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The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolph Erich Raspe

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Some time after I ordered the following proclamation to be published
in the Court Gazette, and in all the other papers of the empire:--


Whereas a quantity of fudge has been distributed through all the
granaries of the empire for particular uses; and as the natives
have ever expressed their aversion to all manner of European
eatables, it is hereby strictly forbidden, under pain of the
severest penalties, for any of the officers charged with the
keeping of the said fudge to give, sell, or suffer to be sold, any
part or quantity whatever of the said material, until it be
agreeable unto our good will and pleasure.

Dated in our Castle of Gristariska
this Triskill of the month of
Griskish, in the year Moulikasra-

This proclamation excited the most ardent curiosity all over the
empire. "Do you know what this fudge is?" said Lady Mooshilgarousti to
Lord Darnarlaganl. "Fudge!" said he, "Fudge! no: what fudge?" "I
mean," replied her Ladyship, "the enormous quantity of fudge that has
been distributed under guards in all the strong places in the empire,
and which is strictly forbidden to be sold or given to any of the
natives under the severest penalties." "Lord!" replied he, "what in
the name of wonder can it be? Forbidden! why it must, but pray do you,
Lady Fashashash, do you know what this fudge is? Do you, Lord
Trastillauex? or you, Miss Gristilarkask? What! nobody know what this
fudge can be?"

It engrossed for several days the chit-chat of the whole empire.
Fudge, fudge, fudge, resounded in all companies and in all places,
from the rising until the setting of the sun; and even at night, when
gentle sleep refreshed the rest of mortals, the ladies of all that
country were dreaming of fudge!

"Upon my honour," said Kitty, as she was adjusting her modesty piece
before the glass, just after getting out of bed, "there is scarce
anything I would not give to know what this fudge can be." "La! my
dear," replied Miss Killnariska, "I have been dreaming the whole night
of nothing but fudge; I thought my lover kissed my hand, and pressed
it to his bosom, while I, frowning, endeavoured to wrest it from him:
that he kneeled at my feet. No, never, never will I look at you, cried
I, till you tell me what this fudge can be, or get me some of it.
Begone! cried I, with all the dignity of offended beauty, majesty, and
a tragic queen. Begone! never see me more, or bring me this delicious
fudge. He swore, on the honour of a knight, that he would wander o'er
the world, encounter every danger, perish in the attempt, or satisfy
the angel of his soul."

The chiefs and nobility of the nation, when they met together to drink
their kava, spoke of nothing but fudge. Men, women, and children all,
all talked of nothing but fudge. 'Twas a fury of curiosity, one
general ferment, and universal fever--nothing but fudge could allay

But in one respect they all agreed, that government must have had some
interested view, in giving such positive orders to preserve it, and
keep it from the natives of the country. Petitions were addressed to
me from all quarters, from every corporation and body of men in the
whole empire. The majority of the people instructed their
constituents, and the parliament presented a petition, praying that I
would be pleased to take the state of the nation under consideration,
and give orders to satisfy the people, or the most dreadful
consequences were to be apprehended. To these requests, at the
entreaty of my council, I made no reply, or at best but unsatisfactory
answers. Curiosity was on the rack; they forgot to lampoon the
government, so engaged were they about the fudge. The great assembly
of the states could think of nothing else. Instead of enacting laws
for the regulation of the people, instead of consulting what should
seem most wise, most excellent, they could think, talk, and harangue
of nothing but fudge. In vain did the Speaker call to order; the more
checks they got the more extravagant and inquisitive they were.

In short, the populace in many places rose in the most outrageous and
tumultuous manner, forced open the granaries in all places in one day,
and triumphantly distributed the fudge through the whole empire.

Whether on account of the longing, the great curiosity, imagination,
or the disposition of the people, I cannot say--but they found it
infinitely to their taste; 'twas intoxication of joy, satisfaction,
and applause.

Finding how much they liked this fudge, I procured another quantity
from England, much greater than the former, and cautiously bestowed it
over all the kingdom. Thus were the affections of the people regained;
and they, from hence, began to venerate, applaud, and admire my
government more than ever. The following ode was performed at the
castle, in the most superb style, and universally admired:--


Ye bulls and crickets, and Gog, Magog,
And trump'ts high chiming anthrophog,
Come sing blithe choral all in /og/,
Caralog, basilog, fog, and bog!

Great and superb appears thy cap sublime,
Admired and worshipp'd as the rising sun;
Solemn, majestic, wise, like hoary Time,
And fam'd alike for virtue, sense, and fun.

Then swell the noble strain with song,
And elegance divine,
While goddesses around shall throng,
And all the muses nine.

And bulls, and crickets, and Gog, Magog,
And trumpets chiming anthrophog,
Shall sing blithe choral all in /og/,
Caralog, basilog, fog, and bog!

This piece of poetry was much applauded, admired, and /encored/ in
every public assembly, celebrated as an astonishing effort of genius;
and the music, composed by Minheer Gastrashbark Gkrghhbarwskhk, was
thought equal to the sense!--Never was there anything so universally
admired, the summit of the most exquisite wit, the keenest praise, the
most excellent music.

"Upon my honour, and the faith I owe my love," said I, "music may be
talked of in England, but to possess the very soul of harmony the
world should come to the performance of this ode." Lady Fragrantia was
at that moment drumming with her fingers on the edge of her fan, lost
in a reverie, thinking she was playing upon---- Was it a forte piano?

"No, my dear Fragrantia," said I, tenderly taking her in my arms while
she melted into tears; "never, never, will I play upon any other----!"

Oh! 'twas divine, to see her like a summer's morning, all blushing and
full of dew!


/The Baron sets all the people of the empire to work to build a
bridge from their country to Great Britain--His contrivance to
render the arch secure--Orders an inscription to be engraved on
the bridge--Returns with all his company, chariot, etc., to
England--Surveys the kingdoms and nations under him from the
middle of the bridge./

"And now, most noble Baron," said the illustrious Hilaro Frosticos,
"now is the time to make this people proceed in any business that we
find convenient. Take them at this present ferment of the mind, let
them not think, but at once set them to work." In short, the whole
nation went heartily to the business, to build an edifice such as was
never seen in any other country. I took care to supply them with their
favourite kava and fudge, and they worked like horses. The tower of
Babylon, which, according to Hermogastricus, was seven miles high, or
the Chinese wall, was a mere trifle, in comparison to this stupendous
edifice, which was completed in a very short space of time.

