"Tale Of A Tub"

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 139

Context: Panurge convinces his friends Pantagruel and Friar John to voyage with him to consult with the Oracle of the Holy Bottle about whether or not he should marry. On their way they have many strange adventures, including a visit to Wild Island, which is inhabited by Chitterlings. It is here that Shrovetide, or Lent, wages constant war against the Chitterlings, who are helped by Carnival, or Mardigras. After describing Pantagruel's adventures with the Chitterlings, the author quotes the phrase which was used later by Jonathan Swift in one of his famous satires:

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. . . You shake your empty noodles now, jolly topers, and do not believe what I tell you here, any more than if it were some tale of a tub. Well, well, I cannot help it. Believe it if you will; if you will not, let it alone.

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