The Seven Perennial Sins and Their Offspring

Bazyn, Ken

Continuum, 2002

pp. 143-44

Rabelais invented an “outrageous hero, Gargantua (named for his enormous throat), whose first words after being born were ‘Give me a drink! a drink! a drink!’  So, he was given a good, stiff drink, and afterward, 17,913 cows were rounded up to provide him milk until he was twenty-two months of age.  Whenever he cried, stamped his feet, or appeared out of sorts, some soothing liquid was placed between his lips, and instantly his good humor was restored.  One of his maids claimed that ‘he was so accustomed to this treatment that at the very sound of pints and flagons, he would fall into ecstasy, as though he were tasting the joys of paradise. . . .To amuse him every morning they would ring glasses with a knife in front of him, or flagons with their stoppers, or pints with their lids, at which sound he would become merry and leap for joy, and would rock himself back and forth in his cradle.’”