Baron Munchausen's Narrative of his Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia/Preface

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BARON MUNNIKHOUSON, or MUNCHAUSEN, of Bodenweder, near Hameln on the Weser, belongs to the noble family of that name, which gave to the king's German dominions the late prime minister, and several other public characters, equally bright and illustrious. He is a man of great original humour; and having found that prejudiced minds cannot be reasoned into common sense, and that bold assertors are very apt to bully and speak their audience out of it; he never argues with either of them, but adroitly turns the conversation upon indifferent topicks, and then tells a story of his travels, campaigns, and sporting adventures, in a manner peculiar to himself, and well calculated to awaken and shame the common sense of those who have lost sight of it by prejudice or habit.

As this method has been often attended with good success, we beg leave to lay some of his stories before the Public, and humbly request those who shall find them rather extravagant and bordering upon the marvellous, which will require but a very moderate share of common sense, to exercise the same upon every occurrence of life, and chiefly upon our English politicks, in which old habits and bold assertions, set off by eloquent speeches, and supported by constitutional mobs, associations, volunteers, and foreign influence, have of late, we appprehend, but too successfully turned our brains, and made us the laughing-stock of Europe, and of France, and Holland in particular.