Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

He said t’other day, at a full chapter, that he had a great mind to eat the soul of one of the fraternity of the cowl that had forgot to speak for himself in his sermon, and he promised double pay and a large pension to anyone that should bring him such a titbit piping hot.  We all went a-hunting after such a rarity, but came home without the prey; for they all admonish the good women to remember their convent.  As for afternoon nunchions, he has left them off since he was so woefully griped with the colic; his fosterers, sutlers, charcoal-men, and boiling cooks having been sadly mauled and peppered off in the northern countries.

His high devilship sups very well on tradesmen, usurers, apothecaries, cheats, coiners, and adulterers of wares.  Now and then, when he is on the merry pin, his second supper is of serving-wenches who, after they have by stealth soaked their faces with their master’s good liquor, fill up the vessel with it at second hand, or with other stinking water.

Well, drudge on, boor, drudge on; I am going to tempt the students of Trebisonde to leave father and mother, forego for ever the established and common rule of living, disclaim and free themselves from obeying their lawful sovereign’s edicts, live in absolute liberty, proudly despise everyone, laugh at all mankind, and taking the fine jovial little cap of poetic licence, become so many pretty hobgoblins.

Chapter 4.XLVII.

How the devil was deceived by an old woman of Pope-Figland.

The country lob trudged home very much concerned and thoughtful, you may swear; insomuch that his good woman, seeing him thus look moping, weened that something had been stolen from him at market; but when she had heard the cause of his affliction and seen his budget well lined with coin, she bade him be of good cheer, assuring him that he would be never the worse for the scratching bout in question; wishing him only to leave her to manage that business, and not trouble his head about it; for she had already contrived how to bring him off cleverly.  Let the worst come to the worst, said the husbandman, it will be but a scratch; for I’ll yield at the first stroke, and quit the field.  Quit a fart, replied the wife; he shall have none of the field.  Rely upon me, and be quiet; let me alone to deal with him.  You say he is a pimping little devil, that is enough; I will soon make him give up the field, I will warrant you.  Indeed, had he been a great devil, it had been somewhat.

The day that we landed in the island happened to be that which the devil had fixed for the combat.  Now the countryman having, like a good Catholic, very fairly confessed himself, and received betimes in the morning, by the advice of the vicar had hid himself, all but the snout, in the holy-water pot, in the posture in which we found him; and just as they were telling us this story, news came that the old woman had fooled the devil and gained the field.  You may not be sorry, perhaps, to hear how this happened.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.