Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

  While jolly companions carouse it together,
  A fig for the storm, it gives way to good weather.

Nay, continued Pantagruel, some will tell you that we have not only shortened the time of the calm, but also much disburthened the ship; not like Aesop’s basket, by easing it of the provision, but by breaking our fasts; and that a man is more terrestrial and heavy when fasting than when he has eaten and drank, even as they pretend that he weighs more dead than living.  However it is, you will grant they are in the right who take their morning’s draught and breakfast before a long journey; then say that the horses will perform the better, and that a spur in the head is worth two in the flank; or, in the same horse dialect—­

  That a cup in the pate
  Is a mile in the gate.

Don’t you know that formerly the Amycleans worshipped the noble Bacchus above all other gods, and gave him the name of Psila, which in the Doric dialect signifies wings; for, as the birds raise themselves by a towering flight with their wings above the clouds, so, with the help of soaring Bacchus, the powerful juice of the grape, our spirits are exalted to a pitch above themselves, our bodies are more sprightly, and their earthly parts become soft and pliant.

Chapter 4.LXVI.

How, by Pantagruel’s order, the Muses were saluted near the isle of Ganabim.

This fair wind and as fine talk brought us in sight of a high land, which Pantagruel discovering afar off, showed it Xenomanes, and asked him, Do you see yonder to the leeward a high rock with two tops, much like Mount Parnassus in Phocis?  I do plainly, answered Xenomanes; ’tis the isle of Ganabim.  Have you a mind to go ashore there?  No, returned Pantagruel.  You do well, indeed, said Xenomanes; for there is nothing worth seeing in the place.  The people are all thieves; yet there is the finest fountain in the world, and a very large forest towards the right top of the mountain.  Your fleet may take in wood and water there.

He that spoke last, spoke well, quoth Panurge; let us not by any means be so mad as to go among a parcel of thieves and sharpers.  You may take my word for’t, this place is just such another as, to my knowledge, formerly were the islands of Sark and Herm, between the smaller and the greater Britain; such as was the Poneropolis of Philip in Thrace; islands of thieves, banditti, picaroons, robbers, ruffians, and murderers, worse than raw-head and bloody-bones, and full as honest as the senior fellows of the college of iniquity, the very outcasts of the county gaol’s common-side.  As you love yourself, do not go among ’em.  If you go you’ll come off but bluely, if you come off at all.  If you will not believe me, at least believe what the good and wise Xenomanes tells you; for may I never stir if they are not worse than the very cannibals; they would certainly eat us alive.  Do not go among ’em, I pray you; it were safer to take a journey to hell.  Hark! by Cod’s body, I hear ’em ringing the alarm-bell most dreadfully, as the Gascons about Bordeaux used formerly to do against the commissaries and officers for the tax on salt, or my ears tingle.  Let’s sheer off.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.