François Rabelais.

The first edition of the fourth book of the heroic deeds and sayings of the noble Pantagruel online

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*B ESfl 752

:iais . .

Jtagfuel IV ed. i
islated by W. F, Smith

















THE present version has been taken from my translation of
Rabelais published in 1893, carefully revised with the help
of the edition of M. Marty-Laveaux and the variants given
in the editions of Jannet and de Montaiglon. The
variants have been derived from a scrupulous collation of
the copy of the Lyons edition of 1548 in the Bibliotheque

It was thought that readers of Rabelais would welcome a
separate translation of the "rudimentary" Fourth Book
written at Metz, which might enable them better to ap-
preciate the position of Rabelais at this anxious period of
his life, and to compare the work which he wrote in exile
with the help of a few books with that which he composed
in the quiet of a Benedictine house aided by the resources
of a good library. The comparison again of the completed
Fourth Book of 1552 with this fragment displays to advan-
tage the writer's skill in addition and amplification ; con-
siderable changes are made without impairing the dramatic
features of the book or suggesting the idea of patchwork.
A motive is also supplied for the admirable Prologue
originally written for this instalment, but subsequently laid
aside on the completion of the Fourth Book.

Notes have been taken in many cases from the earlier
translation, but new illustrations and explanations have also
been given. For the most part the present notes are
explanatory and indicative of sources rather than linguistic.

The letter to the Cardinal du Bellay has been prefixed to
the book.





(First Edition. 1548.)

RABELAIS had written his Third Book in the quiet and
comfort of the Monastery of St. Maur des Fosses, of which
he speaks so enthusiastically in his " Epistle of Dedication"
of the later edition of the Fourth Book. On its publication
at the beginning of the year 1546, although it was pro-
tected by the King's Privilege, dated September igth, 1545,
the increasing severity of the persecutions of heretics during
the painful malady of Francis I. made it evident that
France was no longer safe for the author of so suspected a
book. Rabelais at once retired to Metz immediately after,
or possibly even before, the publication of the book. He
must have left Paris hurriedly and with a small equipment
of books, as may be discovered by examining the com-
position of this first instalment of the Fourth Book and
comparing it with the completed Book as it appeared later
in 1552. An interesting letter survives addressed from
Metz to Cardinal Du Bellay, and dated February 6th. By
its contents and by an extract from the record in the library
at Metz given in the editions of MM. des Marets and
Marty-Laveaux we are enabled to decide almost, if not


quite, conclusively that the date-year was 1546. The
letter contains a piteous appeal to the Cardinal for pecuniary
help, and the extract (dated 1547) speaks of payments to
Rabelais, no doubt in the capacity of physician, of 60 livres
up to S. Remy (October ist), and of 60 livres up to Easter,
and of 30 livres up to St. John's day (June 24th). In the
letter he had spoken of " taking service elsewhere, to the
detriment of his studies, unless he received immediate
help," and we may draw the inference that he did so, by
the record of these payments. To the early part of 1546 is
also to be assigned the letter of Jean Sturm, director of the
gymnasium at Strasburg, to Cardinal du Bellay, in which
occurs the following passage : "Tempora etiam Rabelcesum
ejecerunt e Gallia, <ev rwv \p6va>v \ Nondum ad nos
venit. Metis constitit, ut audio, inde enim nos salutavit.
Adero ipsi quibuscunque rebus potero cum ad nos venerit.
.... Ad Tabernas Alsatiae (Saverne) vigesima octava

Our Doctor then was installed as physician to the
hospital at Metz in the years 1546-7. From the Prologue
to the Fourth Book of 1548 we learn that he was approached
by some courtiers from Paris declaring their appreciation of
his Third Book and begging him to continue his writing.
This no doubt was the origin of the Fourth Book. In the
present instalment we find a far more sparing use of books,
especially classical books. Ovid's Fasti, Virgil, Homer's
Odyssey (no longer the Iliad), Pliny, Gellius, Suetonius,


