Chapter 5 How Pantagruel altogether abhorreth the debtors and borrowers
I understand you very well, quoth Pantagruel, and take you to be very good a_opics, and thoroughly affectioned to your own cause. But preach it up, an_atrocinate it, prattle on it, and defend it as much as you will, even fro_ence to the next Whitsuntide, if you please so to do, yet in the end you wil_e astonished to find how you shall have gained no ground at all upon me, no_ersuaded me by your fair speeches and smooth talk to enter never so littl_nto the thraldom of debt. You shall owe to none, saith the holy Apostle,
anything save love, friendship, and a mutual benevolence.
You serve me here, I confess, with fine graphides and diatyposes, description_nd figures, which truly please me very well. But let me tell you, if you wil_epresent unto your fancy an impudent blustering bully and an importunat_orrower, entering afresh and newly into a town already advertised of hi_anners, you shall find that at his ingress the citizens will be mor_ideously affrighted and amazed, and in a greater terror and fear, dread, an_rembling, than if the pest itself should step into it in the very same gar_nd accoutrement wherein the Tyanean philosopher found it within the city o_phesus. And I am fully confirmed in the opinion, that the Persians erred no_hen they said that the second vice was to lie, the first being that of owin_oney. For, in very truth, debts and lying are ordinarily joined together. _ill nevertheless not from hence infer that none must owe anything or len_nything. For who so rich can be that sometimes may not owe, or who can be s_oor that sometimes may not lend?
Let the occasion, notwithstanding, in that case, as Plato very wisely sayet_nd ordaineth in his laws, be such that none be permitted to draw any wate_ut of his neighbour's well until first they by continual digging and delvin_nto their own proper ground shall have hit upon a kind of potter's earth,
which is called ceramite, and there had found no source or drop of water; fo_hat sort of earth, by reason of its substance, which is fat, strong, firm,
and close, so retaineth its humidity, that it doth not easily evaporate it b_ny outward excursion or evaporation.
In good sooth, it is a great shame to choose rather to be still borrowing i_ll places from everyone, than to work and win. Then only in my judgmen_hould one lend, when the diligent, toiling, and industrious person is n_onger able by his labour to make any purchase unto himself, or otherwise,
when by mischance he hath suddenly fallen into an unexpected loss of hi_oods.
Howsoever, let us leave this discourse, and from henceforwards do not han_pon creditors, nor tie yourself to them. I make account for the time past t_id you freely of them, and from their bondage to deliver you. The least _hould in this point, quoth Panurge, is to thank you, though it be the most _an do. And if gratitude and thanksgiving be to be estimated and prized by th_ffection of the benefactor, that is to be done infinitely and sempiternally;
for the love which you bear me of your own accord and free grace, without an_erit of mine, goeth far beyond the reach of any price or value. It transcend_ll weight, all number, all measure; it is endless and everlasting; therefore,
should I offer to commensurate and adjust it, either to the size an_roportion of your own noble and gracious deeds, or yet to the contentment an_elight of the obliged receivers, I would come off but very faintly an_laggingly. You have verily done me a great deal of good, and multiplied you_avours on me more frequently than was fitting to one of my condition. Yo_ave been more bountiful towards me than I have deserved, and your courtesie_ave by far surpassed the extent of my merits, I must needs confess it. But i_s not, as you suppose, in the proposed matter. For there it is not where _tch, it is not there where it fretteth, hurts, or vexeth me; for, hencefort_eing quit and out of debt, what countenance will I be able to keep? You ma_magine that it will become me very ill for the first month, because I hav_ever hitherto been brought up or accustomed to it. I am very much afraid o_t. Furthermore, there shall not one hereafter, native of the country o_almigondy, but he shall level the shot towards my nose. All the back-crackin_ellows of the world, in discharging of their postern petarades, use commonl_o say, Voila pour les quittes, that is, For the quit. My life will be of ver_hort continuance, I do foresee it. I recommend to you the making of m_pitaph; for I perceive I will die confected in the very stench of farts. If,
at any time to come, by way of restorative to such good women as shall happe_o be troubled with the grievous pain of the wind-colic, the ordinar_edicaments prove nothing effectual, the mummy of all my befarted body wil_traight be as a present remedy appointed by the physicians; whereof they,
taking any small modicum, it will incontinently for their ease afford them _attle of bumshot, like a sal of muskets.
Therefore would I beseech you to leave me some few centuries of debts; as Kin_ouis the Eleventh, exempting from suits in law the Reverend Miles d'Illiers,
Bishop of Chartres, was by the said bishop most earnestly solicited to leav_im some few for the exercise of his mind. I had rather give them all m_evenue of the periwinkles, together with the other incomes of the locusts,
albeit I should not thereby have any parcel abated from off the principal sum_hich I owe. Let us waive this matter, quoth Pantagruel, I have told it yo_ver again.