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.

Oh! ’twas divine, to see her like a summer’s morning, all blushing and full of dew!

CHAPTER XXVIII

The Baron sets all the people of the empire to work to build a bridge from their country to Great Britain—­His contrivance to render the arch secure—­Orders an inscription to be engraved on the bridge—­Returns with all his company, chariot, etc., to England—­Surveys the kingdoms and nations under him from the middle of the bridge.

“And now, most noble Baron,” said the illustrious Hilaro Frosticos, “now is the time to make this people proceed in any business that we find convenient.  Take them at this present ferment of the mind, let them not think, but at once set them to work.”  In short, the whole nation went heartily to the business, to build an edifice such as was never seen in any other country.  I took care to supply them with their favourite kava and fudge, and they worked like horses.  The tower of Babylon, which, according to Hermogastricus, was seven miles high, or the Chinese wall, was a mere trifle, in comparison to this stupendous edifice, which was completed in a very short space of time.

It was of an immense height, far beyond anything that ever had been before erected, and of such gentle ascent, that a regiment of cavalry with a train of cannon could ascend with perfect ease and facility.  It seemed like a rainbow in the heavens, the base of which appeared to rise in the centre of Africa, and the other extremity seemed to stoop into great Britain.  A most noble bridge indeed, and a piece of masonry that has outdone Sir Christopher Wren.  Wonderful must it have been to form so tremendous an arch, especially as the artists had certain difficulties to labour against which they could not have in the formation of any other arch in the world—­I mean, the attraction of the moon and planets:  Because the arch was of so great a height, and in some parts so elongated from the earth, as in a great measure to diminish in its gravitation to the centre of our globe; or rather, seemed more easily operated upon by the attraction of the planets:  So that the stones of the arch, one would think, at certain times, were ready to fall up to the moon, and at other times to fall down to the earth.  But as the former was more to be dreaded, I secured stability to the fabric by a very curious contrivance:  I ordered the architects to get the heads of some hundred numbskulls and blockheads, and fix them to the interior surface of the arch, at certain intervals, all the whole length, by which means the arch was held together firm, and its inclination to the earth eternally established; because of all the things in the world, the skulls of these kind of animals have a strange facility of tending to the centre of the earth.

The building being completed, I caused an inscription to be engraved in the most magnificent style upon the summit of the arch, in letters so great and luminous, that all vessels sailing to the East or West Indies might read them distinct in the heavens, like the motto of Constantine.

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