Diogenes Laertius, Valerius Maximus, complete the tale of
his classical sources. In this we must except the loth and
last long chapter the nth is but a fragment which in
1552 was augmented and expanded so as to correspond to
chapters 20-24 of Fezandat's edition (B). This chapter
derives from some other sources, and may, therefore, have
been partly written, as well as the Prologue, at Lyons,
while the other chapters were being printed. Rabelais, we
know, reached Rome about the middle of 1548 and most
likely stopped at Lyons on the way, in order to see
this new book through the press. Afterwards, while in
attendance on Cardinal du Bellay in Rome till the end of
1550, and at Meudon from the beginning of 1551, he had
plenty of books and leisure to elaborate and enlarge the
eleven chapters which he had written in exile at Metz with
the aid of his scanty library.

Of other books employed in this part the most consider-
able use is made of the macaronic poem of " Baldus " by
Merlin Cocai (Theophilo Folengo), from which much had
been taken in Pantagruel and somewhat in the Third Book.
From this book are derived the episodes of the Sheep-
dealer and Panurge, and of the Storm, altered, however,
and amplified with excellent effect. In the seventh chapter
(the i yth in B) are taken a couple of instances from a book
by Baptista Fulgosus, or Fregoso, who was Doge of Venice
(i478-i483)and a considerable author. Thework in question
was De dictis factisque memorabilibus, illis exceptis quae


Valerius Maximus edidit, reprinted by Galliot du Prel
(Paris, 1518). Book IX, chap. 12 of this treatise supplies
matter for this seventh chapter, and also later for the!
33rd chapter of the completed Fourth Book. In the
seventh chapter also occurs the death of Bringuenarillesj
the Giant (an account continued later in c. 44). This is
borrowed from Le Disciple de Pantagruel a small fabliau of
very small merit, from which two or three episodes in the
Fourth and Fifth Books are taken.

Rabelais must also have consulted some book on the
circumnavigation of Africa by the Portuguese, to which he
had alluded before in Gargantua. These voyages and the
explorations of the New World and the Canary Islands had
engaged his attention several times in his book. One or
two stories seem to come from the Apophthegmata of
Erasmus, which was also at times a fruitful source for him.

The general impression produced by these few chapters
is that when Rabelais is left more to his own resources and
with fewer books, his style is, if possible, more fresh and
crisp than at other times ; at all events, the episodes of les
moutons de Panurge and of the Storm, seem to be more
widely appreciated than most of the other parts of his





A. 1548. Issued at Lyons without 'the printer's name,

but probably from the press of P. de Tours, the
successor of Frangois Juste.

B. 1552. Printed by Michael Fezandat, Paris.

A contains the Ancien Prologue (as it was called when
superseded by the Prologue of the completed book), and
eleven chapters.

B contains an Epistle of Dedication to the Cardinal of
Chatillon and a New Prologue, both of which derive some-
thing from the Ancien Prologue. The eleven chapters of
A are added to and amplified so as to extend to twenty-
five chapters, while some few omissions in this part are
made in B, mostly from prudential motives, to avoid
offence to the Theological faculty. The completed book
extends to sixty-seven chapters.

In the last nine leaves of B are a number of explanatory
notes, entitled Briefve declaration daucunes dictions plus
obscures contenues on quatriesme liure des faicts a diets
Heroicques de Pantagruei.


A. P. F. = Anciennes Poesies Francises du xv lm * et
xvi* me siecle, par A. de Montaiglon.

R = Roman de la Rose ed. Francisque Michel.

References are given to Garg. and Pant, instead of to
books i. and ii., because it appears certain that the book
Pantagruei was written before Gargantua.



