The Baron always insists upon the strict truthfulness and accuracy of his stories and grows quite indignant when his veracity is questioned. To verify his words he printed the following notice at the beginning of his book:
TO THE PUBLIC:—Having heard, for the first time, that my adventures have been doubted, and looked upon as jokes, I feel bound to come forward, and vindicate my character for veracity, by paying three shillings at the Mansion House of this great city for the affidavits hereto appended.
This I have been forced into in regard of my own honor, although I have retired for many years from public and private life; and I hope that this, my last edition, will place me in a proper light with my readers.
AT THE CITY OF LONDON, ENGLAND
We, the undersigned, as true believers in the profit, do most solemnly affirm, that all the adventures of our friend Baron Munchausen, in whatever country they may lie, are positive and simple facts. And, as we have been believed, whose adventures are tenfold more wonderful, so do we hope all true believers will give him their full faith and credence.
Sworn at the Mansion House 9th November last, in the absence of the Lord Mayor.
JOHN (the Porter).
In this volume a few of his most amusing stories are printed—all, perhaps, that it is worth while to read.
Some years before my beard announced approaching manhood, or, in other words, when I was neither man nor boy, but between both, I expressed in repeated conversations a strong desire of seeing the world, from which I was discouraged by my parents, though my father had been no inconsiderable traveler himself, as will appear before I have reached the end of my singular, and, I may add, interesting adventures. A cousin, by my mother’s side, took a liking to me, often said I was a fine, forward youth, and was much inclined to gratify my curiosity. His eloquence had more effect than mine, for my father consented to my accompanying him in a voyage to the island of Ceylon, where his uncle had resided as governor many years.