Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
roots, in the earth; and their feet, that is, their branches, upside down; as if a man should stand on his head with outstretched legs.  And as you, battered sinners, on whom Venus has bestowed something to remember her, feel the approach of rains, winds, cold, and every change of weather, at your ischiatic legs and your omoplates, by means of the perpetual almanack which she has fixed there; so these trees have notice given them, by certain sensations which they have at their roots, stocks, gums, paps, or marrow, of the growth of the staves under them, and accordingly they prepare suitable points and blades for them beforehand.  Yet as all things, except God, are sometimes subject to error, nature itself not free from it when it produceth monstrous things, likewise I observed something amiss in these trees.  For a half-pike that grew up high enough to reach the branches of one of these instrumentiferous trees, happened no sooner to touch them but, instead of being joined to an iron head, it impaled a stubbed broom at the fundament.  Well, no matter, ’twill serve to sweep the chimney.  Thus a partizan met with a pair of garden shears.  Come, all’s good for something; ’twill serve to nip off little twigs and destroy caterpillars.  The staff of a halberd got the blade of a scythe, which made it look like a hermaphrodite.  Happy-be-lucky, ’tis all a case; ’twill serve for some mower.  Oh, ’tis a great blessing to put our trust in the Lord!  As we went back to our ships I spied behind I don’t know what bush, I don’t know what folks, doing I don’t know what business, in I don’t know what posture, scouring I don’t know what tools, in I don’t know what manner, and I don’t know what place.

Chapter 5.X.

How Pantagruel arrived at the island of Sharping.

We left the island of Tools to pursue our voyage, and the next day stood in for the island of Sharping, the true image of Fontainebleau, for the land is so very lean that the bones, that is, the rocks, shoot through its skin.  Besides, ’tis sandy, barren, unhealthy, and unpleasant.  Our pilot showed us there two little square rocks which had eight equal points in the shape of a cube.  They were so white that I might have mistaken them for alabaster or snow, had he not assured us they were made of bone.

He told us that twenty chance devils very much feared in our country dwelt there in six different storeys, and that the biggest twins or braces of them were called sixes, and the smallest ambs-ace; the rest cinques, quatres, treys, and deuces.  When they were conjured up, otherwise coupled, they were called either sice cinque, sice quatre, sice trey, sice deuce, and sice ace; or cinque quatre, cinque trey, and so forth.  I made there a shrewd observation.  Would you know what ’tis, gamesters?  ’Tis that there are very few of you in the world but what call upon and invoke the devils.  For the dice are

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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