Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
This is, o’ my word, even just such another feast as was that of the Lapithae, described by the philosopher of Samosata.  One of the bums had lost his tongue.  The other two, tho’ they had more need to complain, made their excuse as well as they could, protesting that they had no ill design in this dumbfounding; begging that, for goodness sake, they would forgive them; and so, tho’ they could hardly budge a foot, or wag along, away they crawled.  About a mile from Basche’s seat, the catchpole found himself somewhat out of sorts.  The bums got to L’Isle Bouchart, publicly saying that since they were born they had never seen an honester gentleman than the Lord of Basche, or civiller people than his, and that they had never been at the like wedding (which I verily believe); but that it was their own faults if they had been tickled off, and tossed about from post to pillar, since themselves had began the beating.  So they lived I cannot exactly tell you how many days after this.  But from that time to this it was held for a certain truth that Basche’s money was more pestilential, mortal, and pernicious to the catchpoles and bums than were formerly the aurum Tholosanum and the Sejan horse to those that possessed them.  Ever since this he lived quietly, and Basche’s wedding grew into a common proverb.

Chapter 4.XVI.

How Friar John made trial of the nature of the catchpoles.

This story would seem pleasant enough, said Pantagruel, were we not to have always the fear of God before our eyes.  It had been better, said Epistemon, if those gauntlets had fallen upon the fat prior.  Since he took a pleasure in spending his money partly to vex Basche, partly to see those catchpoles banged, good lusty thumps would have done well on his shaved crown, considering the horrid concussions nowadays among those puny judges.  What harm had done those poor devils the catchpoles?  This puts me in mind, said Pantagruel, of an ancient Roman named L. Neratius.  He was of noble blood, and for some time was rich; but had this tyrannical inclination, that whenever he went out of doors he caused his servants to fill their pockets with gold and silver, and meeting in the street your spruce gallants and better sort of beaux, without the least provocation, for his fancy, he used to strike them hard on the face with his fist; and immediately after that, to appease them and hinder them from complaining to the magistrates, he would give them as much money as satisfied them according to the law of the twelve tables.  Thus he used to spend his revenue, beating people for the price of his money.  By St. Bennet’s sacred boot, quoth Friar John, I will know the truth of it presently.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.