Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

The new golden queen, resolved to show herself valiant and worthy of her advancement to the crown, achieved great feats of arms.  But in the meantime the silvered knight takes the golden warden who guarded the camp; and thus there was a new silvered queen, who, like the other, strove to excel in heroic deeds at the beginning of her reign.  Thus the fight grew hotter than before.  A thousand stratagems, charges, rallyings, retreats, and attacks were tried on both sides; till at last the silvered queen, having by stealth advanced as far as the golden king’s tent, cried, God save you, sir!  Now none but his new queen could relieve him; so she bravely came and exposed herself to the utmost extremity to deliver him out of it.  Then the silvered warden with his queen reduced the golden king to such a stress that, to save himself, he was forced to lose his queen; but the golden king took him at last.  However, the rest of the golden party were soon taken; and that king being left alone, the silvered party made him a low bow, crying, Good morrow, sir! which denoted that the silvered king had got the day.

This being heard, the music of both parties loudly proclaimed the victory.  And thus the first battle ended to the unspeakable joy of all the spectators.

After this the two brigades took their former stations, and began to tilt a second time, much as they had done before, only the music played somewhat faster than at the first battle, and the motions were altogether different.  I saw the golden queen sally out one of the first, with an archer and a knight, as it were angry at the former defeat, and she had like to have fallen upon the silvered king in his tent among his officers; but having been baulked in her attempt, she skirmished briskly, and overthrew so many silvered nymphs and officers that it was a most amazing sight.  You would have sworn she had been another Penthesilea; for she behaved herself with as much bravery as that Amazonian queen did at Troy.

But this havoc did not last long; for the silvered party, exasperated by their loss, resolved to perish or stop her progress; and having posted an archer in ambuscado on a distant angle, together with a knight-errant, her highness fell into their hands and was carried out of the field.  The rest were soon routed after the taking of their queen, who, without doubt, from that time resolved to be more wary and keep near her king, without venturing so far amidst her enemies unless with more force to defend her.  Thus the silvered brigade once more got the victory.

This did not dishearten or deject the golden party; far from it.  They soon appeared again in the field to face their enemies; and being posted as before, both the armies seemed more resolute and cheerful than ever.  Now the martial concert began, and the music was above a hemiole the quicker, according to the warlike Phrygian mode, such as was invented by Marsyas.

Then our combatants began to wheel about, and charge with such a swiftness that in an instant they made four moves, besides the usual salutations.  So that they were continually in action, flying, hovering, jumping, vaulting, curvetting, with petauristical turns and motions, and often intermingled.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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