Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

But, said Panurge to the new-comers, how do you come by all this venison?  Methinks the great king has issued out a proclamation strictly inhibiting the destroying of stags, does, wild boars, roebucks, or other royal game, on pain of death.  All this is true enough, answered one for the rest, but the great king is so good and gracious, you must know, and these Furred Law-cats so curst and cruel, so mad, and thirsting after Christian blood, that we have less cause to fear in trespassing against that mighty sovereign’s commands than reason to hope to live if we do not continually stop the mouths of these Furred Law-cats with such bribes and corruption.  Besides, added he, to-morrow Gripe-men-all marries a furred law-puss of his to a high and mighty double-furred law-tybert.  Formerly we used to call them chop-hay; but alas! they are not such neat creatures now as to eat any, or chew the cud.  We call them chop-hares, chop-partridges, chop-woodcocks, chop-pheasants, chop-pullets, chop-venison, chop-coneys, chop-pigs, for they scorn to feed on coarser meat.  A t—­d for their chops, cried Friar John, next year we’ll have ’em called chop-dung, chop-stront, chop-filth.

Would you take my advice? added he to the company.  What is it? answered we.  Let’s do two things, returned he.  First, let us secure all this venison and wild fowl—­I mean, paying well for them; for my part, I am but too much tired already with our salt meat, it heats my flanks so horribly.  In the next place, let’s go back to the wicket, and destroy all these devilish Furred Law-cats.  For my part, quoth Panurge, I know better things; catch me there, and hang me.  No, I am somewhat more inclined to be fearful than bold; I love to sleep in a whole skin.

Chapter 5.XV.

How Friar John talks of rooting out the Furred Law-cats.

Virtue of the frock, quoth Friar John, what kind of voyage are we making?  A shitten one, o’ my word; the devil of anything we do but fizzling, farting, funking, squattering, dozing, raving, and doing nothing.  Ods-belly, ’tisn’t in my nature to lie idle; I mortally hate it.  Unless I am doing some heroic feat every foot, I can’t sleep one wink o’ nights.  Damn it, did you then take me along with you for your chaplain, to sing mass and shrive you?  By Maundy Thursday, the first of ye all that comes to me on such an account shall be fitted; for the only penance I’ll enjoin shall be, that he immediately throw himself headlong overboard into the sea like a base cowhearted son of ten fathers.  This in deduction of the pains of purgatory.

What made Hercules such a famous fellow, d’ye think?  Nothing but that while he travelled he still made it his business to rid the world of tyrannies, errors, dangers, and drudgeries; he still put to death all robbers, all monsters, all venomous serpents and hurtful creatures.  Why then do we not follow his example, doing as he did in the countries through which we pass?  He destroyed the Stymphalides, the Lernaean hydra, Cacus, Antheus, the Centaurs, and what not; I am no clericus, those that are such tell me so.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.