“Pantagruel” by François Rabelais (1532)

Is that a wood-burning oven in your hand or am I glad to see you?




The following is an account of Pantagruel, which is just as believable as that of Gargantua. No story will ever be as fantastic as that of Gargantua, except that of Pantagruel.

Chapter 1

Let’s start with his pedigree. In order to understand someone as good as Pantagruel, you have to understand his background. He came from a long line of great giants that started just after Cain killed Abel. That caused a great amount of fertility in the world and those who ate all the right food became giants. His first ancestor was Chalbroth. Another, Hurtali was able to survive the great flood by climbing on Noah’s ark like a horse while Noah fed him through the chimney.

Chapter 2

Gargantua was 444 when his wife, Badebec, gave birth to Pantagruel. However, Pantagruel was such a large baby that she suffocated under his great weight.

His name came from the fact that there had been a bad drought that killed nearly every plant and animal in the world. “Panta” comes from the Greek meaning “All”. “Gruel” comes from the Hagarene word for “Thirsty”. Before he was born, many provisions came out of his mother’s womb that made the world’s food abundant. He was also born a full head of hair.

Chapter 3

Gargantua was torn up about the situation. Badebec had died which devastated him. On the other hand, he was very happy about the birth of his new son. After consulting priests and poets, he decided to be happy since Badebec must be up in heaven smiling down on them.

Chapter 4

Pantagruel was an incredibly strong baby. He ate and drank so much food that all the local farmers were busy making food for him. They put him on a cow to nurse and he ended up eating the thing. They had to chain him down to keep him from eating everything.

Chapter 5

He grew up wandering around the countryside hunting, walking around and learning. When he was old enough, he was sent off to Poitier to learn. His teachers were scholars sitting around not doing very much. In order to give them something to do, he plucked a giant boulder from the countryside and put in the middle of a field for them to stare at and contemplate.

He traveled around the country visiting universities. In each city, he learned something new.

Bordeaux – not much
Rochelle – shipping
Avignon – fell in love with everything that moved
Valence – fighting between peasants and scholars
Toulouse – how to use swords and to dance
Montpellier – medicine
Nîmes – studied architecture of the Pont du Gard
Angers – didn’t stay too long because of the plague
Bourges – studied law
Orléans – played lots of tennis

Chapter 6

He met a fellow from Limousin pretending to be a Parisian but couldn’t really pull it off. He threatened the man until he started talking like the hick that he was.

Chapter 7

After finishing up with law in Orléans, he wanted to go to Paris. But before he left, he learned that an old bell had been buried in the ground more than two hundred years ago. He got most of the town to help him get it out and when he was bringing the bell back to the tower, it shook so much that the wines in all the town turned to vinegar.

When he arrived in Paris, all the people stared at him in the same way that they did to his father. He spent the first few days in the library.

Chapter 8

He received a letter from his father telling him to take advantage of Paris by leraning languages, medicine, religion and philosophy. He explains that he is very proud of him and that he’d go far if he continues his studies and learning.

Chapter 9

Pantagruel was walking around town and ran into a raggedly dressed man. He asks him what he is doing, what his story was, etc. The man answered in German, then Scottish, Spanish, … Pantagruel finally gets him to answer in French and he explains that his name is Panurge and he’s in tatters because he was recently a prisoner in Turkey. But before he tells any of his stories, he wants a proper bed and something to eat. They take him back, feed him and get him a bed.

Chapter 10

Pantagruel wanted to test himself, so he went to the part of town where the most learned scholars were and debated them. He was extremely successful against them and impressed everyone around.

At the same time, there was a legal suit going on that had stumped all the experts for quite some time. The case was between Lord Kissbreech and Lord Suckfist. One legal expert, DuDouhet, asked Pantagruel to hear the case and see what he thought of it.

Chapter 11

Lord Kissbreech started the discussion by explaining his case with a very long, eloquent speech that ended up not meaning very much.

Chapter 12

Lord Suckfist had his turn. It was as equally eloquent as Kissbreech’s speech and as equally non-sensical. They both awaited Pantagruel’s opinion.

Chapter 13

Pantagruel took his time to think about this and then addressed both men with verdict. It was very well-crafted but meant absolutely nothing. The trial ended.

Chapter 14

They celebrated the judgment that Pantagruel passed down with drinks. While drinking, Pantagruel prodded Panurge about his escape from the Turks

He was put on a spit roast like a rabbit and they began to roast him. The guy meant to watch him roasting fell asleep. Panurge grabbed a firebrand with his teeth and flung it in the guard’s lap. He ran out screaming,, while Panurge set fire to the building and ran away.

