Fragment 500277



and of the long excuse of Penelope towards her amorous suitors, during the absence of her husband Ulysses.

Original French:  & de la longue excuſe de Penelope enuers ſes muguetz amoureux, pendant l’abſence de ſon mary Vlyxes.

Modern French:  & de la longue excuse de Penelope envers ses muguetz amoureux, pendant l’absence de son mary Ulyxes.

Penelope weaving

The painting represents a scene from the Odyssey in an early Renaissance setting

The Return of Odysseus
Web Gallery of Art

Muguets amoureux

Muguets amoureux] Plus bas encore, l. 4 chap 43., le vent de la chemise pour les muguets & amoureux. Muguet, amoureux qui se parfume de musc.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Œuvres de Maitre François Rabelais
p. 257
Jacob Le Duchat [1658–1735], editor
Amsterdam: Henri Bordesius, 1711
Google Books

Muguets amoureux

Plus bas encore, livre IV, chapitre xliii, le vent de la chemise pour les muguets et amoureux. Un muguet ici n’est pas tant un amoureux qui sent le musc, qu’un amant qui juge de sa maîtresse, comme si le musc et l’ambre lui sortoient de par-tout. (L.)

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Œuvres de Rabelais (Edition Variorum)
p. 266
Charles Esmangart [1736-1793], editor
Paris: Chez Dalibon, 1823
Google Books


Homer Od. xix. 138-150.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Gargantua and Pantagruel
William Francis Smith [1842–1919], translator
London, 1893


Cf. Homère, Odyssée, XIX, v. 138-150

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Oeuvres. Tome Cinquieme: Tiers Livre
p. 346
Abel Lefranc [1863-1952], editor
Paris: Librairie Ancienne Honoré Champion, 1931

Penelope’s excuse

In other words, they prefer to spin or weave.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Complete works of Rabelais
Jacques LeClercq [1891–1971], translator
New York: Modern Library, 1936


Pénélope, symbole de la fidélité conjugale, tissait une tapisserie pendant le jour et la défaisait la nuit pour lasser les prétendants à qui elle avait promis de choisir un mari quand la tapisserie serait terminée (Odyssée, xix).

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Le Tiers Livre
p. 560
Pierre Michel, editor
Paris: Gallimard, 1966


As for death among such beings [gods and demigods], I have heard the words of a man who was not a fool nor an impostor. The father of Aemilianus the orator, to whom some of you have listened, was Epitherses, who lived in our town and was my teacher in grammar. He said that once upon a time in making a voyage to Italy he embarked on a ship carrying freight and many passengers. It was already evening when, near the Echinades Islands, the wind dropped, and the ship drifted near Paxi. Almost everybody was awake, and a good many had not finished their after-dinner wine. Suddenly from the island of Paxi was heard the voice of someone loudly calling Thamus, so that all were amazed. Thamus was an Egyptian pilot, not known by name even to many on board. Twice he was called and made no reply, but the third time he answered; and the caller, raising his voice, said, ‘When you come opposite to Palodes,a announce that Great Pan is dead.’ On hearing this, all, said Epitherses, were astounded and reasoned among themselves whether it were better to carry out the order or to refuse to meddle and let the matter go. Under the circumstances Thamus made up his mind that if there should be a breeze, he would sail past and keep quiet, but with no wind and a smooth sea about the place he would announce what he had heard. So, when he came opposite Palodes, and there was neither wind nor wave, Thamus from the stern, looking toward the land, said the words as he had heard them: ‘Great Pan is dead.’ Even before he had finished there was a great cry of lamentation, not of one person, but of many, mingled with exclamations of amazement. As many persons were on the vessel, the story was soon spread abroad in Rome, and Thamus was sent for by Tiberius Caesar. Tiberius became so convinced of the truth of the story that he caused an inquiry and investigation to be made about Pan; and the scholars, who were numerous at his court, conjectured that he was the son born of Hermes and Penelopê.

Plutarch [c. 46–120 AD]
The Obsolescence of Oracles
Thomas North, translator
Loeb Classical Library, 1936


A fond woer, or courter of wenches; an effiminate youngster, a spruce Carpet-knight; also, a curiously-dressed babie of clowts.

Randle Cotgrave [–1634?]
A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongue
London: Adam Islip, 1611

la longue excuse de Penelope

Homère, Odyssée, XIX,v. 138; toutes ces figures féminines ont un rapport avec le fil : les Parques filaient la vie des hommes; Virgile nous montre Circé occupée à tisser pendant la nuit; Pénélope tissait en attendant le retour d’Ulysse.

François Rabelais [ca. 1483–1553]
Œuvres complètes
p. 503, n. 4
Mireille Huchon, editor
Paris: Gallimard, 1994



Posted 26 January 2013. Modified 16 January 2016.

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