Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
of the place, miserably howling and weeping in concert.  Pantagruel had kept on board, and already had caused a retreat to be sounded.  Thinking that they might be related to the catchpole that was bastinadoed, we asked them the occasion of their grief.  They replied that they had too much cause to weep; for that very hour, from an exalted triple tree, two of the honestest gentlemen in Catchpole-land had been made to cut a caper on nothing.  Cut a caper on nothing, said Gymnast; my pages use to cut capers on the ground; to cut a caper on nothing should be hanging and choking, or I am out.  Ay, ay, said Friar John; you speak of it like St. John de la Palisse.

We asked them why they treated these worthy persons with such a choking hempen salad.  They told us they had only borrowed, alias stolen, the tools of the mass and hid them under the handle of the parish.  This is a very allegorical way of speaking, said Epistemon.

Chapter 4.XVII.

How Pantagruel came to the islands of Tohu and Bohu; and of the strange death of Wide-nostrils, the swallower of windmills.

That day Pantagruel came to the two islands of Tohu and Bohu, where the devil a bit we could find anything to fry with.  For one Wide-nostrils, a huge giant, had swallowed every individual pan, skillet, kettle, frying-pan, dripping-pan, and brass and iron pot in the land, for want of windmills, which were his daily food.  Whence it happened that somewhat before day, about the hour of his digestion, the greedy churl was taken very ill with a kind of a surfeit, or crudity of stomach, occasioned, as the physicians said, by the weakness of the concocting faculty of his stomach, naturally disposed to digest whole windmills at a gust, yet unable to consume perfectly the pans and skillets; though it had indeed pretty well digested the kettles and pots, as they said they knew by the hypostases and eneoremes of four tubs of second-hand drink which he had evacuated at two different times that morning.  They made use of divers remedies, according to art, to give him ease; but all would not do; the distemper prevailed over the remedies; insomuch that the famous Wide-nostrils died that morning of so strange a death that I think you ought no longer to wonder at that of the poet Aeschylus.  It had been foretold him by the soothsayers that he would die on a certain day by the ruin of something that should fall on him.  The fatal day being come in its turn, he removed himself out of town, far from all houses, trees, (rocks,) or any other things that can fall and endanger by their ruin; and strayed in a large field, trusting himself to the open sky; there very secure, as he thought, unless indeed the sky should happen to fall, which he held to be impossible.  Yet they say that the larks are much afraid of it; for if it should fall, they must all be taken.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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