Rabelais and Shrewdness Anecdotes (Post No.3088)

rabelais 1

Compiled by London Swaminathan


Date: 24  August 2016


Time uploaded in London: 18-33


Post No.3088


Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks for the pictures.



A sidewalk pitchman was disgusted by his failure to elicit any profitable response from the large crowd assembled around him.

“You pikers, he said in disgust, are too tight to offer me 50 cent for a dollar”.

“I will”, someone spoke up.

“All right, said the pitch man, handover the fifty cents.”

“I am not taking any chances. Take it out of the buck and hand me the change”.




(Francois Rabelais (1494-1553) was a French writer. He wrote Gargantuan and Pantagruel, a hilarious classic of French literature and one of the greatest books ever written.  He was a Greek scholar and joined a monastery.)


Rabelais once found himself stranded in a village in southern France without a sou (a former French coin of low value) to get him back to Paris.  He took this means to obtain quick and easy passage to the French capital.


He engaged a room in the only tavern in the town and asked for a secretary to assist him in some writing. The mistress of the inn sent him her son, a sharp lad about twelve years old.


Rabelais said to his ‘secretary’, “My boy, we are about to undertake a very serious business here. I want you to sit down here and print these labels for me. Poison for the King, Poison for the queen, Poison for the Duke of Orleans etc While you are doing this I shall be preparing the poison.


While the terrified youngster was busy at his task of printing, RABELAIS Scrapped up the ashes from the grate, mixed them with the contents of his snuff box  and wrapped up the contents in several neat packages, on which he pasted his labels.


He then dismissed his ‘secretary’ with a solemn warning and the boy at once rushed downstairs and breathlessly told his mother of the whole business. The woman summoned the gendarmes (French Police) who came to the inn and caught the dangerous guest with his damning evidence.  As the suspect could not give an account of himself he was bundled off to Paris. Hence he was brought to court and recognised by the King who heard his case and of course set him free.