Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

Cheer up, cried out Pantagruel; cheer up, my boys; let us be ourselves again.  Do you see yonder, close by our ship, two barks, three sloops, five ships, eight pinks, four yawls, and six frigates making towards us, sent by the good people of the neighbouring island to our relief?  But who is this Ucalegon below, that cries and makes such a sad moan?  Were it not that I hold the mast firmly with both my hands, and keep it straighter than two hundred tacklings—­I would—­It is, said Friar John, that poor devil Panurge, who is troubled with a calf’s ague; he quakes for fear when his belly’s full.  If, said Pantagruel, he hath been afraid during this dreadful hurricane and dangerous storm, provided (waiving that) he hath done his part like a man, I do not value him a jot the less for it.  For as to fear in all encounters is the mark of a heavy and cowardly heart, as Agamemnon did, who for that reason is ignominiously taxed by Achilles with having dog’s eyes and a stag’s heart; so, not to fear when the case is evidently dreadful is a sign of want or smallness of judgment.  Now, if anything ought to be feared in this life, next to offending God, I will not say it is death.  I will not meddle with the disputes of Socrates and the academics, that death of itself is neither bad nor to be feared, but I will affirm that this kind of shipwreck is to be feared, or nothing is.  For, as Homer saith, it is a grievous, dreadful, and unnatural thing to perish at sea.  And indeed Aeneas, in the storm that took his fleet near Sicily, was grieved that he had not died by the hand of the brave Diomedes, and said that those were three, nay four times happy, who perished in the conflagration at Troy.  No man here hath lost his life, the Lord our Saviour be eternally praised for it! but in truth here is a ship sadly out of order.  Well, we must take care to have the damage repaired.  Take heed we do not run aground and bulge her.

Chapter 4.XXIII.

How Panurge played the good fellow when the storm was over.

What cheer, ho, fore and aft? quoth Panurge.  Oh ho! all is well, the storm is over.  I beseech ye, be so kind as to let me be the first that is sent on shore; for I would by all means a little untruss a point.  Shall I help you still?  Here, let me see, I will coil this rope; I have plenty of courage, and of fear as little as may be.  Give it me yonder, honest tar.  No, no, I have not a bit of fear.  Indeed, that same decumane wave that took us fore and aft somewhat altered my pulse.  Down with your sails; well said.  How now, Friar John? you do nothing.  Is it time for us to drink now?  Who can tell but St. Martin’s running footman Belzebuth may still be hatching us some further mischief?  Shall I come and help you again?  Pork and peas choke me, if I do heartily repent, though too late, not having followed the doctrine of the good philosopher who tells us that to walk by the sea and to navigate by the shore are very safe and pleasant things; just as ’tis to go on foot when we hold our horse by the bridle.  Ha! ha! ha! by G—­, all goes well.  Shall I help you here too?  Let me see, I will do this as it should be, or the devil’s in’t.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.