François Rabelais


French Scholar, Satirist, Humanist, Physician, Writer, Monk and Greek Scholar

Author Quotes

In every work of genius we see our own rejected thought.

One falls to the ground in trying to sit on two stools.

Stir up the hornets.

Then fail not most carefully to peruse the books of the Greek, Arabian, and Latin physicians, not despising the Talmudists and Cabalists; and by frequent anatomies get thee the perfect knowledge of that other world, called the microcosm, which is man. And at some of the hours of the day apply thy mind to the study of the Holy Scriptures; first, in Greek, the New Testament, with the Epistles of the Apostles;: and then the Old Testament in Hebrew. In brief, let me see thee an abyss and bottomless pit of knowledge; for from henceforward, as thou growest great and becomest a man, thou must part from this tranquillity and rest of study, thou must learn chivalry, warfare, and the exercises of the field, the better thereby to defend my house and our friends, and to succour and protect them at all their needs against the invasion and assaults of evildoers.

When I drink, I think; and when I think, I drink.

In their rules there was only one clause: Do what you will.

Others set carts before the horses.

Strike the iron whilst it is hot.

Then I began to think, that it is very true which is commonly said, that the one-half of the world knoweth not how the other half liveth.

When undertaking marriage, everyone must be the judge of his own thoughts, and take counsel from himself.

It becomes you to be wise to smell, feel, and have in estimation these fair books, de haulte gresse, light in the pursuit, and bold at the encounter. Then you must, by a curious reading and frequent meditation, break the bone and suck out the substantific marrow, — that is what I mean by these Pythagorean symbols, — with assured hope of becoming well-advised and valiant by the said reading; for in it you shall find another kind of taste, and a doctrine more profound, which will disclose unto you deep doctrines and dreadful mysteries, as well in what concerneth our religion as matters of the public state and life economical.

Our forefathers and ancestors of all times have been of this nature and disposition, that, upon the winning of a battle, they have chosen rather, for a sign and memorial of their triumphs and victories, to erect trophies and monuments in the hearts of the vanquished by clemency than by architecture in the lands which they had conquered. For they did hold in greater estimation the lively remembrance of men purchased by liberality than the dumb inscription of arches, pillars, and pyramids, subject to the injury of storms and tempests, and to the envy of everyone.

Subject to a kind of disease, which at that time they called lack of money.

There are more old drunkards than old physicians.

Which was performed to a T.

It is a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be happy without money.

Panurge then whispered me, Fellow-traveller, quoth he, hast thou not been somewhat afraid this bout? A little, said I. To tell you the truth of it, quoth he, never were the Ephraimites in a greater fear and quandary when the Gileadites killed and drowned them for saying sibboleth instead of shibboleth; and among friends, let me tell you that perhaps there is not a man in the whole country of Beauce but might easily have stopped my bunghole with a cartload of hay.

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

There has been here from other countries a pack of I know not what overweening self-conceited prigs, as moody as so many mules and as stout as any Scotch lairds, and nothing would serve these, forsooth, but they must wilfully wrangle and stand out against us at their coming; and much they got by it after all. Troth, we e'en fitted them and clawed 'em off with a vengeance, for all they looked so big and so grum. Pray tell me, does your time lie so heavy upon you in your world that you do not know how to bestow it better than in thus impudently talking, disputing, and writing of our sovereign lady?

Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?

It is better to write of laughter than of tears, for laughter is the property of man.

Performed to a T.

The appetite grows with eating.

There is only one kind of love, but there are a thousand imitations.

With a good mind, do here pursue with might grace, honour, praise, delight. Here enter you, and welcome from our hearts, all noble sparks, endowed with gallant parts. This is the glorious place, which bravely shall afford wherewith to entertain you all. Were you a thousand, here you shall not want for anything; for what you'll ask we'll grant. Stay here, you lively, jovial, handsome, brisk, gay, witty, frolic, cheerful, merry, frisk, spruce, jocund, courteous, furtherers of trades, and, in a word, all worthy gentle blades.

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French Scholar, Satirist, Humanist, Physician, Writer, Monk and Greek Scholar