Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

Eggs fried, beaten, sliced, roasted in Green-fish.
  buttered, poached, the embers, tossed Sea-batts.
  hardened, boiled, in the chimney, &c.  Cod’s sounds.
  broiled, stewed, Stock-fish.  Sea-pikes.

Which to concoct and digest the more easily, vinegar is multiplied.  For the latter part of their sacrifices they offer: 

Rice milk, and hasty Stewed prunes, and Raisins.
  pudding. baked bullace.  Dates. 
Buttered wheat, and Pistachios, or fistic Chestnut and wal-
  flummery. nuts. nuts. 
Water-gruel, and Figs.  Filberts.
  milk-porridge.  Almond butter.  Parsnips. 
Frumenty and bonny Skirret root.  Artichokes.
  clamber.  White-pot. 
              Perpetuity of soaking with the whole.

It was none of their fault, I will assure you, if this same god of theirs was not publicly, preciously, and plentifully served in the sacrifices, better yet than Heliogabalus’s idol; nay, more than Bel and the Dragon in Babylon, under King Belshazzar.  Yet Gaster had the manners to own that he was no god, but a poor, vile, wretched creature.  And as King Antigonus, first of the name, when one Hermodotus (as poets will flatter, especially princes) in some of his fustian dubbed him a god, and made the sun adopt him for his son, said to him:  My lasanophore (or, in plain English, my groom of the close-stool) can give thee the lie; so Master Gaster very civilly used to send back his bigoted worshippers to his close-stool, to see, smell, taste, philosophize, and examine what kind of divinity they could pick out of his sir-reverence.

Chapter 4.LXI.

How Gaster invented means to get and preserve corn.

Those gastrolatrous hobgoblins being withdrawn, Pantagruel carefully minded the famous master of arts, Gaster.  You know that, by the institution of nature, bread has been assigned him for provision and food; and that, as an addition to this blessing, he should never want the means to get bread.

Accordingly, from the beginning he invented the smith’s art, and husbandry to manure the ground, that it might yield him corn; he invented arms and the art of war to defend corn; physic and astronomy, with other parts of mathematics which might be useful to keep corn a great number of years in safety from the injuries of the air, beasts, robbers, and purloiners; he invented water, wind, and handmills, and a thousand other engines to grind corn and to turn it into meal; leaven to make the dough ferment, and the use of salt to give it a savour; for he knew that nothing bred more diseases than heavy, unleavened, unsavoury bread.

He found a way to get fire to bake it; hour-glasses, dials, and clocks to mark the time of its baking; and as some countries wanted corn, he contrived means to convey some out of one country into another.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.