I dare swear they will grant me this; for they are all so kind, so good-natured, and so generous, that they’ll ne’er boggle at so small a request. Therefore, both dry and hungry souls, pot and trenchermen, fully enjoying those books, perusing, quoting them in their merry conventicles, and observing the great mysteries of which they treat, shall gain a singular profit and fame; as in the like case was done by Alexander the Great with the books of prime philosophy composed by Aristotle.
O rare! belly on belly! what swillers, what twisters will there be!
Then be sure all you that take care not to die of the pip, be sure, I say, you take my advice, and stock yourselves with good store of such books as soon as you meet with them at the booksellers; and do not only shell those beans, but e’en swallow them down like an opiate cordial, and let them be in you; I say, let them be within you; then you shall find, my beloved, what good they do to all clever shellers of beans.
Here is a good handsome basketful of them, which I here lay before your worships; they were gathered in the very individual garden whence the former came. So I beseech you, reverend sirs, with as much respect as was ever paid by dedicating author, to accept of the gift, in hopes of somewhat better against next visit the swallows give us.
THE FIFTH BOOK.
How Pantagruel arrived at the Ringing Island, and of the noise that we heard.
Pursuing our voyage, we sailed three days without discovering anything; on the fourth we made land. Our pilot told us that it was the Ringing Island, and indeed we heard a kind of a confused and often repeated noise, that seemed to us at a great distance not unlike the sound of great, middle-sized, and little bells rung all at once, as ’tis customary at Paris, Tours, Gergeau, Nantes, and elsewhere on high holidays; and the nearer we came to the land the louder we heard that jangling.
Some of us doubted that it was the Dodonian kettle, or the portico called Heptaphone in Olympia, or the eternal humming of the colossus raised on Memnon’s tomb in Thebes of Egypt, or the horrid din that used formerly to be heard about a tomb at Lipara, one of the Aeolian islands. But this did not square with chorography.
I do not know, said Pantagruel, but that some swarms of bees hereabouts may be taking a ramble in the air, and so the neighbourhood make this dingle-dangle with pans, kettles, and basins, the corybantine cymbals of Cybele, grandmother of the gods, to call them back. Let’s hearken. When we were nearer, among the everlasting ringing of these indefatigable bells we heard the singing, as we thought, of some men. For this reason, before we offered to land on the Ringing Island, Pantagruel was of opinion that we should go in the pinnace to a small rock, near which we discovered an hermitage and a little garden.