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Chapter 1 Of the original and antiquity of the great Pantagruel

  • It will not be an idle nor unprofitable thing, seeing we are at leisure, t_ut you in mind of the fountain and original source whence is derived unto u_he good Pantagruel. For I see that all good historiographers have thu_andled their chronicles, not only the Arabians, Barbarians, and Latins, bu_lso the gentle Greeks, who were eternal drinkers. You must therefore remar_hat at the beginning of the world—I speak of a long time; it is above fort_uarantains, or forty times forty nights, according to the supputation of th_ncient Druids—a little after that Abel was killed by his brother Cain, th_arth, imbrued with the blood of the just, was one year so exceeding fertil_n all those fruits which it usually produceth to us, and especially i_edlars, that ever since throughout all ages it hath been called the year o_he great medlars; for three of them did fill a bushel. In it the kalends wer_ound by the Grecian almanacks. There was that year nothing of the month o_arch in the time of Lent, and the middle of August was in May. In the mont_f October, as I take it, or at least September, that I may not err, for _ill carefully take heed of that, was the week so famous in the annals, whic_hey call the week of the three Thursdays; for it had three of them by mean_f their irregular leap-years, called Bissextiles, occasioned by the sun'_aving tripped and stumbled a little towards the left hand, like a debto_fraid of sergeants, coming right upon him to arrest him: and the moon varie_rom her course above five fathom, and there was manifestly seen the motion o_repidation in the firmament of the fixed stars, called Aplanes, so that th_iddle Pleiade, leaving her fellows, declined towards the equinoctial, and th_tar named Spica left the constellation of the Virgin to withdraw hersel_owards the Balance, known by the name of Libra, which are cases ver_errible, and matters so hard and difficult that astrologians cannot set thei_eeth in them; and indeed their teeth had been pretty long if they could hav_eached thither.
  • However, account you it for a truth that everybody then did most heartily ea_f these medlars, for they were fair to the eye and in taste delicious. Bu_ven as Noah, that holy man, to whom we are so much beholding, bound, an_bliged, for that he planted to us the vine, from whence we have tha_ectarian, delicious, precious, heavenly, joyful, and deific liquor which the_all the piot or tiplage, was deceived in the drinking of it, for he wa_gnorant of the great virtue and power thereof; so likewise the men and wome_f that time did delight much in the eating of that fair great fruit, bu_ivers and very different accidents did ensue thereupon; for there fell upo_hem all in their bodies a most terrible swelling, but not upon all in th_ame place, for some were swollen in the belly, and their belly strouted ou_ig like a great tun, of whom it is written, Ventrem omnipotentem, who wer_ll very honest men, and merry blades. And of this race came St. Fatgulch an_hrove Tuesday (Pansart, Mardigras.). Others did swell at the shoulders, wh_n that place were so crump and knobby that they were therefore calle_ontifers, which is as much to say as Hill-carriers, of whom you see some ye_n the world, of divers sexes and degrees. Of this race came Aesop, some o_hose excellent words and deeds you have in writing. Some other puffs di_well in length by the member which they call the labourer of nature, in suc_ort that it grew marvellous long, fat, great, lusty, stirring, and crest- risen, in the antique fashion, so that they made use of it as of a girdle, winding it five or six times about their waist: but if it happened th_oresaid member to be in good case, spooming with a full sail bunt fair befor_he wind, then to have seen those strouting champions, you would have take_hem for men that had their lances settled on their rest to run at the ring o_ilting whintam (quintain). Of these, believe me, the race is utterly lost an_uite extinct, as the women say; for they do lament continually that there ar_one extant now of those great, &c. You know the rest of the song. Others di_row in matter of ballocks so enormously that three of them would well fill _ack able to contain five quarters of wheat. From them are descended th_allocks of Lorraine, which never dwell in codpieces, but fall down to th_ottom of the breeches. Others grew in the legs, and to see them you woul_ave said they had been cranes, or the reddish-long-billed-storklike-scrank- legged sea-fowls called flamans, or else men walking upon stilts or scatches.
  • The little grammar-school boys, known by the name of Grimos, called those leg- grown slangams Jambus, in allusion to the French word jambe, which signifiet_ leg. In others, their nose did grow so, that it seemed to be the beak of _imbeck, in every part thereof most variously diapered with the twinklin_parkles of crimson blisters budding forth, and purpled with pimples al_namelled with thickset wheals of a sanguine colour, bordered with gules; an_uch have you seen the Canon or Prebend Panzoult, and Woodenfoot, th_hysician of Angiers. Of which race there were few that looked the ptisane, but all of them were perfect lovers of the pure Septembral juice. Naso an_vid had their extraction from thence, and all those of whom it is written, N_eminiscaris. Others grew in ears, which they had so big that out of one woul_ave been stuff enough got to make a doublet, a pair of breeches, and _acket, whilst with the other they might have covered themselves as with _panish cloak: and they say that in Bourbonnois this race remaineth yet.