If M. de Saint-Ay, on coming here lately, had
had the Advantage of taking Leave of you at his Departure,
I should not now be in so great Necessity and Anxiety, as
he will be able to explain to you more at large. For he
assured me that you were well minded to give me some
Alms, provided that he could find a trusty Man coming
from your parts. Indeed, my Lord, unless you take Pity
on me, I know not what I am to do, unless in the
Extremity of Despair I take Service with some one about
here, to the Detriment and evident Loss to my Studies.
It is not possible to live more frugally than I do, and you
cannot make me so small a Gift from the abundance of

i M. des Marets, who gives this d'un an, c'est a s^avoir a la Saint-
letter (preserved in MS. at Mont- Remy 60 livres, a Pasques darien
pellier, among the Latin and passe 60 livres, comme plus c'on
French letters to and from Car- lui ont p. le quart d'an de Saint
dinal du Bellay) has been at pains Jean 30 livres."
to look for other correspondence M. de Saini-Ay is mentioned
between Rabelais and this Car- elsewhere as one of the gentlemen
dinal, but with a negative result. attached to the Seigneur deLangey.

He also gives an extract taken His name was Orson Lorens.

from the library at Metz : " 1547 iv. 27.
paye a Mre. Rabellet p. ses gages


Goods that God hath placed in your Hands but that I can
manage by living from Hand to Mouth, and maintain
myself honourably, as I have done up to the present, for
the Honour of the House from which I came on my
Departure from France.

My Lord, I commend myself very humbly to your kind
Favour, and pray Our Lord to grant you a very happy and
long Life with perfect Health.

Your very humble Servant,


From Metz this 6th of February (1546).













DRINKERS very illustrious, and you, gouty Tasters 2 very
precious, I have seen, received, heard and understood the
Ambassador 3 whom the Lordship of your Lordships hath
despatched towards my Paternity, and he hath appeared to
me a very good and eloquent Orator.

The Summary of his Proposition I reduce to three
Words, which are of so great Importance that formerly
among the Romans by these three Words 4 the Praetor
made Answer to all Requests set before him in Judgment ;
by these three Words he decided all Controversies, all
Complaints, Processes and Differences ; and those Days
were styled unlucky and nefasti? on which the Praetor did
not use those three Words ; fasti and lucky, on which he
was wont to use them.

You give, you say, you adjudge. O good People, (I
cannot see you ! 6 ) may the worthy Powers of God be to
you, and not less to me, eternally for a Help ! So then,
from God be it ; never let us do anything, that His most
holy Name be not first praised.

i This Prologue was suppressed makes Panurge drink out of a

in the Paris edition of 1552, and in similar book (v. 46).

its stead appeared the " Epistle 4 Do, dico, addico Do (ac-

dedicatory" to the Cardinal of tionem), dico (tutorem pupillo),

Chatillon, and the New Prologue, addico (bonorum possessionem).

which contained parts of this, 5 Ille nefastus erit per quern tria

^ . , verba silentur :

3 The Ambassador refers to the Ovid, Fast, i, 47,

gentleman who was sent by several 6 I cannot see you. Cf. Pant. 3,

courtiers to present to Rabelais a iv, N, Prol. M. Heulhard, who

silver wine-flask in the form of a interprets the " Lordship of your

breviary (Cf, Garg. 5. 41) addressed Lordships" to be the King him-

possibly with some phrase like au self, takes the expression " I can-

tres reverend Pere, etc, . . , d. d, d, not see you " here quite literally,

etc,, accompanied by some appre- to the effect that Rabelais, being

ciative remarks on his former at Metz, could not see the cour-

writings. The priestess Bacbuc tiers who were in Paris.


You give me. What ? A fine and ample Breviary. In
very Sooth, I thank you for it ; this will be the least of my
greatest Efforts. 1 What kind of Breviary it was, certainly I
did not think, as I looked upon the Book-marks, the Rose,
the Clasps, the Binding and the Covering, in which I have
not omitted to consider the Hooks and the Pies 2 painted
thereupon and placed in mighty fine Array ; by which, as
though they were hieroglyphic Letters, you tell me plainly
that there is no Work like that of Masters, nor Courage like
that of Lick-spigots.

