The gozal being let fly, Pantagruel perused his father Gargantua’s letter, the contents of which were as followeth:
My dearest Son,—The affection that naturally a father bears a beloved son is so much increased in me by reflecting on the particular gifts which by the divine goodness have been heaped on thee, that since thy departure it hath often banished all other thoughts out of my mind, leaving my heart wholly possessed with fear lest some misfortune has attended thy voyage; for thou knowest that fear was ever the attendant of true and sincere love. Now because, as Hesiod saith, A good beginning of anything is the half of it; or, Well begun’s half done, according to the old saying; to free my mind from this anxiety I have expressly despatched Malicorne, that he may give me a true account of thy health at the beginning of thy voyage. For if it be good, and such as I wish it, I shall easily foresee the rest.
I have met with some diverting books, which the bearer will deliver thee; thou mayest read them when thou wantest to unbend and ease thy mind from thy better studies. He will also give thee at large the news at court. The peace of the Lord be with thee. Remember me to Panurge, Friar John, Epistemon, Xenomanes, Gymnast, and thy other principal domestics. Dated at our paternal seat, this 13th day of June.
Thy father and friend, Gargantua.
How Pantagruel writ to his father Gargantua, and sent him several curiosities.