Gargantua and Pantagruel

whose correctness we are in a position to verify.

Now Rabelais has here nothing of the Roger Bontemps of low degree about him. His features are strong, vigorously cut, and furrowed with deep wrinkles; his beard is short and scanty; his cheeks are thin and already worn-looking. On his head he wears the square cap of the doctors and the clerks, and his dominant expression, somewhat rigid and severe, is that of a physician and a scholar. And this is the only portrait to which we need attach any importance.

This is not the place for a detailed biography, nor for an exhaustive study. At most this introduction will serve as a framework on which to fix a few certain dates, to hang some general observations. The date of Rabelais’ birth is very doubtful. For long it was placed as far back as 1483: now scholars are disposed to put it forward to about 1495. The reason, a good one, is that all those whom he has mentioned as his friends, or in any real

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