It was of an immense height, far beyond anything that ever had been
before erected, and of such gentle ascent, that a regiment of cavalry
with a train of cannon could ascend with perfect ease and facility. It
seemed like a rainbow in the heavens, the base of which appeared to
rise in the centre of Africa, and the other extremity seemed to stoop
into great Britain. A most noble bridge indeed, and a piece of masonry
that has outdone Sir Christopher Wren. Wonderful must it have been to
form so tremendous an arch, especially as the artists had certain
difficulties to labour against which they could not have in the
formation of any other arch in the world--I mean, the attraction of
the moon and planets: Because the arch was of so great a height, and
in some parts so elongated from the earth, as in a great measure to
diminish in its gravitation to the centre of our globe; or rather,
seemed more easily operated upon by the attraction of the planets: So
that the stones of the arch, one would think, at certain times, were
ready to fall /up/ to the moon, and at other times to fall down to the
earth. But as the former was more to be dreaded, I secured stability
to the fabric by a very curious contrivance: I ordered the architects
to get the heads of some hundred numbskulls and blockheads, and fix
them to the interior surface of the arch, at certain intervals, all
the whole length, by which means the arch was held together firm, and
its inclination to the earth eternally established; because of all the
things in the world, the skulls of these kind of animals have a
strange facility of tending to the centre of the earth.

The building being completed, I caused an inscription to be engraved
in the most magnificent style upon the summit of the arch, in letters
so great and luminous, that all vessels sailing to the East or West
Indies might read them distinct in the heavens, like the motto of


That is to say, "As long as this arch and bond of union shall exist,
so long shall the people be happy. Nor can all the power of the world
affect them, unless the moon, advancing from her usual sphere, should
so much attract the skulls as to cause a sudden elevation, on which
the whole will fall into the most horrible confusion."

An easy intercourse being thus established between Great Britain and
the centre of Africa, numbers travelled continually to and from both
countries, and at my request mail coaches were ordered to run on the
bridge between both empires. After some time, having settled the
government to my satisfaction, I requested permission to resign, as a
great cabal had been excited against me in England; I therefore
received my letters of recall, and prepared to return to Old England.

In fine, I set out upon my journey, covered with applause and general
admiration. I proceeded with the same retinue that I had before--
Sphinx, Gog and Magog, &c., and advanced along the bridge, lined on
each side with rows of trees, adorned with festoons of various
flowers, and illuminated with coloured lights. We advanced at a great
rate along the bridge, which was so very extensive that we could
scarcely perceive the ascent, but proceeded insensibly until we
arrived on the centre of the arch. The view from thence was glorious
beyond conception; 'twas divine to look down on the kingdoms and seas
and islands under us. Africa seemed in general of a tawny brownish
colour, burned up by the sun: Spain seemed more inclining to a yellow,
on account of some fields of corn scattered over the kingdom; France
appeared more inclining to a bright straw-colour, intermixed with
green; and England appeared covered with the most beautiful verdure. I
admired the appearance of the Baltic Sea, which evidently seemed to
have been introduced between those countries by the sudden splitting
of the land, and that originally Sweden was united to the western
coast of Denmark; in short, the whole interstice of the Gulf of
Finland had no being, until these countries, by mutual consent,
separated from one another. Such were my philosophical meditations as
I advanced, when I observed a man in armour with a tremendous spear or
lance, and mounted upon a steed, advancing against me. I soon
discovered by a telescope that it could be no other than Don Quixote,
and promised myself much amusement in the rencounter.


/The Baron's retinue is opposed in a heroic style by Don Quixote,
who in his turn is attacked by Gog and Magog--Lord Whittington,
with the Lord Mayor's show, comes to the assistance of Don Quixote
--Gog and Magog assail his Lordship--Lord Whittington makes a
speech, and deludes Gog and Magog to his party--A general scene of
uproar and battle among the company, until the Baron, with great
presence of mind, appeases the tumult./

"What art thou?" exclaimed Don Quixote on his potent steed. "Who art
thou? Speak! or, by the eternal vengeance of mine arm, thy whole
machinery shall perish at sound of this my trumpet!"

Astonished at so rude a salutation, the great Sphinx stopped short,
and bridling up herself, drew in her head, like a snail when it
touches something that it does not like: the bulls set up a horrid
bellowing, the crickets sounded an alarm, and Gog and Magog advanced
before the rest. One of these powerful brothers had in his hand a
great pole, to the extremity of which was fastened a cord of about two
feet in length, and to the end of the cord was fastened a ball of
iron, with spikes shooting from it like the rays of a star; with this
weapon he prepared to encounter, and advancing thus he spoke:--

"Audacious wight! that thus, in complete steel arrayed, doth dare to
venture cross my way, to stop the great Munchausen. Know then, proud
knight, that thou shalt instant perish 'neath my potent arm."

When Quixote, Mancha's knight, responded firm:--

"Gigantic monster! leader of witches, crickets, and chimeras dire!
know thou, that here before yon azure heaven the cause of truth, of
valour, and of faith right pure shall ordeal counter try it!"

Thus he spoke, and brandishing his mighty spear, would instant
prodigies sublime perform, had not some wight placed 'neath the tail
of dark Rosinante furze all thorny base; at which, quadrupedanting,
plunged the steed, and instant on the earth the knight roared /credo/
for his life.

At that same moment ten thousand frogs started from the morions of Gog
and Magog, and furiously assailed the knight on every side. In vain he
roared, and invoked fair Dulcinea del Toboso: for frogs' wild croaking
seemed more loud, more sonorous than all his invocations. And thus in
battle vile the knight was overcome, and spawn all swarmed upon his
glittering helmet.

"Detested miscreants!" roared the knight; "avaunt! Enchanters dire and
goblins could alone this arduous task perform; to rout the knight of
Mancha, foul defeat, and war, even such as ne'er was known before.
Then hear, O del Toboso! hear my vows, that thus in anguish of my soul
I urge, midst frogs, Gridalbin, Hecaton, Kai, Talon, and the Rove!
[for such the names and definitions of their qualities, their separate
powers.] For Merlin plumed their airy flight, and then in watery
moonbeam dyed his rod eccentric. At the touch ten thousand frogs,
strange metamorphosed, croaked even thus: And here they come, on high
behest, to vilify the knight that erst defended famed virginity, and
matrons all bewronged, and pilgrims hoar, and courteous guise of all!
But the age of chivalry is gone, and the glory of Europe is
extinguished for ever?"

He spake, and sudden good Lord Whittington, at head of all his raree-
show, came forth, armour antique of chivalry, and helmets old, and
troops, all streamers, flags and banners glittering gay, red, gold,
and purple; and in every hand a square of gingerbread, all gilded
nice, was brandished awful. At a word, ten thousand thousand Naples
biscuits, crackers, buns, and flannel-cakes, and hats of gingerbread
encountered in mid air in glorious exaltation, like some huge storm of
mill-stones, or when it rains whole clouds of dogs and cats.

The frogs, astonished, thunderstruck, forgot their notes and music,
that before had seemed so terrible, and drowned the cries of knight
renown, and mute in wonder heard the words of Whittington, pronouncing
solemn:--"Goblins, chimeras dire, or frogs, or whatsoe'er enchantment
thus presents in antique shape, attend and hear the words of peace;
and thou, good herald, read aloud the Riot Act!"

