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roleplaying:munchausen:chapter_xxxiv [2005/11/22 17:58] (current)
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 +====== TRAVELS OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN ======
  
 +===== CHAPTER XXXIV =====
 +
 +//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
 +pieces."​
 +
 +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
 +place.
 +
 +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
 +Beelzebub!
 +
 +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.
 +----
 +Return to the [[Contents Page]]
roleplaying/munchausen/chapter_xxxiv.txt · Last modified: 2005/11/22 17:58 (external edit)