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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_xviii [2005/11/22 18:00] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
 +===== CHAPTER XVIII =====
  
 +A SECOND TRIP TO THE MOON
 +
 +//A second visit (but an accidental one) to the moon--The ship
 +driven by a whirlwind a thousand leagues above the surface of the
 +water, where a new atmosphere meets them and carries them into a
 +capacious harbour in the moon--A description of the inhabitants,​
 +and their manner of coming into the lunarian world--Animals,​
 +customs, weapons of war, wine, vegetables, &c.//
 +
 +I have already informed you of one trip I made to the moon, in search
 +of my silver hatchet; I afterwards made another in a much pleasanter
 +manner, and stayed in it long enough to take notice of several things,
 +which I will endeavour to describe as accurately as my memory will
 +permit.
 +
 +I went on a voyage of discovery at the request of a distant relation,
 +who had a strange notion that there were people to be found equal in
 +magnitude to those described by Gulliver in the empire of BROBDIGNAG.
 +For my part I always treated that account as fabulous: however, to
 +oblige him, for he had made me his heir, I undertook it, and sailed
 +for the South seas, where we arrived without meeting with anything
 +remarkable, except some flying men and women who were playing at leap-
 +frog, and dancing minuets in the air.
 +
 +On the eighteenth day after we had passed the Island of Otaheite,
 +mentioned by Captain Cook as the place from whence they brought Omai,
 +a hurricane blew our ship at least one thousand leagues above the
 +surface of the water, and kept it at the height till a fresh gale
 +arising filled the sails in every part, and onwards we travelled at a
 +prodigious rate; thus we proceeded above the clouds for six weeks. At
 +last we discovered a great land in the sky, like a shining island,
 +round and bright, where, coming into a convenient harbour, we went on
 +shore, and soon found it was inhabited. Below us we saw another earth,
 +containing cities, trees, mountains, rivers, seas, &c., which we
 +conjectured was this world which we had left. Here we saw huge figures
 +riding upon vultures of a prodigious size, and each of them having
 +three heads. To form some idea of the magnitude of these birds, I must
 +inform you that each of their wings is as wide and six times the
 +length of the main sheet of our vessel, which was about six hundred
 +tons burthen. Thus, instead of riding upon horses, as we do in this
 +world, the inhabitants of the moon (for we now found we were in Madam
 +Luna) fly about on these birds. The king, we found, was engaged in a
 +war with the sun, and he offered me a commission, but I declined the
 +honour his majesty intended me. Everything in //this// world is of
 +extraordinary magnitude! a common flea being much larger than one of
 +our sheep: in making war, their principal weapons are radishes, which
 +are used as darts: those who are wounded by them die immediately.
 +Their shields are made of mushrooms, and their darts (when radishes
 +are out of season) of the tops of asparagus. Some of the natives of
 +the dog-star are to be seen here; commerce tempts them to ramble;
 +their faces are like large mastiffs',​ with their eyes near the lower
 +end or tip of their noses: they have no eyelids, but cover their eyes
 +with the end of their tongues when they go to sleep; they are
 +generally twenty feet high. As to the natives of the moon, none of
 +them are less in stature than thirty-six feet: they are not called the
 +human species, but the cooking animals, for they all dress their food
 +by fire, as we do, but lose not time at their meals, as they open
 +their left side, and place the whole quantity at once in their
 +stomach, then shut it again till the same day in the next month; for
 +they never indulge themselves with food more than twelve times a year,
 +or once a month. All but gluttons and epicures must prefer this method
 +to ours.
 +
 +There is but one sex either of the cooking or any other animals in the
 +moon; they are all produced from trees of various sizes and foliage;
 +that which produces the cooking animal, or human species, is much more
 +beautiful than any of the others; it has large straight boughs and
 +flesh-coloured leaves, and the fruit it produces are nuts or pods,
 +with hard shells at least two yards long; when they become ripe, which
 +is known from their changing colour, they are gathered with great
 +care, and laid by as long as they think proper: when they choose to
 +animate the seed of these nuts, they throw them into a large cauldron
 +of boiling water, which opens the shells in a few hours, and out jumps
 +the creature.
 +
 +Nature forms their minds for different pursuits before they come into
 +the world; from one shell comes forth a warrior, from another a
 +philosopher,​ from a third a divine, from a fourth a lawyer, from a
 +fifth a farmer, from a sixth a clown, &c. &c., and each of them
 +immediately begins to perfect themselves, by practising what they
 +before knew only in theory.
 +
 +When they grow old they do not die, but turn into air, and dissolve
 +like smoke! As for their drink, they need none; the only evacuations
 +they have are insensible, and by their breath. They have but one
 +finger upon each hand, with which they perform everything in as
 +perfect a manner as we do who have four besides the thumb. Their heads
 +are placed under their right arm, and when are going to travel, or
 +about any violent exercise, they generally leave them at home, for
 +they can consult them at any distance; this is a very common practice;
 +and when those of rank or quality among the Lunarians have an
 +inclination to see what's going forward among the common people, they
 +stay at home, //i.e.//, the body stays at home, and sends the head only,
 +which is suffered to be present //incog.//, and return at pleasure with
 +an account of what has passed.
 +
 +The stones of their grapes are exactly like hail; and I am perfectly
 +satisfied that when a storm or high wind in the moon shakes their
 +vines, and breaks the grapes from the stalks, the stones fall down and
 +form our hail showers. I would advise those who are of my opinion to
 +save a quantity of these stones when it hails next, and make Lunarian
 +wine. It is a common beverage at St. Luke'​s. Some material
 +circumstances I had nearly omitted. They put their bellies to the same
 +use as we do a sack, and throw whatever they have occasion for into
 +it, for they can shut and open it again when they please, as they do
 +their stomachs; they are not troubled with bowels, liver, heart, or
 +any other intestines, neither are they encumbered with clothes, nor is
 +there any part of their bodies unseemly or indecent to exhibit.
 +
 +Their eyes they can take in and out of their places when they please,
 +and can see as well with them in their hand as in their head! and if
 +by any accident they lose or damage one, they can borrow or purchase
 +another, and see as clearly with it as their own. Dealers in eyes are
 +on that account very numerous in most parts of the moon, and in this
 +article alone all the inhabitants are whimsical: sometimes green and
 +sometimes yellow eyes are the fashion. I know these things appear
 +strange; but if the shadow of a doubt can remain on any person'​s mind,
 +I say, let him take a voyage there himself, and then he will know I am
 +a traveller of veracity.
 +
 +
 +----
 +Go to [[CHAPTER XIX]]
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_xviii.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 18:00 (external edit)