He ceased, and dismal was the tone that softly breathed from all the
frogs in chorus, who quick had petrified with fright, unless redoubted
Gog and Magog, both with poles, high topped with airy bladders by a
string dependent, had not stormed against his lordship. Ever and anon
the bladders, loud resounding on his chaps, proclaimed their fury
against all potent law, coercive mayoralty; when he, submissive, thus
in cunning guile addressed the knights assailant:--"Gog, Magog,
renowned and famous! what, my sons, shall you assail your father,
friend, and chief confessed? Shall you, thus armed with bladders vile,
attack my title, eminence, and pomp sublime? Subside, vile discord,
and again return to your true 'legiance. Think, my friends, how oft
your gorgeous pouch I've crammed, all calapash, green fat, and
calapee. Remember how you've feasted, stood inert for ages, until size
immense you've gained. And think, how different is the service of
Munchausen, where you o'er seas, cold, briny, float along the tide,
eternal toiling like to slaves of Algiers and Tripoli. And ev'n on
high, balloon like, through the heavens have journeyed late, upon a
rainbow or some awful bridge stretched eminent, as if on earth he had
not work sufficient to distress your potent servitudes, but he should
also seek in heaven dire cause of labour! Recollect, my friends, even
why or wherefore should you thus assail your lawful magistrate, or why
desert his livery? or for what or wherefore serve this German Lord
Munchausen, who for all your labour shall alone bestow some fudge and
heroic blows in war? Then cease, and thus in amity return to
friendship aldermanic, bungy, brown, and sober."

Ceased he then, right worshipful, when both the warring champions
instant stemmed their battle, and in sign of peace and unity
returning, 'neath their feet reclined their weapons. Sudden at a
signal either stamped his foot sinistrine, and the loud report of
bursten bladder stunned each ear surrounding, like the roar of thunder
from on high convulsing heaven and earth.

'Twas now upon the saddle once again the knight of Mancha rose, and in
his hand far balancing his lance, full tilt against the troops of
bulls opposing run. And thou, shrill Crillitrilkril, than whom no
cricket e'er on hob of rural cottage, or chimney black, more gladsome
turned his merry note, e'en thou didst perish, shrieking gave the
ghost in empty air, the sport of every wind; for e'en that heart so
jocund and so gay was pierced, harsh spitted by the lance of Mancha,
while undaunted thou didst sit between the horns that crowned
Mowmowsky. And now Whittington advanced, 'midst armour antique and the
powers Magog and Gog, and with his rod enchanting touched the head of
every frog, long mute and thunderstruck, at which, in universal chorus
and salute, they sung blithe jocund, and amain advanced rebellious
'gainst my troop.

While Sphinx, though great, gigantic, seemed instinctive base and
cowardly, and at the sight of storming gingerbread, and powers, Magog
and Gog, and Quixote, all against her, started fierce, o'erturning
boat, balloons, and all; loud roared the bulls, hideous, and the crash
of wheels, and chaos of confusion drear, resounded far from earth to
heaven. And still more fierce in charge the great Lord Whittington,
from poke of ermine his famed Grimalkin took. She screamed, and harsh
attacked my bulls confounded; lightning-like she darted, and from half
the troop their eyes devouring tore. Nor could the riders, crickets
throned sublime, escape from rage, from fury less averse than cannons
murder o'er the stormy sea. The great Mowmowsky roared amain and
plunged in anguish, shunning every dart of fire-eyed fierce Grimalkin.
Dire the rage of warfare and contending crickets, Quixote and great
Magog; when Whittington advancing--"Good, my friends and warriors,
headlong on the foe bear down impetuous." He spoke, and waving high
the mighty rod, tipped wonderful each bull, at which more fierce the
creatures bellowed, while enchantment drear devoured their vitals. And
all had gone to wreck in more than mortal strife, unless, like Neptune
orient from the stormy deep, I rose, e'en towering o'er the ruins of
my fighting troops. Serene and calm I stood, and gazed around
undaunted; nor did aught oppose against my foes impetuous. But sudden
from chariot purses plentiful of fudge poured forth, and scattered it
amain o'er all the crowd contending. As when old Catherine or the
careful Joan doth scatter to the chickens bits of bread and crumbs
fragmented, while rejoiced they gobble fast the proffered scraps in
general plenty and fraternal peace, and "hush," she cries, "hush!


/The Baron arrives in England--the Colossus of Rhodes comes to
congratulate him--Great rejoicings on the Baron's return, and a
tremendous concert--The Baron's discourse with Fragrantia, and her
opinion of the Tour to the Hebrides./

Having arrived in England once more, the greatest rejoicings were made
for my return; the whole city seemed one general blaze of
illumination, and the Colossus of Rhodes, hearing of my astonishing
feats, came on purpose to England to congratulate me on such
unparalleled achievements. But above all other rejoicings on my
return, the musical oratorio and song of triumph were magnificent in
the extreme. Gog and Magog were ordered to take the maiden tower of
Windsor, and make a tambourine or great drum of it. For this purpose
they extended an elephant's hide, tanned and prepared for the design,
across the summit of the tower, from parapet to parapet, so that in
proportion this extended elephant's hide was to the whole of the
castle what the parchment is to a drum, in such a manner that the
whole became one great instrument of war.

To correspond with this, Colossus took Guildhall and Westminster
Abbey, and turning the foundations towards the heavens, so that the
roofs of the edifices were upon the ground, he strung them across with
brass and steel wire from side to side, and thus, when strung, they
had the appearance of most noble dulcimers. He then took the great
dome of St. Paul's, raising it off the earth with as much facility as
you would a decanter of claret. And when once risen up it had the
appearance of a quart bottle. Colossus instantly, with his teeth,
cracked off the superior part of the cupola, and then applying his
lips to the instrument, began to sound it like a trumpet. 'Twas
martial beyond description--/tantara!/--/tara!/--/ta!/

