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Panurge (from / Panoûrgos meaning "He who makes everything") is one of the principal characters in Gargantua and Pantagruel, a series of five novels by François Rabelais. Especially important in the third and fourth books, he is an exceedingly crafty knave, libertine, and coward.

In Chapter 9 of the first book he shows he can speak many languages ( German, Italian, Scottish, Dutch, Spanish, Danish, Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French), including some of the first examples of a constructed language.

In French, reference to Panurge occurs in the phrase mouton de Panurge, which describes an individual that will blindly follow others regardless of the consequences. This, after a story in which Panurge buys a sheep from the merchant Dindenault and then, as a revenge for being overcharged, throws the sheep into the sea. The rest of the sheep in the herd follow the first over the side of the boat, in spite of the best efforts of the shepherd.

Panurge (opera)

Panurge is an opera (titled 'Haulte farce musicale') in three acts by Jules Massenet to a French libretto by Georges Spitzmuller and Maurice Boukay, after Pantagruel by Rabelais. It was first performed at the Théâtre de la Gaîté in Paris on 25 April 1913, nearly a year after Massenet's death, one of three operas by the composer to have premiered posthumously, the others being Cléopâtre (1914) and Amadis (1922).