Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

This flaunting Euripides, cried Panurge, was gabbling against women every foot, and therefore was devoured by dogs, as a judgment from above; as Aristophanes observes.  Let’s go on.  Let him speak that is next.  I can leak now like any stone-horse, said then Epistemon.  I am, said Xenomanes, full as an egg and round as a hoop; my ship’s hold can hold no more, and will now make shift to bear a steady sail.  Said Carpalin, A truce with thirst, a truce with hunger; they are strong, but wine and meat are stronger.  I’m no more in the dumps cried Panurge; my heart’s a pound lighter.  I’m in the right cue now, as brisk as a body-louse, and as merry as a beggar.  For my part, I know what I do when I drink; and it is a true thing (though ’tis in your Euripides) that is said by that jolly toper Silenus of blessed memory, that—­

  The man’s emphatically mad,
  Who drinks the best, yet can be sad.

We must not fail to return our humble and hearty thanks to the Being who, with this good bread, this cool delicious wine, these good meats and rare dainties, removes from our bodies and minds these pains and perturbations, and at the same time fills us with pleasure and with food.

But methinks, sir, you did not give an answer to Friar John’s question; which, as I take it, was how to raise good weather.  Since you ask no more than this easy question, answered Pantagruel, I’ll strive to give you satisfaction; and some other time we’ll talk of the rest of the problems, if you will.

Well then, Friar John asked how good weather might be raised.  Have we not raised it?  Look up and see our full topsails.  Hark how the wind whistles through the shrouds, what a stiff gale it blows.  Observe the rattling of the tacklings, and see the sheets that fasten the mainsail behind; the force of the wind puts them upon the stretch.  While we passed our time merrily, the dull weather also passed away; and while we raised the glasses to our mouths, we also raised the wind by a secret sympathy in nature.

Thus Atlas and Hercules clubbed to raise and underprop the falling sky, if you’ll believe the wise mythologists, but they raised it some half an inch too high, Atlas to entertain his guest Hercules more pleasantly, and Hercules to make himself amends for the thirst which some time before had tormented him in the deserts of Africa.  Your good father, said Friar John, interrupting him, takes care to free many people from such an inconveniency; for I have been told by many venerable doctors that his chief-butler, Turelupin, saves above eighteen hundred pipes of wine yearly to make servants, and all comers and goers, drink before they are a-dry.  As the camels and dromedaries of a caravan, continued Pantagruel, use to drink for the thirst that’s past, for the present, and for that to come, so did Hercules; and being thus excessively raised, this gave new motion to the sky, which is that of titubation and trepidation, about which our crackbrained astrologers make such a pother.  This, said Panurge, makes the saying good: 

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.