During the concert I walked in the park with Lady Fragrantia: she was
dressed that morning in a /chemise Ó la reine/. "I like," said she,
"the dew of the morning, 'tis delicate and ethereal, and, by thus
bespangling me, I think it will more approximate me to the nature of
the rose [for her looks were like Aurora]; and to confirm the
vermilion I shall go to Spa." "And drink the Podhon spring?" added I,
gazing at her from top to toe. "Yes," replied the lovely Fragrantia,
"with all my heart; 'tis the drink of sweetness and delicacy. Never
were there any creatures like the water-drinkers at spa; they seem
like so many thirsty blossoms on a peach-tree, that suck up the shower
in the scorching heat. There is a certain something in the waters that
gives vigour to the whole frame, and expands every heart with rapture
and benevolence. They drink! good gods! how they do drink! and then,
how they sleep! Pray, my dear Baron, were you ever at the falls of
Niagara?" "Yes, my lady," replied I, surprised at such a strange
association of ideas; "I have been, many years ago, at the Falls of
Niagara, and found no more difficulty in swimming up and down the
cataracts than I should to move a minuet." At that moment she dropped
her nosegay. "Ah," said she, as I presented it to her, "there is no
great variety in these polyanthuses. I do assure you, my dear Baron,
that there is taste in the selection of flowers as well as everything
else, and were I a girl of sixteen I should wear some rosebuds in my
bosom, but at five-and-twenty I think it would be more /apropos/ to
wear a full-blown rose, quite ripe, and ready to drop off the stalk
for want of being pulled--heigh-ho!" "But pray, my lady," said I, "how
do you like the concert?" "Alas!" said she, languishingly, while she
laid her hand upon my shoulder, "what are these bodiless sounds and
vibration to me? and yet what an exquisite sweetness in the songs of
the northern part of our island:--'/Thou art gone awa' from me,
Mary!/' How pathetic and divine the little airs of Scotland and the
Hebrides! But never, never can I think of that same Doctor Johnson--
that CONSTABLE, as Fergus MacLeod calls him--but I have an idea of a
great brown full-bottomed wig and a hogshead of porter! Oh, 'twas
base! to be treated everywhere with politeness and hospitality, and in
return invidiously to smellfungus them all over; to go to the country
of Kate of Aberdeen, of Auld Robin Gray, 'midst rural innocence and
sweetness, take up their plaids, and dance. Oh! Doctor, Doctor!"

"And what would you say, Fragrantia, if you were to write a tour to
the Hebrides?" "Peace to the heroes," replied she, in a delicate and
theatrical tone; "peace to the heroes who sleep in the isle of Iona;
the sons of the wave, and the chiefs of the dark-brown shield! The
tear of the sympathising stranger is scattered by the wind over the
hoary stones as she meditates sorrowfully on the times of old! Such
could I say, sitting upon some druidical heap or tumulus. The fact is
this, there is a right and wrong handle to everything, and there is
more pleasure in thinking with pure nobility of heart than with the
illiberal enmities and sarcasm of a blackguard."


/A litigated contention between Don Quixote, Gog, Magog, &c.--A
grand court assembled upon it--The appearance of the company--The
matrons, judges, &c.--The method of writing, and the use of the
fashionable amusement quizzes--Wauwau arrives from the country of
Prester John, and leads the whole Assembly a wild-goose chase to
the top of Plinlimmon, and thence to Virginia--The Baron meets a
floating island in his voyage to America--Pursues Wauwau with his
whole company through the deserts of North America--His curious
contrivance to seize Wauwau in a morass./

The contention between Gog and Magog, and Sphinx, Hilaro Frosticos,
the Lord Whittington, &c., was productive of infinite litigation. All
the lawyers in the kingdom were employed, to render the affair as
complex and gloriously uncertain as possible; and, in fine, the whole
nation became interested, and were divided on both sides of the
question. Colossus took the part of Sphinx, and the affair was at
length submitted to the decision of a grand council in a great hall,
adorned with seats on every side in form of an amphitheatre. The
assembly appeared the most magnificent and splendid in the world. A
court or jury of one hundred matrons occupied the principal and most
honourable part of the amphitheatre; they were dressed in flowing
robes of sky-blue velvet adorned with festoons of brilliants and
diamond stars; grave and sedate-looking matrons, all in uniform, with
spectacles upon their noses; and opposite to these were placed one
hundred judges, with curly white wigs flowing down on each side of
them to their very feet, so that Solomon in all his glory was not so
wise in appearance. At the ardent request of the whole empire I
condescended to be the president of the court, and being arrayed
accordingly, I took my seat beneath a canopy erected in the centre.
Before every judge was placed a square inkstand, containing a gallon
of ink, and pens of a proportionable size; and also right before him
an enormous folio, so large as to serve for table and book at the same
time. But they did not make much use of their pens and ink, except to
blot and daub the paper; for, that they should be the more impartial,
I had ordered that none but the blind should be honoured with the
employment: so that when they attempted to write anything, they
uniformly dipped their pens into the machine containing sand, and
having scrawled over a page as they thought, desiring them to dry it
with sand, would spill half a gallon of ink upon the paper, and
thereby daubing their fingers, would transfer the ink to their face
whenever thy leaned their cheek upon their hand for greater gravity.
As to the matrons, to prevent an eternal prattle that would drown all
manner of intelligibility, I found it absolutely necessary to sew up
their mouths; so that between the blind judges and the dumb matrons
methought the trial had a chance of being terminated sooner than it
otherwise would. The matrons, instead of their tongues, had other
instruments to convey their ideas: each of them had three quizzes, one
quiz pendent from the string that sewed up her mouth, and another quiz
in either hand. When she wished to express her negative, she darted
and recoiled the quizzes in her right and left hand; and when she
desired to express her affirmative, she, nodding, made the quiz
pendent from her mouth flow down and recoil again. The trial proceeded
in this manner for a long time, to the admiration of the whole empire,
when at length I thought proper to send to my old friend and ally,
Prester John, entreating him to forward to me one of the species of
wild and curious birds found in his kingdom, called a Wauwau. This
creature was brought over the great bridge before mentioned, from the
interior of Africa, by a balloon. The balloon was placed upon the
bridge, extending over the parapets on each side, with great wings or
oars to assist its velocity, and under the balloon was placed pendant
a kind of boat, in which were the persons to manage the steerage of
the machine, and protect Wauwau. This oracular bird, arriving in
England, instantly darted through one of the windows of the great
hall, and perched upon the canopy in the centre to the admiration of
all present. Her cackling appeared quite prophetic and oracular; and
the first question proposed to her by the unanimous consent of the
matrons and judges was, Whether or not the moon was composed of green
cheese? The solution of this question was deemed absolutely necessary
before they could proceed farther on the trial.

Wauwau seemed in figure not very much differing from a swan, except
that the neck was not near so long, and she stood after an admirable
fashion like to Vestris. She began cackling most sonorously, and the
whole assembly agreed that it was absolutely necessary to catch her,
and having her in their immediate possession, nothing more would be
requisite for the termination of this litigated affair. For this
purpose the whole house rose up to catch her, and approached in
tumult, the judges brandishing their pens, and shaking their big wigs,
and the matrons quizzing as much as possible in every direction, which
very much startled Wauwau, who, clapping her wings, instantly flew out
of the hall. The assembly began to proceed after her in order and
style of precedence, together with my whole train of Gog and Magog,
Sphinx, Hilaro Frosticos, Queen Mab's chariot, the bulls and crickets,
&c., preceded by bands of music; while Wauwau, descending on the
earth, ran on like an ostrich before the troop, cackling all the way.
Thinking suddenly to catch this ferocious animal, the judges and
matrons would suddenly quicken their pace, but the creature would as
quickly outrun them, or sometimes fly away for many miles together,
and then alight to take breath until we came within sight of her
again. Our train journeyed over a most prodigious tract of country in
a direct line, over hills and dales, to the summit of Plinlimmon,
where we thought to have seized Wauwau; but she instantly took flight,
and never ceased until she arrived at the mouth of the Potomac river
in Virginia.

