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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_xxviii [2005/11/22 17:59] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
 +===== CHAPTER XXVIII =====
 +
 +//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
 +Constantine.
 +
 +KARDOL BAGARLAN KAI TON FARINGO SARGAI RA\\
 +MO PASHROL VATINEAC CAL COLNITOS RO NA FILNAT\\
 +AGASTRA SA DINGANNAL FANO.\\
 +
 +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.
 +
 +
 +----
 +Go to [[CHAPTER XXIX]]
 +
  
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_xxviii.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 17:59 (external edit)