Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
fines, and recoveries, penal statutes, crown lands, and demesne, privy purse, post-offices, offerings, lordships of manors, and a world of other growths, for which we want names.  Pray, quoth Epistemon, tell me of what growth is that great one, with all those little grapelings about it.  Oh, oh! returned Double-fee, that plump one is of the treasury, the very best growth in the whole country.  Whenever anyone of that growth is squeezed, there is not one of their worships but gets juice enough of it to soak his nose six months together.  When their worships were up, Pantagruel desired Double-fee to take us into that great wine-press, which he readily did.  As soon as we were in, Epistemon, who understood all sorts of tongues, began to show us many devices on the press, which was large and fine, and made of the wood of the cross—­at least Double-fee told us so.  On each part of it were names of everything in the language of the country.  The spindle of the press was called receipt; the trough, cost and damages; the hole for the vice-pin, state; the side-boards, money paid into the office; the great beam, respite of homage; the branches, radietur; the side-beams, recuperetur; the fats, ignoramus; the two-handled basket, the rolls; the treading-place, acquittance; the dossers, validation; the panniers, authentic decrees; the pailes, potentials; the funnels, quietus est.

By the Queen of the Chitterlings, quoth Panurge, all the hieroglyphics of Egypt are mine a—­ to this jargon.  Why! here are a parcel of words full as analogous as chalk and cheese, or a cat and a cart-wheel!  But why, prithee, dear Double-fee, do they call these worshipful dons of yours ignorant fellows?  Only, said Double-fee, because they neither are, nor ought to be, clerks, and all must be ignorant as to what they transact here; nor is there to be any other reason given, but, The court hath said it; The court will have it so; The court has decreed it.  Cop’s body, quoth Pantagruel, they might full as well have called ’em necessity; for necessity has no law.

From thence, as he was leading us to see a thousand little puny presses, we spied another paltry bar, about which sat four are five ignorant waspish churls, of so testy, fuming a temper, (like an ass with squibs and crackers tied to its tail,) and so ready to take pepper in the nose for yea and nay, that a dog would not have lived with ’em.  They were hard at it with the lees and dregs of the grapes, which they gripped over and over again, might and main, with their clenched fists.  They were called contractors in the language of the country.  These are the ugliest, misshapen, grim-looking scrubs, said Friar John, that ever were beheld, with or without spectacles.  Then we passed by an infinite number of little pimping wine-presses all full of vintage-mongers, who were picking, examining, and raking the grapes with some instruments called bills-of-charge.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.