Our company immediately embarked in the machines before described, in
which we had journeyed into Africa, and after a few days' sail arrived
in North America. We met with nothing curious on our voyage, except a
floating island, containing some very delightful villages, inhabited
by a few whites and negroes; the sugar cane did not thrive there well,
on account, as I was informed, of the variety of the climates; the
island being sometimes driven up as far as the north pole, and at
other times wafted under the equinoctial. In pity to the poor
islanders, I got a huge stake of iron, and driving it through the
centre of the island, fastened it to the rocks and mud at the bottom
of the sea, since which time the island has become stationary, and is
well known at present by the name of St. Christopher's, and there is
not an island in the world more secure.

Arriving in North America, we were received by the President of the
United States with every honour and politeness. He was pleased to give
us all the information possible relative to the woods and immense
regions of America, and ordered troops of the different tribes of the
Esquimaux to guide us through the forests in pursuit of Wauwau, who,
we at length found, had taken refuge in the centre of a morass. The
inhabitants of the country, who loved hunting, were much delighted to
behold the manner in which we attempted to seize upon Wauwau; the
chase was noble and uncommon. I determined to surround the animal on
every side, and for this purpose ordered the judges and matrons to
surround the morass with nets extending a mile in height, on various
parts of which net the company disposed themselves, floating in the
air like so many spiders upon their cobwebs. Magog, at my command, put
on a kind of armour that he had carried with him for the purpose,
corselet of steel, with gauntlets, helmet, &c., so as nearly to
resemble a mole. He instantly plunged into the earth, making way with
his sharp steel head-piece, and tearing up the ground with his iron
claws, and found not much difficulty therein, as morass in general is
of a soft and yielding texture. Thus he hoped to undermine Wauwau, and
suddenly rising, seize her by the foot, while his brother Gog ascended
the air in a balloon, hoping to catch her if she could escape Magog.
Thus the animal was surrounded on every side, and at first was very
much terrified, knowing not which way she had best to go. At length
hearing an obscure noise under ground, Wauwau took flight before Magog
could have time to catch her by the foot. She flew to the right, then
to the left, north, east, west, and south, but found on every side the
company prepared upon their nets. At length she flew right up, soaring
at a most astonishing rate towards the sun, while the company on every
side set up one general acclamation. But Gog in his balloon soon
stopped Wauwau in the midst of her career, and snared her in a net,
the cords of which he continued to hold in his hand. Wauwau did not
totally lose her presence of mind, but after a little consideration,
made several violent darts against the volume of the balloon; so
fierce, as at length to tear open a great space, on which the
inflammable air rushing out, the whole apparatus began to tumble to
the earth with amazing rapidity. Gog himself was thrown out of the
vehicle, and letting go the reins of the net, Wauwau got liberty
again, and flew out of sight in an instant.

Gog had been above a mile elevated from the earth when he began to
fall, and as he advanced the rapidity increased, so that he went like
a ball from a cannon into the morass, and his nose striking against
one of the iron-capped hands of his brother Magog, just then rising
from the depths, he began to bleed violently, and, but for the
softness of the morass, would have lost his life.


/The Baron harangues the company, and they continue the pursuit--
The Baron, wandering from his retinue, is taken by the savages,
scalped, and tied to a stake to be roasted; but he contrives to
extricate himself, and kills the savages--The Baron travels
overland through the forests of North America, to the confines of
Russia--Arrives at the castle of the Nareskin Rowskimowmowsky, and
gallops into the kingdom of Loggerheads--A battle, in which the
Baron fights the Nareskin in single combat, and generously gives
him his life--Arrives at the Friendly Islands, and discourses with
Omai--The Baron, with all his attendants, goes from Otaheite to
the isthmus of Darien, and having cut a canal across the isthmus,
returns to England./

"My friends, and very learned and profound Judiciarii," said I, "be
not disheartened that Wauwau has escaped from you at present:
persevere, and we shall yet succeed. You should never despair,
Munchausen being your general; and therefore be brave, be courageous,
and fortune shall second your endeavours. Let us advance undaunted in
pursuit, and follow the fierce Wauwau even three times round the
globe, until we entrap her."

My words filled them with confidence and valour, and they unanimously
agreed to continue the chase. We penetrated the frightful deserts and
gloomy woods of America, beyond the source of the Ohio, through
countries utterly unknown before. I frequently took the diversion of
shooting in the woods, and one day that I happened with three
attendants to wander far from our troop, we were suddenly set upon by
a number of savages. As we had expended our powder and shot, and
happened to have no side-arms, it was in vain to make any resistance
against hundreds of enemies. In short, they bound us, and made us walk
before them to a gloomy cavern in a rock, where they feasted upon what
game they had killed, but which not being sufficient, they took my
three unfortunate companions and myself, and scalped us. The pain of
losing the flesh from my head was most horrible; it made me leap in
agonies, and roar like a bull. They then tied us to stakes, and making
great fires around us, began to dance in a circle, singing with much
distortion and barbarity, and at times putting the palms of their
hands to their mouths, set up the war-whoop. As they had on that day
also made a great prize of some wine and spirits belonging to our
troop, these barbarians, finding it delicious, and unconscious of its
intoxicating quality, began to drink it in profusion, while they
beheld us roasting, and in a very short time they were all completely
drunk, and fell asleep around the fires. Perceiving some hopes, I used
most astonishing efforts to extricate myself from the cords which I
was tied, and at length succeeded. I immediately unbound my
companions, and though half roasted, they still had power enough to
walk. We sought about for the flesh that had been taken off our heads,
and having found the scalps, we immediately adapted them to our bloody
heads, sticking them on with a kind of glue of a sovereign quality,
that flows from a tree in that country, and the parts united and
healed in a few hours. We took care to revenge ourselves on the
savages, and with their own hatchets put every one of them to death.
We then returned to our troop, who had given us up for lost, and they
made great rejoicings on our return. We now proceeded in our journey
through this prodigious wilderness, Gog and Magog acting as pioneers,
hewing down the trees, &c., at a great rate as we advanced. We passed
over numberless swamps and lakes and rivers, until at length we
discovered a habitation at some distance. It appeared a dark and
gloomy castle, surrounded with strong ramparts, and a broad ditch. We
called a council of war, and it was determined to send a deputation
with a trumpet to the walls of the castle, and demand friendship from
the governor, whoever he might be, and an account if aught he knew of
Wauwau. For this purpose our whole caravan halted in the wood, and Gog
and Magog reclined amongst the trees, that their enormous strength and
size should not be discovered, and give umbrage to the lord of the
castle. Our embassy approached the castle, and having demanded
admittance for some time, at length the drawbridge was let down, and
they were suffered to enter. As soon as they had passed the gate it
was immediately closed after them, and on either side they perceived
ranks of halberdiers, who made them tremble with fear. "We come," the
herald proclaimed, "on the part of Hilaro Frosticos, Don Quixote, Lord
Whittington, and the thrice-renowned Baron Munchausen, to claim
friendship from the governor of this puissant castle, and to seek
Wauwau." "The most noble the governor," replied the officer, "is at
all times happy to entertain such travellers as pass through these
immense deserts, and will esteem it an honour that the great Hilaro
Frosticos, Don Quixote, Lord Whittington, and the thrice-renowned
Baron Munchausen, enter his castle walls."

