Fragment 490047

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Panurge,

Original French:  Panurge,

Modern French:  Panurge,


Panurge—“all doer”—first appears in Chapter 9 of Pantagruel, a man of “handsome build, elegant in all his features, but pitifully wounded in various places, and in so sorry a state that he looked as if he had escaped from the dogs.” He was then about 35 years old, a bit of a lecher, and naturally subject to an illness called faulte d’argent. But he had sixty-three different ways of getting money, the most honorable of which was theft. He was weak-kneed and shuddered at the mere shadow of danger. He was hot to marry, but froze at the thought of being cheated upon. In attempting to solve his conundrum, he consulted the lots, Homeric and Virgilian; he threw the dice; he interpreted his dreams; he consulted a sibyl; he consulted a theologian; he consulted a doctor, a lawyer, a philosopher, a fool; finally he determined to consult the Oracle of the Bottle. Brewer claims the whole affair was caused by the Church’s argument over the celibacy of the clergy, which went to Panurge’s head.


Notes

Panurge

Panurge
Title page of Panurge disciple de Pentagruel. After 1538? [Rabelais not the author]

Pierre-Paul Plan
Bibliographie Rabelaisienne. Les éditions de Rabelais de 1532 à 1711. Catalogue raisonné descriptif et figuré, illustré de cent soixante-six facsimilés (titres, variantes, pages de texte, portraits)
Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1904
Internet Archive

Panurge

Brant, Narrenschiff, Panurge

Sebastian Brant [1457–1521]
Narrenschiff
Basel, 1494
SLUB

Panurge mange son blé en herbe

Panurge mange son blé en herbe

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Les Cinq livres de F. Rabelais, publiés avec des variantes et un glossaire. Livre 3.
Paul Chéron, editor
Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1876
Bibliotheque National de France: Gallica

Panurge

Il s’institue ainsi, entre le roi Pantagruel et son compagnon Panurge, des relations qui n’existaient pas dans Pantagruel. Haut en couleurs et plein d’inventivité, Panurge était certes un personnage remarquable, dont on pourrait, du reste, montrer que les aventures étaient en quelque manière parallèles de celles de Pantagruel. Mais il n’avait nul emploi propre : le voici désormais associé au gouvernement. On ne le verra certes guère dans l’exercice de ses nouvelles fonctions, sinon une fois, et fugitivement, au chapitre VII (p. 83), quand, pour payer les frais du coûteux ornement de son nouvel accoutrement, il pressure ses sujets. Mais ce détail s’ajoute à son art de dépenser sans compter le revenu de sa châtellenie que rapporte le chapitre II. Et l’on voit Pantagruel demander compte à Panurge de cette conduite.
C’est l’occasion de l’éloge des dettes, sur lequel il faudra revenir. Pour l’instant, je note seulement que Panurge se trouve désormais agir sous le regard de Pantagruel, et qu’il en sera ainsi dans tout le Tiers Livre. Cette relation, Panurge ne cherche nullement à s’y soustraire : le fait même de tenter de se justifier devant Pantagruel de sa pratique de la dépense revient à reconnaître son autorité, et il se soumet à son maître, fût-ce de mauvais cœur, quand Pantagruel, faisant fi de son éloge des dettes, lui remet les siennes ; bien plus, décidé à se marier, c’est Panurge qui vient lui-même solliciter le conseil et l’avis de Pantagruel.

Jean Céard
Présentation du Tiers Livre
2006
Vox Poetica

Panurge

Clef des allégories du Roman de Rabelais. Donnée au XVIIe siècle. Cette clef ne mérite pas d’etre prise au sérieux. Elle peut cependant donner une idée des interprétations arbitraires dont le Roman de Rabelais a été l’object, et nous n’avons pas jugé inutile de la reproduire.

Panurge = Le cardinal d’Amboise [Georges d’Amboise, dit le cardinal d’Amboise, né en 1460 au château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, près d’Amboise et mort le 25 mai 1510 à Lyon, cardinal et archevêque de Rouen à partir de 1498, fut premier ministre de Louis XII et un mécène (patron of the arts) français.]

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
François Rabelais. Tout ce qui existe de ses oeuvres
xliii
Louis Moland [1824–1899], editor
Paris: Garnier Frêres, 1884
Gallica

Panurge

A companion of Pantagruel’s, not unlike our Rochester and Buckingham in the reign of the mutton-eating king. Panurge was a desperate rake, was always in debt, had a dodge for every scheme, knew everything and something more, was a boon companion of the mirthfullest temper and most licentious bias; but was timid of danger, and a desperate coward. He enters upon ten thousand adventures for the solution of this knotty point. “Whether or not he ought to marry?” and although every response is in the negative, disputes the ostensible meaning, and stoutly maintains that no means yes. (Greek for factotum.) (Rabelais.)

Panurge, probably meant for Calvin, though some think it is Cardinal Lorraine. He is a licentious, intemperate libertine, a coward and knave. Of course, the satire points to the celibacy of the clergy.

As Panurge asked if he should marry. Asking advice merely to contradict the giver of it. Panurge asked Pantag’ruel’ whether he advised him to marry, “Yes,” said Pantagruel. When Panurge urged some strong objection, “Then don’t marry,” said Pantagruel; to which the favourite replied, “His whole heart was bent on so doing.” “Marry then, by all means,” said the prince, but Panurge again found some insuperable barrier. And so they went on; every time Pantagruel said “Yea,” new reasons were found against this advice; and every time he said “Nay,” reasons no less cogent were discovered for the affirmative. (Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel, bk. iii. 9.

Besides Pantagruel’, Panurge consulted lots, dreams, a sibyl, a deaf and dumb man, the old poet Rominagrobis, the chiromancer Herr Trippa, the theologian Hippothadée, the physician Rondibilis, the philosopher Trouillogan, the court fool Triboulet, and, lastly, the Oracle of the Holy Bottle.

E. Cobham Brewer [1810–1897]
Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. giving the derivation, source, or origin of common phrases, allusions, and words that have a tale to tell. To which is added a concise bibliography of English literature. New ed., rev., corr., and enl.
Philadelphia: Henry Altemus, 1898
Bartleby

panurgic

panurgic, a. rare. [adaptation of late Greek panourgiko´j knavish, formed on panourgoj ready to do anything, knavish, formed on pan- all + e’´rgon work.]

Able or ready to do anything.

1873 Morley Rousseau I. 291 Rousseau bade..the panurgic one to attend to his own affairs.

1878 Morley Diderot II. xvii. 279 No less panurgic and less encyclopædic a critic than Diderot himself could [etc.].


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Posted 11 January 2013. Modified 31 March 2017.

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