The heart of Munchausen was not made of such impenetrable stuff as to be insensible to the hatred of even the most worthless wretch in the whole kingdom; and once, at a general assembly of the states, filled with an idea of such continued ingratitude, I spoke as pathetic as possible, not, methought, beneath my dignity, to make them feel for me: that the universal good and happiness of the people were all I wished or desired; that if my actions had been mistaken, or improper surmises formed, still I had no wish, no desire, but the public welfare, &c. &c. &c.
Hilaro Frosticos was all this time much disturbed; he looked sternly at me—he frowned, but I was so engrossed with the warmth of my heart, my intentions, that I understood him not: in a minute I saw nothing but as if through a cloud (such is the force of amiable sensibility)—lords, ladies, chiefs—the whole assembly seemed to swim before my sight. The more I thought on my good intentions, the lampoons which so much affected my delicacy, good nature, tenderness—I forgot myself—I spoke rapid, violent—beneficence—fire—tenderness—alas! I melted into tears!
“Pish! pish!” said Hilaro Frosticos.
Now, indeed, was my government lampooned, satirised, carribonadoed, bepickled, and bedevilled. One day, with my arm full of lampoons, I started up as Hilaro entered the room, the tears in my eyes: “Look, look here, Hilaro!—how can I bear all this? It is impossible to please them; I will leave the government—I cannot bear it! See what pitiful anecdotes—what surmises: I will make my people feel for me—I will leave the government!”
“Pshaw!” says Hilaro. At that simple mono-syllable I found myself changed as if by magic! for I ever looked on Hilaro as a person so experienced—such fortitude, such good sense. “There are three sails, under the convoy of a frigate,” added Hilaro, “just arrived at the Cape, after a fortunate passage, laden with the fudge that we demanded. No time is to be lost; let it be immediately conducted hither, and distributed through the principal granaries of the empire.”
A proclamation by the Baron—Excessive curiosity of the people to know what fudge was—The people in a general ferment about it—They break open all the granaries in the empire—The affections of the people conciliated—An ode performed in honour of the Baron—His discourse with Fragrantia on the excellence of the music.
Some time after I ordered the following proclamation to be published in the Court Gazette, and in all the other papers of the empire:—
BY THE MOST MIGHTY AND PUISSANT LORD,
HIS EXCELLENCY THE
LORD BARON MUNCHAUSEN.
Whereas a quantity of fudge has been distributed through all the granaries of the empire for particular uses; and as the natives have ever expressed their aversion to all manner of European eatables, it is hereby strictly forbidden, under pain of the severest penalties, for any of the officers charged with the keeping of the said fudge to give, sell, or suffer to be sold, any part or quantity whatever of the said material, until it be agreeable unto our good will and pleasure.