In short, we entered the castle. The governor sat with all our company
to table, surrounded by his friends, of a very fierce and warlike
appearance. They spoke but little, and seemed very austere and
reserved, until the first course was served up. The dishes were
brought in by a number of bears walking on their hind-legs, and on
every dish was a fricassee of pistols, pistol-bullets, sauce of
gunpowder, and aqua-vitŠ. This entertainment seemed rather
indigestible by even an ostrich's stomach, when the governor addressed
us, and informed me that it was ever his custom to strangers to offer
them for the first course a service similar to that before us; and if
they were inclined to accept the invitation, he would fight them as
much as they pleased, but if they could not relish the pistol-bullets,
&c., he would conclude them peaceable, and try what better politeness
he could show them in his castle. In short, the first course being
removed untouched, we dined, and after dinner the governor forced the
company to push the bottle about with alacrity and to excess. He
informed us that he was the Nareskin Rowskimowmowsky, who had retired
amidst these wilds, disgusted with the court of Petersburgh. I was
rejoiced to meet him; I recollected my old friend, whom I had known at
the court of Russia, when I rejected the hand of the Empress. The
Nareskin, with all his knights-companions, drank to an astonishing
degree, and we all set off upon hobby horses in full cry out of the
castle. Never was there seen such a cavalcade before. In front
galloped a hundred knights belonging to the castle, with hunting horns
and a pack of excellent dogs; and then came the Nareskin
Rowskimowmowsky, Gog and Magog, Hilaro Frosticos, and your humble
servant, hallooing and shouting like so many demoniacs, and spurring
our hobby horses at an infernal rate until we arrived in the kingdom
of Loggerheads. The kingdom of Loggerheads was wilder than any part of
Siberia, and the Nareskin had here built a romantic summer-house in a
Gothic taste, to which he would frequently retire with his company
after dinner. The Nareskin had a dozen bears of enormous stature that
danced for our amusement, and their chiefs performed the /minuet de la
cour/ to admiration. And here the most noble Hilaro Frosticos thought
proper to ask the Nareskin some intelligence about Wauwau, in quest of
whom we had travelled over such a tract of country, and encountered so
many dangerous adventures, and also invited the Nareskin
Rowskimowmowsky to attend us with all his bears in the expedition. The
Nareskin appeared astonished at the idea; he looked with infinite
hauteur and ferocity on Hilaro, and affecting a violent passion asked
him, "Did he imagine that the Nareskin Rowskimowmowsky could
condescend to take notice of a Wauwau, let her fly what way she would!
Or did he think a chief possessing such blood in his veins could
engage in such a foreign pursuit? By the blood and by the ashes of my
great grandmother, I would cut off your head!"

Hilaro Frosticos resented this oration, and in short a general riot
commenced. The bears, together with the hundred knights, took the part
of the Nareskin, and Gog and Magog, Don Quixote, the Sphinx, Lord
Whittington, the bulls, the crickets, the judges, the matrons, and
Hilaro Frosticos, made noble warfare against them.

I drew my sword, and challenged the Nareskin to single combat. He
frowned, while his eyes sparkled fire and indignation, and bracing a
buckler on his left arm, he advanced against me. I made a blow at him
with all my force, which he received upon his buckler, and my sword
broke short.

Ungenerous Nareskin; seeing me disarmed, he still pushed forward,
dealing his blows upon me with the utmost violence, which I parried
with my shield and the hilt of my broken sword, and fought like a

An enormous bear at the same time attacked me, but I ran my hand still
retaining the hilt of my broken sword down his throat, and tore up his
tongue by the roots. I then seized his carcase by the hind-legs, and
whirling it over my head, gave the Nareskin such a blow with his own
bear as evidently stunned him. I repeated my blows, knocking the
bear's head against the Nareskin's head, until, by one happy blow, I
got his head into the bear's jaws, and the creature being still
somewhat alive and convulsive, the teeth closed upon him like
nutcrackers. I threw the bear from me, but the Nareskin remained
sprawling, unable to extricate his head from the bear's jaws,
imploring for mercy. I gave the wretch his life: a lion preys not
upon carcases.

At the same time my troop had effectually routed the bears and the
rest of their adversaries. I was merciful, and ordered quarter to be

At that moment I perceived Wauwau flying at a great height through the
heavens, and we instantly set out in pursuit of her, and never stopped
until we arrived at Kamschatka; thence we passed to Otaheite. I met my
old acquaintance Omai, who had been in England with the great
navigator, Cook, and I was glad to find he had established Sunday
schools over all the islands. I talked to him of Europe, and his
former voyage to England. "Ah!" said he, most emphatically, "the
English, the cruel English, to murder me with goodness, and refine
upon my torture--took me to Europe, and showed me the court of
England, the delicacy of exquisite life; they showed me gods, and
showed me heaven, as if on purpose to make me feel the loss of them."

From these islands we set out, attended by a fleet of canoes with
fighting-stages and the chiefest warriors of the islands, commanded by
Omai. Thus the chariot of Queen Mab, my team of bulls and the
crickets, the ark, the Sphinx, and the balloons, with Hilaro
Frosticos, Gog and Magog, Lord Whittington, and the Lord Mayor's show,
Don Quixote, &c., with my fleet of canoes, altogether cut a very
formidable appearance on our arrival at the Isthmus of Darien.
Sensible of what general benefit it would be to mankind, I immediately
formed a plan of cutting a canal across the isthmus from sea to sea.

For this purpose I drove my chariot with the greatest impetuosity
repeatedly from shore to shore, in the same track, tearing up the
rocks and earth thereby, and forming a tolerable bed for the water.
Gog and Magog next advanced at the head of a million of people from
the realms of North and South America, and from Europe, and with
infinite labour cleared away the earth, &c., that I had ploughed up
with my chariot. I then again drove my chariot, making the canal wider
and deeper, and ordered Gog and Magog to repeat their labour as
before. The canal being a quarter of a mile broad, and three hundred
yards in depth, I thought it sufficient, and immediately let in the
waters of the sea. I did imagine, that from the rotatory motion of the
earth on its axis from west to east the sea would be higher on the
eastern than the western coast, and that on the uniting of the two
seas there would be a strong current from the east, and it happened
just as I expected. The sea came in with tremendous magnificence, and
enlarged the bounds of the canal, so as to make a passage of some
miles broad from ocean to ocean, and make an island of South America.
Several sail of trading vessels and men-of-war sailed through this new
channel to the South Seas, China, &c., and saluted me with all their
cannon as they passed.