To lick the Spigot signifieth a certain Jollity, metaphori-
cally extracted from the Prodigy which came to pass in
Brittany a short time before the Battle that was fought near
St. Aubin du Cormier. 3 Our Fathers have told it us ; it is
right that our Successors should not be ignorant of it. It
was the Year of the good Vintage ; 4 a Quart of good and
dainty Wine was sold for a one-tagged Point.

From the Countries of the East flew thither a great

Number of Jays on one side, and a great Number of Pies 5

on the other, all making for the West ; and they went

alongside one another in such Order, that towards the

Evening the Jays retreated to the left understand here

1 cic '%* Div - [ i- tne a lucky Side in Augury and the Pies to the right, near

id v e 2 rg AI. enough to one another. Through whatever Region they

a. 693. passed, there remained no Pie which did not ally itself to

the Pies, nor Jay that did not join the Camp of the Jays.

So they went on and on flying, till they passed over Angers,

1 Fr, le mains de mon plus (iii, 4 We learn from the Contes
5). Cotgrave translates this : d'Eutrapel, c, 23, that there was a
" The most I can, the least I great vintage in Anjou about this
should." time, when wine was practically

2 Fr. crocs et pies = hooks and given away.

magpies, so forming crocquer pie 5 A combat between jays and

by a rebus. pies is recorded by Poggio in his

3 St. Aubin du Cormier. A Facetiae (No. 234) under the title
battle took place here, July 28, Pugna Picarum et Graculorum, on
1488, between King Charles VIII. the confines of Brittany in April
and the Duke of Orleans, after- 1451. This one has been placed
wards Louis XII , who was taken in 1488 just before St. Aubin du
prisoner, Cf. Garg. 50. Cormier.


a Town in France that bordered on Brittany, in Numbers
so much multiplied, that in their Flight they put out the
Brightness of the Sun from the Lands subjacent. 1

In Angers at that time was an old Gaffer, Lord of Saint-
George, named Frapin ; 2 he it was who made and composed
the fair and joyous Carols in Poitevin Language. He had
a J a Y> a great Favourite by reason of his Chatter, by whose
means he invited all Visitors to drink ; he never sang of
anything but Drink, and he called him his Chatterbox ;
this Jay in martial Fury broke out of his Cage, and joined
the other Jays as they went by. A neighbouring Barber,
named Gapechat, had a female Pie of his own, a very gay
Bird ; she by her Presence increased the Number of the
Pies, and followed them to the Combat. Here be Matters
mighty and paradoxical, true notwithstanding, witnessed
and avouched. Note well everything. What came of it ?
What was the End ?

What came of it, good People ? A marvellous Result !
Near the Cross of Malchara 8 took place the Battle, so
furious that it is horrible only to think of it. The End
was that the Pies lost the Battle, and on the Field were
cruelly slain to the number of 2,589,362,109, besides b b Matt. xiv. 2 i.
Women and little Children, that is, besides Females and
little Pies : that you understand. The Jays remained
Victors, not however without Loss of several of their good
Soldiers, whereby there was very great Damage throughout
the Country.

1 This expression seems to be 1860), Frapin and Frappart(iv. 15),
borrowed from the report brought being sobriquets of monks.

to Leonidas at Thermopylae, that

the arrows of the Persian host were 3 Malchara. This allusion has

so numerous that they obscured not been explained fully. There

the sun, when he replied : " All is a Hosanna Cross at St. Maixent

the better; we shall fight in the in Poitou mentioned in iv. 13, n.

shade," Plut. Ap, Lacon. 225 B., 12 ; and in the Contes d'Eutrapel,

Val. Max, iii. 7, 8. c. 19 (ad Jin.}, there is mention of

2 Frapin. M. des Marets " la journee de Marhara . . . une
acutely suggests that this may brave composition entre les pies et
mean Lucas Le Moyne, the author les geais, qui s'y pelauderent tant
of some Noels in 1520 (reprinted brusquement."


