"We Have Other Fish To Fry"

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Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 137

Context: On their voyage to the Oracle of the Holy Bottle, Panurge and Friar John stop at Condemnation Island where they are imprisoned by the Furred Law-cats and their archduke, Gripe-men-all. In the mock trial that follows, Panurge is required to answer a riddle or be condemned. When Panurge says he cannot answer the riddle and Friar John says that Panurge is telling the truth, Gripe-men-all says, using a proverb later used by Cervantes, Don Quixote, Part II (1615), Chapter 35, and others:

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". . . Dost thou think . . . thou're in the wilderness of your foolish university, wrangling and bawling among the idle wandering searchers and hunters after truth? By gold we have here other fish to fry. . . . People here must give categorical answers to what they don't know. . . . They must protest that they know what they never knew in their lives. . . ."

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