  • Others grew in length of body, and of those came the Giants, and of the_antagruel.
  • And the first was Chalbroth,
  • Who begat Sarabroth,
  • Who begat Faribroth,
  • Who begat Hurtali, that was a brave eater of pottage, and reigned
  • in the time of the flood;
  • Who begat Nembroth,
  • Who begat Atlas, that with his shoulders kept the sky from falling;
  • Who begat Goliah,
  • Who begat Erix, that invented the hocus pocus plays of legerdemain;
  • Who begat Titius,
  • Who begat Eryon,
  • Who begat Polyphemus,
  • Who begat Cacus,
  • Who begat Etion, the first man that ever had the pox, for not drinking
  • fresh in summer, as Bartachin witnesseth;
  • Who begat Enceladus,
  • Who begat Ceus,
  • Who begat Tiphaeus,
  • Who begat Alaeus,
  • Who begat Othus,
  • Who begat Aegeon,
  • Who begat Briareus, that had a hundred hands;
  • Who begat Porphyrio,
  • Who begat Adamastor,
  • Who begat Anteus,
  • Who begat Agatho,
  • Who begat Porus, against whom fought Alexander the Great;
  • Who begat Aranthas,
  • Who begat Gabbara, that was the first inventor of the drinking of
  • healths;
  • Who begat Goliah of Secondille,
  • Who begat Offot, that was terribly well nosed for drinking at the
  • barrel-head;
  • Who begat Artachaeus,
  • Who begat Oromedon,
  • Who begat Gemmagog, the first inventor of Poulan shoes, which are
  • open on the foot and tied over the instep with a lachet;
  • Who begat Sisyphus,
  • Who begat the Titans, of whom Hercules was born;
  • Who begat Enay, the most skilful man that ever was in matter of
  • taking the little worms (called cirons) out of the hands;
  • Who begat Fierabras, that was vanquished by Oliver, peer of France
  • and Roland's comrade;
  • Who begat Morgan, the first in the world that played at dice with
  • spectacles;
  • Who begat Fracassus, of whom Merlin Coccaius hath written, and of
  • him was born Ferragus,
  • Who begat Hapmouche, the first that ever invented the drying of
  • neat's tongues in the chimney; for, before that, people salted
  • them as they do now gammons of bacon;
  • Who begat Bolivorax,
  • Who begat Longis,
  • Who begat Gayoffo, whose ballocks were of poplar, and his pr… of
  • the service or sorb-apple-tree;
  • Who begat Maschefain,
  • Who begat Bruslefer,
  • Who begat Angoulevent,
  • Who begat Galehaut, the inventor of flagons;
  • Who begat Mirelangaut,
  • Who begat Gallaffre,
  • Who begat Falourdin,
  • Who begat Roboast,
  • Who begat Sortibrant of Conimbres,
  • Who begat Brushant of Mommiere,
  • Who begat Bruyer that was overcome by Ogier the Dane, peer of
  • France;
  • Who begat Mabrun,
  • Who begat Foutasnon,
  • Who begat Haquelebac,
  • Who begat Vitdegrain,
  • Who begat Grangousier,
  • Who begat Gargantua,
  • Who begat the noble Pantagruel, my master.
  • I know that, reading this passage, you will make a doubt within yourselves, and that grounded upon very good reason, which is this—how it is possible tha_his relation can be true, seeing at the time of the flood all the world wa_estroyed, except Noah and seven persons more with him in the ark, into whos_umber Hurtali is not admitted. Doubtless the demand is well made and ver_pparent, but the answer shall satisfy you, or my wit is not rightly caulked.
  • And because I was not at that time to tell you anything of my own fancy, _ill bring unto you the authority of the Massorets, good honest fellows, tru_allockeering blades and exact Hebraical bagpipers, who affirm that verily th_aid Hurtali was not within the ark of Noah, neither could he get in, for h_as too big, but he sat astride upon it, with one leg on the one side an_nother on the other, as little children use to do upon their wooden horses; or as the great bull of Berne, which was killed at Marinian, did ride for hi_ackney the great murdering piece called the canon-pevier, a pretty beast of _air and pleasant amble without all question.
  • In that posture, he, after God, saved the said ark from danger, for with hi_egs he gave it the brangle that was needful, and with his foot turned i_hither he pleased, as a ship answereth her rudder. Those that were withi_ent him up victuals in abundance by a chimney, as people very thankfull_cknowledging the good that he did them. And sometimes they did talk togethe_s Icaromenippus did to Jupiter, according to the report of Lucian. Have yo_nderstood all this well? Drink then one good draught without water, for i_ou believe it not,—no truly do I not, quoth she.