Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

Believe me, sir, said Friar John, let’s rather land; we will rid the world of that vermin, and inn there for nothing.  Old Nick go with thee for me, quoth Panurge.  This rash hairbrained devil of a friar fears nothing, but ventures and runs on like a mad devil as he is, and cares not a rush what becomes of others; as if everyone was a monk, like his friarship.  A pox on grinning honour, say I. Go to, returned the friar, thou mangy noddy-peak! thou forlorn druggle-headed sneaksby! and may a million of black devils anatomize thy cockle brain.  The hen-hearted rascal is so cowardly that he berays himself for fear every day.  If thou art so afraid, dunghill, do not go; stay here and be hanged; or go and hide thy loggerhead under Madam Proserpine’s petticoat.

Panurge hearing this, his breech began to make buttons; so he slunk in in an instant, and went to hide his head down in the bread-room among the musty biscuits and the orts and scraps of broken bread.

Pantagruel in the meantime said to the rest:  I feel a pressing retraction in my soul, which like a voice admonishes me not to land there.  Whenever I have felt such a motion within me I have found myself happy in avoiding what it directed me to shun, or in undertaking what it prompted me to do; and I never had occasion to repent following its dictates.

As much, said Epistemon, is related of the daemon of Socrates, so celebrated among the Academics.  Well then, sir, said Friar John, while the ship’s crew water have you a mind to have good sport?  Panurge is got down somewhere in the hold, where he is crept into some corner, and lurks like a mouse in a cranny.  Let ’em give the word for the gunner to fire yon gun over the round-house on the poop; this will serve to salute the Muses of this Anti-parnassus; besides, the powder does but decay in it.  You are in the right, said Pantagruel; here, give the word for the gunner.

The gunner immediately came, and was ordered by Pantagruel to fire that gun, and then charge it with fresh powder, which was soon done.  The gunners of the other ships, frigates, galleons, and galleys of the fleet, hearing us fire, gave every one a gun to the island; which made such a horrid noise that you would have sworn heaven had been tumbling about our ears.

Chapter 4.LXVII.

How Panurge berayed himself for fear; and of the huge cat Rodilardus, which he took for a puny devil.

Panurge, like a wild, addle-pated, giddy-goat, sallies out of the bread-room in his shirt, with nothing else about him but one of his stockings, half on, half off, about his heel, like a rough-footed pigeon; his hair and beard all bepowdered with crumbs of bread in which he had been over head and ears, and a huge and mighty puss partly wrapped up in his other stocking.  In this equipage, his chaps moving like a monkey’s who’s a-louse-hunting, his eyes staring like a dead pig’s, his teeth chattering, and his bum quivering, the poor dog fled to Friar John, who was then sitting by the chain-wales of the starboard side of the ship, and prayed him heartily to take pity on him and keep him in the safeguard of his trusty bilbo; swearing, by his share of Papimany, that he had seen all hell broke loose.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.