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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
burnt to dust, and demolished.  Nevertheless, contrary to all their hopes and expectations, when the flame ceased, and that the faggots were quite burnt and consumed, the tower appeared as whole, sound, and entire as ever.  Caesar, after a serious consideration had thereof, commanded a compass to be taken without the distance of a stone cast from the castle round about it there, with ditches and entrenchments to form a blockade; which when the Larignans understood, they rendered themselves upon terms.  And then by a relation from them it was that Caesar learned the admirable nature and virtue of this wood, which of itself produceth neither fire, flame, nor coal, and would, therefore, in regard of that rare quality of incombustibility, have been admitted into this rank and degree of a true Pantagruelional plant; and that so much the rather, for that Pantagruel directed that all the gates, doors, angiports, windows, gutters, fretticed and embowed ceilings, cans, (cants?) and other whatsoever wooden furniture in the abbey of Theleme, should be all materiated of this kind of timber.  He likewise caused to cover therewith the sterns, stems, cook-rooms or laps, hatches, decks, courses, bends, and walls of his carricks, ships, galleons, galleys, brigantines, foists, frigates, crears, barques, floats, pinks, pinnaces, hoys, ketches, capers, and other vessels of his Thalassian arsenal; were it not that the wood or timber of the larch-tree, being put within a large and ample furnace full of huge vehemently flaming fire proceeding from the fuel of other sorts and kinds of wood, cometh at last to be corrupted, consumed, dissipated, and destroyed, as are stones in a lime-kiln.  But this Pantagruelion Asbeston is rather by the fire renewed and cleansed than by the flames thereof consumed or changed.  Therefore,

  Arabians, Indians, Sabaeans,
  Sing not, in hymns and Io Paeans,
  Your incense, myrrh, or ebony. 
  Come here, a nobler plant to see,
  And carry home, at any rate,
  Some seed, that you may propagate. 
  If in your soil it takes, to heaven
  A thousand thousand thanks be given;
  And say with France, it goodly goes,
  Where the Pantagruelion grows.

END OF BOOK III

BOOK IV.

THE FOURTH BOOK

The Translator’s Preface.

Reader,—­I don’t know what kind of a preface I must write to find thee courteous, an epithet too often bestowed without a cause.  The author of this work has been as sparing of what we call good nature, as most readers are nowadays.  So I am afraid his translator and commentator is not to expect much more than has been showed them.  What’s worse, there are but two sorts of taking prefaces, as there are but two kinds of prologues to plays; for Mr. Bays was doubtless in the right when he said that if thunder and lightning could not fright

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