Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,126 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.

In imitation of that noble by-blow, let’s destroy and root out these wicked Furred Law-cats, that are a kind of ravenous devils; thus we shall remove all manner of tyranny out of the land.  Mawmet’s tutor swallow me body and soul, tripes and guts, if I would stay to ask your help or advice in the matter were I but as strong as he was.  Come, he that would be thought a gentleman, let him storm a town; well, then, shall we go?  I dare swear we’ll do their business for them with a wet finger; they’ll bear it, never fear; since they could swallow down more foul language that came from us than ten sows and their babies could swill hogwash.  Damn ’em, they don’t value all the ill words or dishonour in the world at a rush, so they but get the coin into their purses, though they were to have it in a shitten clout.  Come, we may chance to kill ’em all, as Hercules would have done had they lived in his time.  We only want to be set to work by another Eurystheus, and nothing else for the present, unless it be what I heartily wish them, that Jupiter may give ’em a short visit, only some two or three hours long, and walk among their lordships in the same equipage that attended him when he came last to his Miss Semele, jolly Bacchus’s mother.

’Tis a very great mercy, quoth Panurge, that you have got out of their clutches.  For my part, I have no stomach to go there again; I’m hardly come to myself yet, so scared and appalled I was.  My hair still stands up an end when I think on’t; and most damnably troubled I was there, for three very weighty reasons.  First, because I was troubled.  Secondly, because I was troubled.  Thirdly and lastly, because I was troubled.  Hearken to me a little on thy right side, Friar John, my left cod, since thou’lt not hear at the other.  Whenever the maggot bites thee to take a trip down to hell and visit the tribunal of Minos, Aeacus, Rhadamanthus, (and Dis,) do but tell me, and I’ll be sure to bear thee company, and never leave thee as long as my name’s Panurge, but will wade over Acheron, Styx, and Cocytus, drink whole bumpers of Lethe’s water—­though I mortally hate that element —­and even pay thy passage to that bawling, cross-grained ferryman, Charon.  But as for the damned wicket, if thou art so weary of thy life as to go thither again, thou mayst e’en look for somebody else to bear thee company, for I’ll not move one step that way; e’en rest satisfied with this positive answer.  By my good will I’ll not stir a foot to go thither as long as I live, any more than Calpe will come over to Abyla (Here Motteux adds the following note:  ’Calpe is a mountain in Spain that faces another, called Abyla, in Mauritania, both said to have been severed by Hercules.’).  Was Ulysses so mad as to go back into the Cyclop’s cave to fetch his sword?  No, marry was he not.  Now I have left nothing behind me at the wicket through forgetfulness; why then should I think of going thither?

Well, quoth Friar John, as good sit still as rise up and fall; what cannot be cured must be endured.  But, prithee, let’s hear one another speak.  Come, wert thou not a wise doctor to fling away a whole purse of gold on those mangy scoundrels?  Ha!  A squinsy choke thee! we were too rich, were we?  Had it not been enough to have thrown the hell-hounds a few cropped pieces of white cash?

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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