The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen eBook

Rudolf Erich Raspe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
was suspended, as it usually is, from the head, between his teeth, and ran away with the ship, at least sixty leagues, at the rate of twelve leagues an hour, when fortunately the cable broke, and we lost both the whale and the anchor.  However, upon our return to Europe, some months after, we found the same whale within a few leagues of the same spot, floating dead upon the water; it measured above half a mile in length.  As we could take but a small quantity of such a monstrous animal on board, we got our boats out, and with much difficulty cut off his head, where, to our great joy, we found the anchor, and above forty fathom of the cable, concealed on the left side of his mouth, just under his tongue. [Perhaps this was the cause of his death, as that side of his tongue was much swelled, with a great degree of inflammation.] This was the only extraordinary circumstance that happened on this voyage.  One part of our distress, however, I had like to have forgot:  while the whale was running away with the ship she sprung a leak, and the water poured in so fast, that all our pumps could not keep us from sinking; it was, however, my good fortune to discover it first.  I found it a large hole about a foot diameter; you will naturally suppose this circumstance gives me infinite pleasure, when I inform you that this noble vessel was preserved, with all its crew, by a most fortunate thought! in short, I sat down over it, and could have dispensed with it had it been larger; nor will you be surprised when I inform you I am descended from Dutch parents. [The Baron’s ancestors have but lately settled there; in another part of his adventures he boasts of royal blood.]

My situation, while I sat there, was rather cool, but the carpenter’s art soon relieved me.

CHAPTER VIII

Bathes in the Mediterranean—­Meets an unexpected companion—­Arrives unintentionally in the regions of heat and darkness, from which he is extricated by dancing a hornpipe—­Frightens his deliverers, and returns on shore.

I was once in great danger of being lost in a most singular manner in the Mediterranean:  I was bathing in that pleasant sea near Marseilles one summer’s afternoon, when I discovered a very large fish, with his jaws quite extended, approaching me with the greatest velocity; there was no time to be lost, nor could I possibly avoid him.  I immediately reduced myself to as small a size as possible, by closing my feet and placing my hands also near my sides, in which position I passed directly between his jaws, and into his stomach, where I remained some time in total darkness, and comfortably warm, as you may imagine; at last it occurred to me, that by giving him pain he would be glad to get rid of me:  as I had plenty of room, I played my pranks, such as tumbling, hop, step, and jump, &c., but nothing seemed to disturb him so much as the quick motion of my feet in attempting to dance

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The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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