Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
an audience into complaisance, the sight of the poet with a rope about his neck might work them into pity.  Some, indeed, have bullied many of you into applause, and railed at your faults that you might think them without any; and others, more safely, have spoken kindly of you, that you might think, or at least speak, as favourably of them, and be flattered into patience.  Now, I fancy, there’s nothing less difficult to attempt than the first method; for, in this blessed age, ’tis as easy to find a bully without courage, as a whore without beauty, or a writer without wit; though those qualifications are so necessary in their respective professions.  The mischief is, that you seldom allow any to rail besides yourselves, and cannot bear a pride which shocks your own.  As for wheedling you into a liking of a work, I must confess it seems the safest way; but though flattery pleases you well when it is particular, you hate it, as little concerning you, when it is general.  Then we knights of the quill are a stiff-necked generation, who as seldom care to seem to doubt the worth of our writings, and their being liked, as we love to flatter more than one at a time; and had rather draw our pens, and stand up for the beauty of our works (as some arrant fools use to do for that of their mistresses) to the last drop of our ink.  And truly this submission, which sometimes wheedles you into pity, as seldom decoys you into love, as the awkward cringing of an antiquated fop, as moneyless as he is ugly, affects an experienced fair one.  Now we as little value your pity as a lover his mistress’s, well satisfied that it is only a less uncivil way of dismissing us.  But what if neither of these two ways will work upon you, of which doleful truth some of our playwrights stand so many living monuments?  Why, then, truly I think on no other way at present but blending the two into one; and, from this marriage of huffing and cringing, there will result a new kind of careless medley, which, perhaps, will work upon both sorts of readers, those who are to be hectored, and those whom we must creep to.  At least, it is like to please by its novelty; and it will not be the first monster that has pleased you when regular nature could not do it.

If uncommon worth, lively wit, and deep learning, wove into wholesome satire, a bold, good, and vast design admirably pursued, truth set out in its true light, and a method how to arrive to its oracle, can recommend a work, I am sure this has enough to please any reasonable man.  The three books published some time since, which are in a manner an entire work, were kindly received; yet, in the French, they come far short of these two, which are also entire pieces; for the satire is all general here, much more obvious, and consequently more entertaining.  Even my long explanatory preface was not thought improper.  Though I was so far from being allowed time to make it methodical, that at first only a few pages were

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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