Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 952 pages of information about Gargantua and Pantagruel.
mistaken, for that’s a lie with a latchet; though ’twere Aelian, that long-bow man, that told you so, never believe him, for he lies as fast as a dog can trot.  ’Twas in this very island that Pliny, his brother tell-truth, had seen some elephants dance on the rope with bells, and whip over the tables, presto, begone, while people were at feasts, without so much as touching the toping topers or the topers toping.

I saw a rhinoceros there, just such a one as Harry Clerberg had formerly showed me.  Methought it was not much unlike a certain boar which I had formerly seen at Limoges, except the sharp horn on its snout, that was about a cubit long; by the means of which that animal dares encounter with an elephant, that is sometimes killed with its point thrust into its belly, which is its most tender and defenceless part.

I saw there two and thirty unicorns.  They are a curst sort of creatures, much resembling a fine horse, unless it be that their heads are like a stag’s, their feet like an elephant’s, their tails like a wild boar’s, and out of each of their foreheads sprouts out a sharp black horn, some six or seven feet long; commonly it dangles down like a turkey-cock’s comb.  When a unicorn has a mind to fight, or put it to any other use, what does it do but make it stand, and then ’tis as straight as an arrow.

I saw one of them, which was attended with a throng of other wild beasts, purify a fountain with its horn.  With that Panurge told me that his prancer, alias his nimble-wimble, was like the unicorn, not altogether in length indeed, but in virtue and propriety; for as the unicorn purified pools and fountains from filth and venom, so that other animals came and drank securely there afterwards, in the like manner others might water their nags, and dabble after him without fear of shankers, carnosities, gonorrhoeas, buboes, crinkams, and such other plagues caught by those who venture to quench their amorous thirst in a common puddle; for with his nervous horn he removed all the infection that might be lurking in some blind cranny of the mephitic sweet-scented hole.

Well, quoth Friar John, when you are sped, that is, when you are married, we will make a trial of this on thy spouse, merely for charity sake, since you are pleased to give us so beneficial an instruction.

Ay, ay, returned Panurge, and then immediately I’ll give you a pretty gentle aggregative pill of God, made up of two and twenty kind stabs with a dagger, after the Caesarian way.  Catso, cried Friar John, I had rather take off a bumper of good cool wine.

I saw there the golden fleece formerly conquered by Jason, and can assure you, on the word of an honest man, that those who have said it was not a fleece but a golden pippin, because melon signifies both an apple and a sheep, were utterly mistaken.

I saw also a chameleon, such as Aristotle describes it, and like that which had been formerly shown me by Charles Maris, a famous physician of the noble city of Lyons on the Rhone; and the said chameleon lived on air just as the other did.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.