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Rudolf Erich Raspe
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 156 pages of information about The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen.
I travelled up to St. Petersburg a second time:  here an old friend gave me a most excellent pointer, descended from the famous bitch before-mentioned, that littered while she was hunting a hare.  I had the misfortune to have him shot soon after by a blundering sportsman, who fired at him instead of a covey of partridges which he had just set.  Of this creature’s skin I have had this waistcoat made (showing his waistcoat), which always leads me involuntarily to game if I walk in the fields in the proper season, and when I come within shot, one of the buttons constantly flies off, and lodges upon the spot where the sport is; and as the birds rise, being always primed and cocked, I never miss them.  Here are now but three buttons left.  I shall have a new set sewed on against the shooting season commences.

When a covey of partridges is disturbed in this manner, by the button falling amongst them, they always rise from the ground in a direct line before each other.  I one day, by forgetting to take my ramrod out of my gun, shot it straight through a leash, as regularly as if the cook had spitted them.  I had forgot to put in any shot, and the rod had been made so hot with the powder, that the birds were completely roasted by the time I reached home.

Since my arrival in England I have accomplished what I had very much at heart, viz., providing for the inhabitant of the Cheese Island, whom I had brought with me.  My old friend, Sir William Chambers, who is entirely indebted to me for all his ideas of Chinese gardening, by a description of which he has gained such high reputation; I say, gentlemen, in a discourse which I had with this gentlemen, he seemed much distressed for a contrivance to light the lamps at the new buildings, Somerset House; the common mode with ladders, he observed, was both dirty and inconvenient.  My native of the Cheese Island popped into my head; he was only nine feet high when I first brought him from his own country, but was now increased to ten and a half:  I introduced him to Sir William, and he is appointed to that honourable office.  He is also to carry, under a large cloak, a utensil in each coat pocket, instead of those four which Sir William has very properly fixed for private purposes in so conspicuous a situation, the great quadrangle.

He has also obtained from Mr. PITT the situation of messenger to his Majesty’s lords of the bed-chamber, whose principal employment will now be, divulging the secrets of the Royal household to their worthy Patron.

SUPPLEMENT

Extraordinary flight on the back of an eagle, over France to Gibraltar, South and North America, the Polar Regions, and back to England, within six-and-thirty hours.

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