Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
Nor would I have you to compare therewith the herb which Alexander Cornelius called Eonem, and said that it had some resemblance with that oak which bears the mistletoe, and that it could neither be consumed nor receive any manner of prejudice by fire nor by water, no more than the mistletoe, of which was built, said he, the so renowned ship Argos.  Search where you please for those that will believe it.  I in that point desire to be excused.  Neither would I wish you to parallel therewith—­although I cannot deny but that it is of a very marvellous nature—­that sort of tree which groweth alongst the mountains of Brianson and Ambrun, which produceth out of his root the good agaric.  From its body it yieldeth unto us a so excellent rosin, that Galen hath been bold to equal it to the turpentine.  Upon the delicate leaves thereof it retaineth for our use that sweet heavenly honey which is called the manna, and, although it be of a gummy, oily, fat, and greasy substance, it is, notwithstanding, unconsumable by any fire.  It is in Greek and Latin called Larix.  The Alpinese name is Melze.  The Antenorides and Venetians term it Larege; which gave occasion to that castle in Piedmont to receive the denomination of Larignum, by putting Julius Caesar to a stand at his return from amongst the Gauls.

Julius Caesar commanded all the yeomen, boors, hinds, and other inhabitants in, near unto, and about the Alps and Piedmont, to bring all manner of victuals and provision for an army to those places which on the military road he had appointed to receive them for the use of his marching soldiery.  To which ordinance all of them were obedient, save only those as were within the garrison of Larignum, who, trusting in the natural strength of the place, would not pay their contribution.  The emperor, purposing to chastise them for their refusal, caused his whole army to march straight towards that castle, before the gate whereof was erected a tower built of huge big spars and rafters of the larch-tree, fast bound together with pins and pegs of the same wood, and interchangeably laid on one another, after the fashion of a pile or stack of timber, set up in the fabric thereof to such an apt and convenient height that from the parapet above the portcullis they thought with stones and levers to beat off and drive away such as should approach thereto.

When Caesar had understood that the chief defence of those within the castle did consist in stones and clubs, and that it was not an easy matter to sling, hurl, dart, throw, or cast them so far as to hinder the approaches, he forthwith commanded his men to throw great store of bavins, faggots, and fascines round about the castle, and when they had made the heap of a competent height, to put them all in a fair fire; which was thereupon incontinently done.  The fire put amidst the faggots was so great and so high that it covered the whole castle, that they might well imagine the tower would thereby be altogether

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.