to suck the substantific marrow

“Following the dog’s example, you will have to be wise in sniffing, smelling and estimating these fine and meaty books; swiftness in the chase and boldness in the attack are what is called for; after which, by careful reading and frequent meditation, you should break the bone and suck the substantific marrow. In the course of it you will find things of quite a different taste and a doctrine more abstruse which shall reveal to you most high ‘sacraments’ and horrific mysteries in what concerns our religion, as well as the state of our political and economic life.” –Rabelais, Pantagruel



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