Friday, June 15, 2007

how gargantua came by his name and how he swilled down the wine

that excellent man grangousier was drinking and making merry with the others, when he heard a horrible tumult. it was his son emerging into the light of the world, bellowing, "drink, drink, drink!".
at once grangousier exclaimed: "que grand tu as le gousier" or "what a great gullet you have!" hearing this, the company declared that the child should indeed be named "grand tu as": gargantua or greatgullet.........
next, to quiet the babe, they made him drink till his throat almost burst. then, carrying him to the front, they babtized him, as is the custom among all good christians..........
he cried very little but he beshitted himself at all times. for he was wondrously phlegmatic of bum, as much by natural complexion as from an accidental predisposition, due to exaggerated quaffing of the juices of septembral mash. yet he never touched a drop without good reason; for whenever he happened to be out of sorts, vexed, angry or melancholy, if he stamped, wept or shouted, they brought him a drink. this invariably restored his native good humor and at once made him as quiet and happy as before.

from jacques le clerq's translation of françois rabelais's gargantua and pantagruel published 1532-1564 / 1936 (translation), modern library.

françois rabelais

1 comment:

the art of memory said...

before entering into details of the little infamies with which i was about to occupy myself, it is essential that i give you an idea of the persons in whose midst i had landed.