Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
not detested, chastised, and punished as ’tis fit it should be.  But should all their villainy be once displayed in its true colours and exposed to the people, there never was, is, nor will be any spokesman so sweet-mouthed, whose fine colloguing tongue could save ’em; nor any law so rigorous and draconic that could punish ’em as they deserve; nor yet any magistrate so powerful as to hinder their being burnt alive in their coneyburrows without mercy.  Even their own furred kittlings, friends, and relations would abominate ’em.

For this reason, as Hannibal was solemnly sworn by his father Amilcar to pursue the Romans with the utmost hatred as long as ever he lived, so my late father has enjoined me to remain here without, till God Almighty’s thunder reduce them there within to ashes, like other presumptuous Titans, profane wretches, and opposers of God; since mankind is so inured to their oppressions that they either do not remember, foresee, or have a sense of the woes and miseries which they have caused; or, if they have, either will not, dare not, or cannot root ’em out.

How, said Panurge, say you so?  Catch me there and hang me!  Damme, let’s march off!  This noble beggar has scared me worse than thunder in autumn (Motteux gives ’than the thunder would do them.’).  Upon this we were filing off; but, alas! we found ourselves trapped—­the door was double-locked and barricadoed.  Some messengers of ill news told us it was full as easy to get in there as into hell, and no less hard to get out.  Ay, there indeed lay the difficulty, for there is no getting loose without a pass and discharge in due course from the bench.  This for no other reason than because folks go easier out of a church than out of a sponging-house, and because they could not have our company when they would.  The worst on’t was when we got through the wicket; for we were carried, to get out our pass or discharge, before a more dreadful monster than ever was read of in the legends of knight-errantry.  They called him Gripe-men-all.  I can’t tell what to compare it to better than to a Chimaera, a Sphinx, a Cerberus; or to the image of Osiris, as the Egyptians represented him, with three heads, one of a roaring lion, t’other of a fawning cur, and the last of a howling, prowling wolf, twisted about with a dragon biting his tail, surrounded with fiery rays.  His hands were full of gore, his talons like those of the harpies, his snout like a hawk’s bill, his fangs or tusks like those of an overgrown brindled wild boar; his eyes were flaming like the jaws of hell, all covered with mortars interlaced with pestles, and nothing of his arms was to be seen but his clutches.  His hutch, and that of the warren-cats his collaterals, was a long, spick-and-span new rack, a-top of which (as the mumper told us) some large stately mangers were fixed in the reverse.  Over the chief seat was the picture of an old woman holding the case or scabbard of a sickle in her right hand, a pair of

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.