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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_vi [2005/11/22 17:59] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
 +===== CHAPTER VI =====
  
 +//The Baron is made a prisoner of war, and sold for a slave--Keeps
 +  the Sultan'​s bees, which are attacked by two bears--Loses one of
 +  his bees; a silver hatchet, which he throws at the bears, rebounds
 +  and flies up to the moon; brings it back by an ingenious
 +  invention; falls to the earth on his return, and helps himself out
 +  of a pit--Extricates himself from a carriage which meets his in a
 +  narrow road, in a manner never before attempted nor practised
 +  since--The wonderful effects of the frost upon his servant'​s
 +  French horn.//
 +
 +I was not always successful. I had the misfortune to be overpowered by
 +numbers, to be made prisoner of war; and, what is worse, but always
 +usual among the Turks, to be sold for a slave. [The Baron was
 +afterwards in great favour with the Grand Seignior, as will appear
 +hereafter.] In that state of humiliation my daily task was not very
 +hard and laborious, but rather singular and irksome. It was to drive
 +the Sultan'​s bees every morning to their pasture-grounds,​ to attend
 +them all the day long, and against night to drive them back to their
 +hives. One evening I missed a bee, and soon observed that two bears
 +had fallen upon her to tear her to pieces for the honey she carried. I
 +had nothing like an offensive weapon in my hands but the silver
 +hatchet, which is the badge of the Sultan'​s gardeners and farmers. I
 +threw it at the robbers, with an intention to frighten them away, and
 +set the poor bee at liberty; but, by an unlucky turn of my arm, it
 +flew upwards, and continued rising till it reached the moon. How
 +should I recover it? how fetch it down again? I recollected that
 +Turkey-beans grow very quick, and run up to an astonishing height. I
 +planted one immediately;​ it grew, and actually fastened itself to one
 +of the moon's horns. I had no more to do now but to climb up by it
 +into the moon, where I safely arrived, and had a troublesome piece of
 +business before I could find my silver hatchet, in a place where
 +everything has the brightness of silver; at last, however, I found it
 +in a heap of chaff and chopped straw. I was now for returning: but,
 +alas! the heat of the sun had dried up my bean; it was totally useless
 +for my descent: so I fell to work, and twisted me a rope of that
 +chopped straw, as long and as well as I could make it. This I fastened
 +to one of the moon's horns, and slid down to the end of it. Here I
 +held myself fast with the left hand, and with the hatchet in my right,
 +I cut the long, now useless end of the upper part, which, when tied to
 +the lower end, brought me a good deal lower: this repeated splicing
 +and tying of the rope did not improve its quality, or bring me down to
 +the Sultan'​s farm. I was four or five miles from the earth at least
 +when it broke; I fell to the ground with such amazing violence, that I
 +found myself stunned, and in a hole nine fathoms deep at least, made
 +by the weight of my body falling from so great a height: I recovered,
 +but knew not how to get out again; however, I dug slopes or steps with
 +my finger-nails [the Baron'​s nails were then of forty years' growth],
 +and easily accomplished it.
 +
 +Peace was soon after concluded with the Turks, and gaining my liberty,
 +I left St. Petersburg at the time of that singular revolution, when
 +the emperor in his cradle, his mother, the Duke of Brunswick, her
 +father, Field-Marshal Munich, and many others were sent to Siberia.
 +The winter was then so uncommonly severe all over Europe, that ever
 +since the sun seems to be frost-bitten. At my return to this place, I
 +felt on the road greater inconveniences than those I had experienced
 +on my setting out.
 +
 +I travelled post, and finding myself in a narrow lane, bid the
 +postillion give a signal with his horn, that other travellers might
 +not meet us in the narrow passage. He blew with all his might; but his
 +endeavours were in vain, he could not make the horn sound, which was
 +unaccountable,​ and rather unfortunate,​ for soon after we found
 +ourselves in the presence of another coach coming the other way: there
 +was no proceeding; however, I got out of my carriage, and being pretty
 +strong, placed it, wheels and all, upon my head: I then jumped over a
 +hedge about nine feet high (which, considering the weight of the
 +coach, was rather difficult) into a field, and came out again by
 +another jump into the road beyond the other carriage: I then went back
 +for the horses, and placing one upon my head, and the other under my
 +left arm, by the same means brought them to my coach, put to, and
 +proceeded to an inn at the end of our stage. I should have told you
 +that the horse under my arm was very spirited, and not above four
 +years old; in making my second spring over the hedge, he expressed
 +great dislike to that violent kind of motion by kicking and snorting;
 +however, I confined his hind legs by putting them into my coat-pocket.
 +After we arrived at the inn my postillion and I refreshed ourselves:
 +he hung his horn on a peg near the kitchen fire; I sat on the other
 +side.
 +
 +Suddenly we heard a //tereng! tereng! teng! teng!// We looked round, and
 +now found the reason why the postillion had not been able to sound his
 +horn; his tunes were frozen up in the horn, and came out now by
 +thawing, plain enough, and much to the credit of the driver; so that
 +the honest fellow entertained us for some time with a variety of
 +tunes, without putting his mouth to the horn--"​The King of Prussia'​s
 +March,"​ "Over the Hill and over the Dale," with many other favourite
 +tunes; at length the thawing entertainment concluded, as I shall this
 +short account of my Russian travels.
 +
 +//Some travellers are apt to advance more than is perhaps strictly
 +true; if any of the company entertain a doubt of my veracity, I shall
 +only say to such, I pity their want of faith, and must request they
 +will take leave before I begin the second part of my adventures, which
 +are as strictly founded in fact as those I have already related.//
 +
 +----
 +Go to [[CHAPTER VII]]
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_vi.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 17:59 (external edit)