I looked through my telescope at the moon, and perceived the
philosophers there in great commotion. They could plainly discern the
alteration on the surface of our globe, and thought themselves somehow
interested in the enterprise of their fellow-mortals in a neighbouring
planet. They seemed to think it admirable that such little beings as
we men should attempt so magnificent a performance, that would be
observable even in a separate world.

Thus having wedded the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea, I returned to
England, and found Wauwau precisely in the very spot whence she had
set out, after having led us a chase all round the world.


/The Baron goes to Petersburgh, and converses with the Empress--
Persuades the Russians and Turks to cease cutting one another's
throats, and in concert cut a canal across the Isthmus of Suez--
The Baron discovers the Alexandrine Library, and meets with Hermes
Trismegistus--Besieges Seringapatam, and challenges Tippoo Sahib
to single combat--They fight--The Baron receives some wounds to
his face, but at last vanquishes the tyrant--The Baron returns to
Europe, and raises the hull of the "Royal George."/

Seized with a fury of canal-cutting, I took it in my head to form an
immediate communication between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and
therefore set out for Petersburgh.

The sanguinary ambition of the Empress would not listen to my
proposals, until I took a private opportunity, taking a cup of coffee
with her Majesty, to tell her that I would absolutely sacrifice myself
for the general good of mankind, and if she would accede to my
proposals, would, on the completion of the canal, /ipso facto/, give
her my hand in marriage!

"My dear, dear Baron," said she, "I accede to everything you please,
and agree to make peace with the Porte on the conditions you mention.
And," added she, rising with all the majesty of the Czarina, Empress
of half the world, "be it known to all subjects, that We ordain these
conditions, for such is our royal will and pleasure."

I now proceeded to the Isthmus of Suez, at the head of a million of
Russian pioneers, and there united my forces with a million of Turks,
armed with shovels and pickaxes. They did not come to cut each other's
throats, but for their mutual interest, to facilitate commerce and
civilisation, and pour all the wealth of India by a new channel into
Europe. "My brave fellows," said I, "consider the immense labour of
the Chinese to build their celebrated wall; think of what superior
benefit to mankind is our present undertaking; persevere, and fortune
will second your endeavours. Remember it is Munchausen who leads you
on, and be convinced of success."

Saying these words, I drove my chariot with all my might in my former
track, that vestige mentioned by the Baron de Tott, and when I was
advanced considerably, I felt my chariot sinking under me. I attempted
to drive on, but the ground, or rather immense vault, giving way, my
chariot and all went down precipitately. Stunned by the fall, it was
some moments before I could recollect myself, when at length, to my
amazement, I perceived myself fallen into the Alexandrine Library,
overwhelmed in an ocean of books; thousands of volumes came tumbling
on my head amidst the ruins of that part of the vault through which my
chariot had descended, and for a time buried my bulls and all beneath
a heap of learning. However, I contrived to extricate myself, and
advanced with awful admiration through the vast avenues of the
library. I perceived on every side innumerable volumes and
repositories of ancient learning, and all the science of the
Antediluvian world. Here I met with Hermes Trismegistus, and a parcel
of old philosophers debating upon the politics and learning of their
days. I gave them inexpressible delight in telling them, in a few
words, all the discoveries of Newton, and the history of the world
since their time. These gentry, on the contrary, told me a thousand
stories of antiquity that some of our antiquarians would give their
very eyes to hear.

In short, I ordered the library to be preserved, and I intend making a
present of it, as soon as it arrives in England, to the Royal Society,
together with Hermes Trismegistus, and half a dozen old philosophers.
I have got a beautiful cage made, in which I keep these extraordinary
creatures, and feed them with bread and honey, as they seem to believe
in a kind of doctrine of transmigration, and will not touch flesh.
Hermes Trismegistus especially is a most antique looking being, with a
beard half a yard long, covered with a robe of golden embroidery, and
prates like a parrot. He will cut a very brilliant figure in the

Having made a track with my chariot from sea to sea, I ordered my
Turks and Russians to begin, and in a few hours we had the pleasure of
seeing a fleet of British East Indiamen in full sail through the
canal. The officers of this fleet were very polite, and paid me every
applause and congratulation my exploits could merit. They told me of
their affairs in India, and the ferocity of that dreadful warrior,
Tippoo Sahib, on which I resolved to go to India and encounter the
tyrant. I travelled down the Red Sea to Madras, and at the head of a
few Sepoys and Europeans pursued the flying army of Tippoo to the
gates of Seringapatam. I challenged him to mortal combat, and, mounted
on my steed, rode up to the walls of the fortress amidst a storm of
shells and cannon-balls. As fast as the bombs and cannon-balls came
upon me, I caught them in my hands like so many pebbles, and throwing
them against the fortress, demolished the strongest ramparts of the
place. I took my mark so direct, that whenever I aimed a cannon-ball
or a shell at any person on the ramparts I was sure to hit him: and
one time perceiving a tremendous piece of artillery pointed against
me, and knowing the ball must be so great it would certainly stun me,
I took a small cannon-ball, and just as I perceived the engineer going
to order them to fire, and opening his mouth to give the word of
command, I took aim and drove my ball precisely down his throat.

Tippoo, fearing that all would be lost, that a general and successful
storm would ensue if I continued to batter the place, came forth upon
his elephant to fight me; I saluted him, and insisted he should fire

Tippoo, though a barbarian, was not deficient in politeness, and
declined the compliment; upon which I took off my hat, and bowing,
told him it was an advantage Munchausen should never be said to accept
from so gallant a warrior: on which Tippoo instantly discharged his
carbine, the ball from which, hitting my horse's ear, made him plunge
with rage and indignation. In return I discharged my pistol at Tippoo,
and shot off his turban. He had a small field-piece mounted with him
on his elephant, which he then discharged at me, and the grape-shot
coming in a shower, rattled in the laurels that covered and shaded me
all over, and remained pendant like berries on the branches. I then,
advancing, took the proboscis of his elephant, and turning it against
the rider, struck him repeatedly with the extremity of it on either
side of the head, until I at length dismounted him. Nothing could
equal the rage of the barbarian finding himself thrown from his
elephant. He rose in a fit of despair, and rushed against my steed and
myself: but I scorned to fight him at so great a disadvantage on his
side, and directly dismounted to fight him hand to hand. Never did I
fight with any man who bore himself more nobly than this adversary; he
parried my blows, and dealt home his own in return with astonishing
precision. The first blow of his sabre I received upon the bridge of
my nose, and but for the bony firmness of that part of my face, it
would have descended to my mouth. I still bear the mark upon my nose.

He next made a furious blow at my head, but I, parrying, deadened the
force of his sabre, so that I received but one scar on my forehead,
and at the same instant, by a blow of my sword, cut off his arm, and
his hand and sabre fell to the earth; he tottered for some paces, and
dropped at the foot of his elephant. That sagacious animal, seeing the
danger of his master, endeavoured to protect him by flourishing his
proboscis round the head of the Sultan.

