Quotations From FRANÇOIS RABELAIS

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  • 41.
    Nature made the day for exercise, work and seeing to one's business; and ... it provides us with a candle, which is to say the bright and joyous light of the sun.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 15, p. 397, Pleiade edition (1995).

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  • 42.
    Let every one be fully convinced in his own mind.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Pantagruel to Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 7, p. 372, Pleiade edition (1995). From Romans, 14: 5.
  • 43.
    Languages exist by arbitrary institutions and conventions among peoples; words, as the dialecticians tell us, do not signify naturally, but at our pleasure.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Pantagruel to Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 19, p. 409, Pleiade edition (1995).
  • 44.
    I've often heard it said, as the common proverb goes, that a fool can teach a wise man well.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Pantagruel to Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 37, p. 468, Pleiade edition (1995).
  • 45.
    When undertaking marriage, everyone must be the judge of his own thoughts, and take counsel from himself.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Pantagruel to Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 29, p. 444, Pleiade edition (1995). paraphrase of St. Paul's opinion on marriage.

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  • 46.
    The right moment wears a full head of hair: when it has been missed, you can't get it back; it's bald in the back of the head and never turns around.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Ponocrates, in Gargantua, ch. 37, p. 103, Pleiade edition (1995).

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  • 47.
    I build only living stones—men.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Panurge, in Third Book, ch. 6, p. 370, Pleiade edition (1995). Ironic allusion to 1 Peter 2:4-5.
  • 48.
    Have no fear that the wine [of my book] will fail, like happened at the wedding feast of Canna in Galilee. As much as I draw from the tap, I will replace in the bunghole. In this way the barrel will remain inexhaustible.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Third Book, prologue, p. 351, Pleiade edition (1995).

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  • 49.
    I urge you to spend your youth profitably in study and virtue.... In brief, let me see in you an abyss of knowledge.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Gargantua to his son Pantagruel, in Pantagruel, ch. 8, p. 245, Pleiade edition (1995). Renaissance ideal of education.
  • 50.
    [Pantagruel] considered studying medicine, but then he reflected that it was much too irritating and gloomy a profession, and that doctors smelled of enemas like the devil.
    François Rabelais (1494-1553), French author, evangelist. Gargantua on Pantagruel, in Pantagruel, ch. 5, p. 231, Pleiade edition (1995).
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