Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

Yet—­as you know that apes esteem their young the handsomest in the world —­Antiphysis extolled her offspring, and strove to prove that their shape was handsomer and neater than that of the children of Physis, saying that thus to have spherical heads and feet, and walk in a circular manner, wheeling round, had something in it of the perfection of the divine power, which makes all beings eternally turn in that fashion; and that to have our feet uppermost, and the head below them, was to imitate the Creator of the universe; the hair being like the roots, and the legs like the branches of man; for trees are better planted by their roots than they could be by their branches.  By this demonstration she implied that her children were much more to be praised for being like a standing tree, than those of Physis, that made a figure of a tree upside down.  As for the arms and hands, she pretended to prove that they were more justly turned towards the shoulders, because that part of the body ought not to be without defence, while the forepart is duly fenced with teeth, which a man cannot only use to chew, but also to defend himself against those things that offend him.  Thus, by the testimony and astipulation of the brute beasts, she drew all the witless herd and mob of fools into her opinion, and was admired by all brainless and nonsensical people.

Since that, she begot the hypocritical tribes of eavesdropping dissemblers, superstitious pope-mongers, and priest-ridden bigots, the frantic Pistolets, (the demoniacal Calvins, impostors of Geneva,) the scrapers of benefices, apparitors with the devil in them, and other grinders and squeezers of livings, herb-stinking hermits, gulligutted dunces of the cowl, church vermin, false zealots, devourers of the substance of men, and many more other deformed and ill-favoured monsters, made in spite of nature.

Chapter 4.XXXIII.

How Pantagruel discovered a monstrous physeter, or whirlpool, near the Wild Island.

About sunset, coming near the Wild Island, Pantagruel spied afar off a huge monstrous physeter (a sort of whale, which some call a whirlpool), that came right upon us, neighing, snorting, raised above the waves higher than our main-tops, and spouting water all the way into the air before itself, like a large river falling from a mountain.  Pantagruel showed it to the pilot and to Xenomanes.

By the pilot’s advice the trumpets of the Thalamege were sounded to warn all the fleet to stand close and look to themselves.  This alarm being given, all the ships, galleons, frigates, brigantines, according to their naval discipline, placed themselves in the order and figure of an Y (upsilon), the letter of Pythagoras, as cranes do in their flight, and like an acute angle, in whose cone and basis the Thalamege placed herself ready to fight smartly.  Friar John with the grenadiers got on the forecastle.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.