Gargantua and Pantagruel eBook

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

I saw three hydras, like those I had formerly seen.  They are a kind of serpent, with seven different heads.

I saw also fourteen phoenixes.  I had read in many authors that there was but one in the whole world in every century; but, if I may presume to speak my mind, I declare that those who said this had never seen any, unless it were in the land of Tapestry; though ’twere vouched by Claudian or Lactantius Firmianus.

I saw the skin of Apuleius’s golden ass.

I saw three hundred and nine pelicans.

Item, six thousand and sixteen Seleucid birds marching in battalia, and picking up straggling grasshoppers in cornfields.

Item, some cynamologi, argatiles, caprimulgi, thynnunculs, onocrotals, or bitterns, with their wide swallows, stymphalides, harpies, panthers, dorcasses, or bucks, cemades, cynocephalises, satyrs, cartasans, tarands, uri, monopses, or bonasi, neades, steras, marmosets, or monkeys, bugles, musimons, byturoses, ophyri, screech-owls, goblins, fairies, and griffins.

I saw Mid-Lent o’ horseback, with Mid-August and Mid-March holding its stirrups.

I saw some mankind wolves, centaurs, tigers, leopards, hyenas, camelopardals, and orixes, or huge wild goats with sharp horns.

I saw a remora, a little fish called echineis by the Greeks, and near it a tall ship that did not get ahead an inch, though she was in the offing with top and top-gallants spread before the wind.  I am somewhat inclined to believe that ’twas the very numerical ship in which Periander the tyrant happened to be when it was stopped by such a little fish in spite of wind and tide.  It was in this land of Satin, and in no other, that Mutianus had seen one of them.

Friar John told us that in the days of yore two sorts of fishes used to abound in our courts of judicature, and rotted the bodies and tormented the souls of those who were at law, whether noble or of mean descent, high or low, rich or poor:  the first were your April fish or mackerel (pimps, panders, and bawds); the others your beneficial remoras, that is, the eternity of lawsuits, the needless lets that keep ’em undecided.

I saw some sphynges, some raphes, some ounces, and some cepphi, whose fore-feet are like hands and their hind-feet like man’s.

Also some crocutas and some eali as big as sea-horses, with elephants’ tails, boars’ jaws and tusks, and horns as pliant as an ass’s ears.

The crocutas, most fleet animals, as big as our asses of Mirebalais, have necks, tails, and breasts like a lion’s, legs like a stag’s, have mouths up to the ears, and but two teeth, one above and one below; they speak with human voices, but when they do they say nothing.

Some people say that none e’er saw an eyrie, or nest of sakers; if you’ll believe me, I saw no less than eleven, and I’m sure I reckoned right.

I saw some left-handed halberds, which were the first that I had ever seen.

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Gargantua and Pantagruel from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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