Gargantua and Pantagruel

Chapter LVIII.

—A prophetical Riddle.

Poor mortals, who wait for a happy day, Cheer up your hearts, and hear what I shall say: If it be lawful firmly to believe That the celestial bodies can us give Wisdom to judge of things that are not yet; Or if from heaven such wisdom we may get As may with confidence make us discourse Of years to come, their destiny and course; I to my hearers give to understand That this next winter, though it be at hand, Yea and before, there shall appear a race Of men who, loth to sit still in one place, Shall boldly go before all people’s eyes, Suborning men of divers qualities To draw them unto covenants and sides, In such a manner that, whate’er betides, They’ll move you, if you give them ear, no doubt, With both your friends and kindred to fall out. They’ll make a vassal to gain-stand his lord, And

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