The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen eBook

Rudolf Erich Raspe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
great deer-stealer; I think his name was Shakespeare:  he frequently borrowed this sling, and with it killed so much of Sir Thomas Lucy’s venison, that he narrowly escaped the fate of my two friends at Gibraltar.  Poor Shakespeare was imprisoned, and my ancestor obtained his freedom in a very singular manner.  Queen Elizabeth was then on the throne, but grown so indolent, that every trifling matter was a trouble to her; dressing, undressing, eating, drinking, and some other offices which shall be nameless, made life a burden to her; all these things he enabled her to do without, or by a deputy! and what do you think was the only return she could prevail upon him to accept for such eminent services? setting Shakespeare at liberty!  Such was his affection for that famous writer, that he would have shortened his own days to add to the number of his friend’s.

I do not hear that any of the queen’s subjects, particularly the beef-eaters, as they are vulgarly called to this day, however they might be struck with the novelty at the time, much approved of her living totally without food.  She did not survive the practice herself above seven years and a half.

My father, who was the immediate possessor of this sling before me, told me the following anecdote:—­

He was walking by the sea-shore at Harwich, with this sling in his pocket; before his paces had covered a mile he was attacked by a fierce animal called a seahorse, open-mouthed, who ran at him with great fury; he hesitated a moment, then took out his sling, retreated back about a hundred yards, stooped for a couple of pebbles, of which there were plenty under his feet, and slung them both so dexterously at the animal, that each stone put out an eye, and lodged in the cavities which their removal had occasioned.  He now got upon his back, and drove him into the sea; for the moment he lost his sight he lost also ferocity, and became as tame as possible:  the sling was placed as a bridle in his mouth; he was guided with the greatest facility across the ocean, and in less than three hours they both arrived on the opposite shore, which is about thirty leagues.  The master of the Three Cups, at Helvoetsluys, in Holland, purchased this marine horse, to make an exhibition of, for seven hundred ducats, which was upwards of three hundred pounds, and the next day my father paid his passage back in the packet to Harwich.

_—­My father made several curious observations in this passage, which I will relate hereafter._


The frolic; its consequences—­Windsor Castle—­St. Paul’s—­College of Physicians—­Undertakers, sextons, &c., almost ruined—­Industry of the apothecaries.


This famous sling makes the possessor equal to any task he is desirous of performing.

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