Chapter 15

Pantagruel and Panurge walked around the city, when Panurge spoke about the city’s walls. He liked them but he thought that they could be improved by being made of women’s private parts and either fox or donkey tails to swat away the flies.

Chapter 16

Panurge was of medium-sze, aquiline nose, about 35 years old, very pleasant and charming, slightly lechers and always broke. He stole a lot to get by. He was a bit of a con-man but most “victims” were either happy to be conned or deserved it.

Chapter 17

Pantagruel lent Panurge some money because he’s always skint. Panurge had a scam going on between churches buying and selling indulgences. He played matchmaker between old ugly women and lonely drunks. He also started numerous frivolous lawsuits and got paid just to go away.

Chapter 18

A learned man came down from England to see if Pantagruel was as smart as everyone has made him out to be. His name was Thaumast and he wanted to debate Pantagruel. Panurge asked to do it in his place.

Chapter 19

The discussion with Panurge, who just made a series of confusing and crude hand gestures. Thaumast was confused by this and tried to follow suit with his own gestures but they just were as good as Panurge’s

Chapter 20

Thaumast conceded the debate and pledged an oath of loyalty. He went back to England to write a book about how amazing Pantagruel and Panurge are.

Chapter 21

Panurge then decided to chase a wealth woman who happened to be married. She consistently turned him down. He pretended to give up.

Chapter 22

He captured a dog in heat, killed it and used its scent glands as an aphrodisiac. It didn’t work, so he got a bunch of dogs to go into her home and piss on her clothes to get back at her.

Chapter 23

Pantagruel got a letter from Dad, telling him that Utopia (home) has been invaded by Dipsodes. He left so quickly that he doesn’t have time to say goodby to anyone.

Chapter 24

Friends caught with him and he received a letter with a ring in it. No note. Panurge believes it’s a secret message but it ends up that the ring has an inscription from Pantagruel’s girlfriend “Why have you foresaken me?” Pantagruel forget all about her.

Chapter 25

As they approached Utopia on a boat, hundreds of enemy horsemen arrived. The boys disputed over which one of them was going to clobber them. They asked Pantagruel to sit this one out so they can impress him. They use rope to knock them off their horses and burnt them all alive, except one.

Chapter 26

They celebrated the victory with a great feast. They interrogated the prisoner and found out the king, Anarche, had a large army of men, giants and whores.

Chapter 27

Pantagruel created a monument to the victory. Panurge saw that and created a monument to the feast after the victory. Then, Pantagruel let out a fart so foul that little men and women crawled out of his ass.

Chapter 28

They let the prisoner go to his king and report that Pantagruel’s army was large and coming for them. He was also given a huge box of candies for the king and his men, with a dare – If you can eat these without drinking water, we’ll surrender. The messenger showed up and told the king the score. The men ate the candies and their throats were on fire. They drank so much wine to wash their mouths that they all fell asleep drunk.

Chapter 29

The enemy giants came up and saw what they had done to their friends. The giants’ leader, Loupgarou, went head-to-head with Pantagruel. Loupgarou has a special, magic mace. But in the end, Pantagruel won. After the single combat, there was a battle between Pantagruel’s men and the rest of the giants. Guess who won…

Chapter 30

After the battle, they celebrate. But they weren’t able to find Pantagruel’s tutor, Epistemon. They found him decapitated. They began to grieve but Panruge began to use magic herbs on him and popped his head back on and re-animated him. Epistemon told them everything he saw when he was dead. The bad people weren’t so bad and all the “good” people were assholes. Panurge was allowed to do whatever he wants with Anarche.

Chapter 31

The Amaurotes people celebrated the victory over the armies of Dipsodes. Pantagruel said they must march into Dipsodes to strike while the iron is hot. He asked all able Amaurotes to join him. Panurge made Anarche a “crier of green sauce” and made him marry a woman who beats him.

Chapter 32

They marched into Dipsodes but it began to rain. Pantagruel stuck out his tongue to cover everyone on the march. The narrator didn’t fit so he climbed in his mouth. He found a whole city in there are stays in there for 6 months exploring the place. He missed the battle in Dipsodes.

Chapter 33

After a while, Pantagruel got sick to the stomach. The doctors put men in copper balls to go down his throat into his stomach to scrub down there after all the shit he’s been eating.

To be continued…

To be continued…

Author: knowit68

2 thoughts on ““Pantagruel” by François Rabelais (1532)

  1. They’re not for everyone. I really think what translation you get makes all the difference. Some of the Victorian Era authors leave out or hide the more crude passages and conversations. It’s pretty gross in parts.

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