sacred Pantagruelion, I very willingly would tell it you.  Believe it, if you will, or otherwise, believe it not, I care not which of them you do, they are both alike to me.  It shall be sufficient for my purpose to have told you the truth, and the truth I will tell you.  But to enter in thereat, because it is of a knaggy, difficult, and rugged access, this is the question which I ask of you.  If I had put within this bottle two pints, the one of wine and the other of water, thoroughly and exactly mingled together, how would you unmix them?  After what manner would you go about to sever them, and separate the one liquor from the other, in such sort that you render me the water apart, free from the wine, and the wine also pure, without the intermixture of one drop of water, and both of them in the same measure, quantity, and taste that I had embottled them?  Or, to state the question otherwise.  If your carmen and mariners, entrusted for the provision of your houses with the bringing of a certain considerable number of tuns, puncheons, pipes, barrels, and hogsheads of Graves wine, or of the wine of Orleans, Beaune, and Mireveaux, should drink out the half, and afterwards with water fill up the other empty halves of the vessels as full as before, as the Limosins use to do in their carriages by wains and carts of the wines of Argenton and Sangaultier; after that, how would you part the water from the wine, and purify them both in such a case?  I understand you well enough.  Your meaning is, that I must do it with an ivy funnel.  That is written, it is true, and the verity thereof explored by a thousand experiments; you have learned to do this feat before, I see it.  But those that have never known it, nor at any time have seen the like, would hardly believe that it were possible.  Let us nevertheless proceed.

But put the case, we were now living in the age of Sylla, Marius, Caesar, and other such Roman emperors, or that we were in the time of our ancient Druids, whose custom was to burn and calcine the dead bodies of their parents and lords, and that you had a mind to drink the ashes or cinders of your wives or fathers in the infused liquor of some good white-wine, as Artemisia drunk the dust and ashes of her husband Mausolus; or otherwise, that you did determine to have them reserved in some fine urn or reliquary pot; how would you save the ashes apart, and separate them from those other cinders and ashes into which the fuel of the funeral and bustuary fire hath been converted?  Answer, if you can.  By my figgins, I believe it will trouble you so to do.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.