The Bretons are a brave Folk, 1 as you know ; but if they
had understood the Prodigy, they would easily have recog-
nised that Ill-luck would be on their side ; for the Tails of
the Pies are in Shape like their Ermines, 2 while the Jays
have in their Plumage some Resemblance to the Arms of
France. 3

To our Subject. Chatterbox returned three Days later,
quite woebegone and wearied out with these Wars, having
one Eye knocked out ; however, a few Hours after he had
fed at his old Commons he recovered his good Spirits.
The fashionable Folk, the People, and the Scholars of
Angers ran together in Crowds, to see Chatterbox the one-
eyed thus accoutred. Chatterbox invited them to drink, as
was his wont, adding at the End of each Invitatorium :*
" Eat Pie." I take it for granted that that was the Watch-
word on the Day of the Battle ; all did their Duty therein.
The Pie of Gapechat never returned ; she had been eaten.
From this arose the proverbial Saying that to "Drink
Healths and with great Draughts " is verily To eat the Pie. 5
With such Figures, for a perpetual Memorial, 6 Frapin had
his Dining-Hall and lower Hall painted ; you may see
them at Angers on the Terrace 7 of Saint-Lawrence. 8

1 Fr. gens, with an equivoque occurs in the Nef de sante (Paris
on gents. 150?), and in the old Farces and

A Delleveu bretons sont gens, Sotties.

Mais il y en a de dou pere. Galans, aliens croquer la pie ;

Les menus propos, 1. 415, Je n'en puis plus si je ne pie

A.P.F. xi. p. 383. Quelquepianche bonne etfreche.

2 Ermines, the arms of Brittany. 6 Papal bulls often concluded

3 Arms of France. Jays have their first sentence with the words :
in their plumage blue and white, **"**?* rei ^emoriam

the azure and a?gent of the French 7 Fr tartre = modern ^ tertre

arms The tertre Saint L aurent still exists

4 Invitatorium, the refrain of in g ^here is a st of a raven in
the mvitatory 94th Psalm Vemte the time of Tiberiu s something like
exultemus at Matins, in the Bre- this> in pliny> x ^ 6o> and of a

vial T' still more wonderful bird in Plu-

5 Fr. crocquer la pie has been tarch> de SoiL An . c> Ig> 9?3 C . E<
variously explained. Pie seems to cf> also p e tronius c. 28, fin. super
be akin to piot, and connected with limen cavea pen debat aurea in qua

The expression itself p i ca varia intrantes salubatat.


This Figure engraved on your Breviary made me think
that there was somewhat more than a Breviary. Moreover,
with what Purpose should you make me a Present of a
Breviary ? I have, thanks to God and you, some old ones,
aye and new ones too. Upon this Doubt, on opening the
said Breviary I perceived that it was a Breviary made by
mirific Invention, and the Book-marks all to the point, with
appropriate Inscriptions.

Therefore your Wish is that at Prime I should drink
white 1 Wine, and also at Tierce, Sext and Nones; at
Vespers and Compline Claret (red) Wine. That you call
Eat the Pie\ verily never were you c hatched by an evil Pie. c cf. v. 6.
I will therein grant your Request.

You say. What ? That in no Respect have I galled
you in all my Books heretofore printed. If on this Subject
I quote for you the Sentence of an old Pantagruelist, still
less shall I gall you :

It is (he says) no common Praise
To have the Art the Court to please. 2

Moreover, you say that the Wine of the Third Book
hath been to your Taste, and that it is good. True it is,
there was but little of it, and what is commonly said : " A
little and good" is not to your liking ; more to your liking is
what the good Evispan of Verron 3 used to say : "Much and
good." Over and above this, you invite me to the Con-
tinuation of the Pantagrueline History, alleging the Utility
and Enjoyment derived from the Reading of it among all
worthy People, and excusing yourselves for not having been

1 White wine, etc.. with refer- Quoted by Erasmus, A dag. i. 4, i.
ence to the proverb :

Rouge le soir, blanc le matin 3 Evispan of Verron. Verron

C'est la journee du pelerin. was a tract of land near Chinon.

