Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
year?  If a man would make the best of it, answered the ploughman, ’twere fit he sow it with radish.  Now, cried the devil, thou talkest like an honest fellow, bumpkin.  Well, sow me good store of radish, I’ll see and keep them safe from storms, and will not hail a bit on them.  But hark ye me, this time I bespeak for my share what shall be above ground; what’s under shall be thine.  Drudge on, looby, drudge on.  I am going to tempt heretics; their souls are dainty victuals when broiled in rashers and well powdered.  My Lord Lucifer has the griping in the guts; they’ll make a dainty warm dish for his honour’s maw.

When the season of radishes was come, our devil failed not to meet in the field, with a train of rascally underlings, all waiting devils, and finding there the farmer and his men, he began to cut and gather the leaves of the radishes.  After him the farmer with his spade dug up the radishes, and clapped them up into pouches.  This done, the devil, the farmer, and their gangs, hied them to market, and there the farmer presently made good money of his radishes; but the poor devil took nothing; nay, what was worse, he was made a common laughing-stock by the gaping hoidens.  I see thou hast played me a scurvy trick, thou villainous fellow, cried the angry devil; at last I am fully resolved even to make an end of the business betwixt thee and myself about the ground, and these shall be the terms:  we will clapperclaw each other, and whoever of us two shall first cry Hold, shall quit his share of the field, which shall wholly belong to the conqueror.  I fix the time for this trial of skill on this day seven-night; assure thyself that I’ll claw thee off like a devil.  I was going to tempt your fornicators, bailiffs, perplexers of causes, scriveners, forgers of deeds, two-handed counsellors, prevaricating solicitors, and other such vermin; but they were so civil as to send me word by an interpreter that they are all mine already.  Besides, our master Lucifer is so cloyed with their souls that he often sends them back to the smutty scullions and slovenly devils of his kitchen, and they scarce go down with them, unless now and then, when they are high-seasoned.

Some say there is no breakfast like a student’s, no dinner like a lawyer’s, no afternoon’s nunchion like a vine-dresser’s, no supper like a tradesman’s, no second supper like a serving-wench’s, and none of these meals equal to a frockified hobgoblin’s.  All this is true enough.  Accordingly, at my Lord Lucifer’s first course, hobgoblins, alias imps in cowls, are a standing dish.  He willingly used to breakfast on students; but, alas!  I do not know by what ill luck they have of late years joined the Holy Bible to their studies; so the devil a one we can get down among us; and I verily believe that unless the hypocrites of the tribe of Levi help us in it, taking from the enlightened book-mongers their St. Paul, either by threats, revilings, force, violence, fire, and faggot, we shall not be able to hook in any more of them to nibble at below.  He dines commonly on counsellors, mischief-mongers, multipliers of lawsuits, such as wrest and pervert right and law and grind and fleece the poor; he never fears to want any of these.  But who can endure to be wedded to a dish?

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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