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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_xxix [2005/11/22 18:01] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
 +===== CHAPTER XXIX =====
 +
 +//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!
 +hush!"
 +
 +
 +----
 +Go to [[CHAPTER XXX]]
 +
  
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_xxix.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 18:01 (external edit)