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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.

From these islands we set out, attended by a fleet of canoes with fighting-stages and the chiefest warriors of the islands, commanded by Omai.  Thus the chariot of Queen Mab, my team of bulls and the crickets, the ark, the Sphinx, and the balloons, with Hilaro Frosticos, Gog and Magog, Lord Whittington, and the Lord Mayor’s show, Don Quixote, &c., with my fleet of canoes, altogether cut a very formidable appearance on our arrival at the Isthmus of Darien.  Sensible of what general benefit it would be to mankind, I immediately formed a plan of cutting a canal across the isthmus from sea to sea.

For this purpose I drove my chariot with the greatest impetuosity repeatedly from shore to shore, in the same track, tearing up the rocks and earth thereby, and forming a tolerable bed for the water.  Gog and Magog next advanced at the head of a million of people from the realms of North and South America, and from Europe, and with infinite labour cleared away the earth, &c., that I had ploughed up with my chariot.  I then again drove my chariot, making the canal wider and deeper, and ordered Gog and Magog to repeat their labour as before.  The canal being a quarter of a mile broad, and three hundred yards in depth, I thought it sufficient, and immediately let in the waters of the sea.  I did imagine, that from the rotatory motion of the earth on its axis from west to east the sea would be higher on the eastern than the western coast, and that on the uniting of the two seas there would be a strong current from the east, and it happened just as I expected.  The sea came in with tremendous magnificence, and enlarged the bounds of the canal, so as to make a passage of some miles broad from ocean to ocean, and make an island of South America.  Several sail of trading vessels and men-of-war sailed through this new channel to the South Seas, China, &c., and saluted me with all their cannon as they passed.

I looked through my telescope at the moon, and perceived the philosophers there in great commotion.  They could plainly discern the alteration on the surface of our globe, and thought themselves somehow interested in the enterprise of their fellow-mortals in a neighbouring planet.  They seemed to think it admirable that such little beings as we men should attempt so magnificent a performance, that would be observable even in a separate world.

Thus having wedded the Atlantic Ocean to the South Sea, I returned to England, and found Wauwau precisely in the very spot whence she had set out, after having led us a chase all round the world.

CHAPTER XXXIII

The Baron goes to Petersburgh, and converses with the Empress—­ Persuades the Russians and Turks to cease cutting one another’s throats, and in concert cut a canal across the Isthmus of Suez—­The Baron discovers the Alexandrine Library, and meets with Hermes Trismegistus—­Besieges Seringapatam, and challenges Tippoo Sahib to single combat—­They fight—­The Baron receives some wounds to his face, but at last vanquishes the tyrant—­The Baron returns to Europe, and raises the hull of the “Royal George."

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