Fearless I advanced against the elephant, desirous to take alive the
haughty Tippoo Sahib; but he drew a pistol from his belt, and
discharged it full in my face as I rushed upon him, which did me no
further harm than wound my cheek-bone, which disfigures me somewhat
under my left eye. I could not withstand the rage and impulse of that
moment, and with one blow of my sword separated his head from his

I returned overland from India to Europe with admirable velocity, so
that the account of Tippoo's defeat by me has not as yet arrived by
the ordinary passage, nor can you expect to hear of it for a
considerable time. I simply relate the encounter as it happened
between the Sultan and me; and if there be any one who doubts the
truth of what I say, he is an infidel, and I will fight him at any
time and place, and with any weapon he pleases.

Hearing so many persons talk about raising the "Royal George," I began
to take pity on that fine old ruin of British plank, and determined to
have her up. I was sensible of the failure of the various means
hitherto employed for the purpose, and therefore inclined to try a
method different from any before attempted. I got an immense balloon,
made of the toughest sail-cloth, and having descended in my diving-
bell, and properly secured the hull with enormous cables, I ascended
to the surface, and fastened my cables to the balloon. Prodigious
multitudes were assembled to behold the elevation of the "Royal
George," and as soon as I began to fill my balloon with inflammable
air the vessel evidently began to move: but when my balloon was
completely filled, she carried up the "Royal George" with the greatest
rapidity. The vessel appearing on the surface occasioned a universal
shout of triumph from the millions assembled on the occasion. Still
the balloon continued ascending, trailing the hull after like a
lantern at the tail of a kite, and in a few minutes appeared floating
among the clouds.

It was then the opinion of many philosophers that it would be more
difficult to get her down then it had been to draw her up. But I
convinced them to the contrary by taking my aim so exactly with a
twelve-pounder, that I brought her down in an instant.

I considered, that if I should break the balloon with a cannon-ball
while she remained with the vessel over the land, the fall would
inevitable occasion the destruction of the hull, and which, in its
fall, might crush some of the multitude; therefore I thought it safer
to take my aim when the balloon was over the sea, and pointing my
twelve-pounder, drove the ball right through the balloon, on which the
inflammable air rushed out with great force, and the "Royal George"
descended like a falling star into the very spot from whence she had
been taken. There she still remains, and I have convinced all Europe
of the possibility of taking her up.


/The Baron makes a speech to the National Assembly, and drives out
all the members--Routs the fishwomen and the National Guards--
Pursues the whole rout into a Church, where he defeats the
National Assembly, &c., with Rousseau, Voltaire, and Beelzebub at
their head, and liberates Marie Antoinette and the Royal Family./

Passing through Switzerland on my return from India, I was informed
that several of the German nobility had been deprived of the honours
and immunities of their French estates. I heard of the sufferings of
the amiable Marie Antoinette, and swore to avenge every look that had
threatened her with insult. I went to the cavern of these
Anthropophagi, assembled to debate, and gracefully putting the hilt of
my sword to my lips--"I swear," cried I, "by the sacred cross of my
sword, that if you do not instantly reinstate your king and his
nobility, and your injured queen, I will cut the one half of you to

On which the President, taking up a leaden inkstand, flung it at my
head. I stooped to avoid the blow, and rushing to the tribunal seized
the Speaker, who was fulminating against the Aristocrats, and taking
the creature by one leg, flung him at the President. I laid about me
most nobly, drove them all out of the house, and locking the doors put
the key in my pocket.

I then went to the poor king, and making my obeisance to him--"Sire,"
said I, "your enemies have all fled. I alone am the National Assembly
at present, and I shall register your edicts to recall the princes and
the nobility; and in future, if your majesty pleases, I will be your
Parliament and Council." He thanked me, and the amiable Marie
Antoinette, smiling, gave me her hand to kiss.

At that moment I perceived a party of the National Assembly, who had
rallied with the National Guards, and a vast procession of fishwomen,
advancing against me. I deposited their Majesties in a place of
safety, and with my drawn sword advanced against my foes. Three
hundred fishwomen, with bushes dressed with ribbons in their hands,
came hallooing and roaring against me like so many furies. I scorned
to defile my sword with their blood, but seized the first that came
up, and making her kneel down I knighted her with my sword, which so
terrified the rest that they all set up a frightful yell and ran away
as fast as they could for fear of being aristocrated by knighthood.

As to the National Guards and the rest of the Assembly, I soon put
them to flight; and having made prisoners of some of them, compelled
them to take down their national, and put the old royal cockade in its

I then pursued the enemy to the top of a hill, where a most noble
edifice dazzled my sight; noble and sacred it was but now converted to
the vilest purposes, their monument /de grands hommes/, a Christian
church that these Saracens had perverted into abomination. I burst
open the doors, and entered sword in hand. Here I observed all the
National Assembly marching round a great altar erected to Voltaire;
there was his statue in triumph, and the fishwomen with garlands
decking it, and singing "Ca ira!" I could bear the sight no longer;
but rushed upon these pagans, and sacrificed them by dozens on the
spot. The members of the Assembly, and the fishwomen, continued to
invoke their great Voltaire, and all their masters in this monument
/de grands hommes/, imploring them to come down and succour them
against the Aristocrats and the sword of Munchausen. Their cries were
horrible, like the shrieks of witches and enchanters versed in magic
and the black art, while the thunder growled, and storms shook the
battlements, and Rousseau, Voltaire, and Beelzebub appeared, three
horrible spectres; one all meagre, mere skin and bone, and cadaverous,
seemed death, that hideous skeleton; it was Voltaire, and in his hand
were a lyre and a dagger. On the other side was Rousseau, with a
chalice of sweet poison in his hand, and between them was their father

I shuddered at the sight, and with all the enthusiasm of rage, horror,
and piety, rushed in among them. I seized that cursed skeleton
Voltaire, and soon compelled him to renounce all the errors he had
advanced; and while he spoke the words, as if by magic charm, the
whole assembly shrieked, and the pandemonium began to tumble in
hideous ruin on their heads.

I returned in triumph to the palace, where the Queen rushed into my
arms, weeping tenderly. "Ah, thou flower of nobility," cried she,
"were all the nobles of France like thee, we should never have been
brought to this!"

I bade the lovely creature dry her eyes, and with the King and Dauphin
ascend my carriage, and drive post to Mont-Medi, as not an instant was
to be lost. They took my advice and drove away. I conveyed them within
a few miles of Mont-Medi, when the King, thanking me for my
assistance, hoped I would not trouble myself any farther, as he was
then, he presumed, out of danger; and the Queen also, with tears in
her eyes, thanked me on her knees, and presented the Dauphin for my
blessing. In short, I left the King eating a mutton chop. I advised
him not to delay, or he would certainly be taken, and setting spurs to
my horse, wished them a good evening, and returned to England. If the
King remained too long at table, and was taken, it was not my fault.

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