2 Principibus placuisse viris Cf. " M ulti bonique," Erasm. Ad.

non ultima laus est. i. 6, 31.
Hor. Epp. i. 17, 35.


obedient to my Prayer, 1 containing the Request that you
should reserve your Laughter till the seventy-eighth Book.

This I pardon you with all my Heart : I am not so
churlish or implacable as you would think ; what I was
saying to you was not for your Hurt ; and by way of
Answer I speak to you in the Vein of Hector's Speech put
forth by Naevius, that 'Tis a fine Thing to be praised by
praiseworthy Folk?

By a reciprocal Declaration I say and maintain, as far as
to the Fire exclusively 3 understand this and for a Reason
that you are fine honest People, all descended from good
Fathers and good Mothers ; at the same time promising
you on the Word of a Foot-traveller, 4 that if ever I meet
you in Mesopotamia, I will use my Influence with the little
Count George 6 of Lower Egypt that he shall make a
Present to each of you of a fine Nile Crocodile and a
Nightmare 6 from the Euphrates.

You adjudge. What ? To whom ? All the old Quarters
of the Moon to the Cowl-pates, Vermin, Ape-faces, Booted
Monks, Hypocrites, Frieze Coats, Hairy-paws, Mumping
Pardoners, Sham-saints. These be fear-inspiring names, 7
only in hearing the Sound of them ; at the pronouncing

1 Prayer, in allusion to the Paris, mentioned by Pasquier in
request at the foot of the title-page his Recherches, iv. 19. He speaks
of the Third Book : L'autheur sus- of " douze penitenciers qui vinrent
diet supplie les lecteurs benevoles a Paris le 17 aout 1427, c'est a
soy reserver a rire au soixante et savoir, un due, un comte et dix
dixhuytiesme livre. hommes, lesquels etaient de la

2 The line is from the Hector Basse Egypte, et qui devaient par
Proficiscens of Naevius : penitence aller sept ans parmi le

Laetus sum laudari me abs te, monde."

pater, a laudato viro, 6 Fr. Cauquemare, properly

and it is quoted three times by night-mare ; here and in iv. 64 it

Cicero (Tusc. Disp. iv. 67, ad Fam. is used of a fabulous animal. Pant.

v. 12, 7; xv. 6). Prol. 6.

3 Fr. jusqu'aufeu exclusivement. 7 Cowl-pates, etc. These names
Cf. Pant. Prologue. of abuse for the monks and friars

4 Fr. foy de pieton, a parody of may be found in i. 54, ii. 34, iv. 32
foy de chevalier. and 64. Pant. Prog. 5.

5 Count George probably refers Nomina sunt ipso paene timenda
to a visit of some " Bohemians" to sono. Ovid, Her. xiii. 54.


thereof I have seen the Hair of your noble Ambassador
stand on End on his Head. I have only understood the
High Dutch of this, and I know not what sort of Beasts
you comprise in these Denominations. Having made
diligent Research in divers Countries, I have not found a
Soul who acknowledged them, or who endured to be thus
named or designated. I take for granted that it was some
monstrous Kind of barbarous Animal in the time of the
tall Bonnets; 1 now it has died out in Nature, just as all
sublunary Things have their End and Period, and we know
not what is the Definition thereof ; for you know that

1 3 4 5 6

Online LibraryFrançois RabelaisThe first edition of the fourth book of the heroic deeds and sayings of the noble Pantagruel → online text (page 1 of 6)