In Francois Rabelais's account of the voyage of Pantagruel, grandson of the King of Utopia, to consult the oracle of the Holy Bottle, ‘pres le Catay en Indie superieure’, the voyagers encounter in imaginary Satinland a monstrous old man named Ouy-dire, Hearsay, an authority on all the exotic nations and peoples of the world. He is blind and crippled, but his body is covered with ears and he is talking with seven tongues, each divided into seven parts, to an audience which includes Herodotus, Pliny, Strabo, Marco Polo, and Pietro Martire. One of those named amongst this crowd of ancient and modern authors of travel literature is the French explorer Jacques Cartier (1491–1557), thought by some 20th-century scholars to be the original for Pantagruel's pilot on his voyage, called Jamet Brayer. However, the real Jacques Cartier, like many other Renaissance voyagers, learned to distrust Rabelais's Ouy-dire.
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