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Baron Munchausen


Baron Munchausen
Myunhauzens very much! In the XII century on the genealogical tree it has gathered nearly 1,300 people, about 50 today Hello. In Lower Saxony, scattered a dozen castles that once belonged to or members of this venerable genus belonging to today. A race is really respectable. In the XVIII and XIX centuries, he gave up eight people in the rank of ministers of various German states. Here and such vivid personalities as well-known in the XVI century Sate-skneht Hilmar von Munchausen, dobyvshy currently sword a lot of money for the purchase or restructuring of half a dozen locks. Here and founder of the University of Gottingen Gerlach Adolph von Munchausen, an agronomist and botanist Otto von Munchausen. There are half a dozen writers, among them - "the first poet of the Third Reich" Burris von Munchausen, whose verses chanted teenage Hitler Youth marching through the streets.

And the whole world knows only one thing - Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Munchausen, genealogist cal table number 701. And, perhaps, be it the number 701, if during his lifetime two writer - RE Raspe and Burger GA - not allowed around the world whether he had heard of Munchausen, or invented by them funny stories, which for two centuries, cause a smile from a variety of people in all corners of the earth. If we keep in mind the literary hero, he, in fact, not a German, but rather a citizen of the world, only the name speaks of his nationality. The very first line of the millions of books in which the name is, says, "I left home to Russia in the middle of winter ..." And millions of readers for the third age see Russia from his stories as a country where "wolves ran eat horses, where snow covers the ground up makovok churches and where the urine stream freezes in mid-air. "

What really binds Munchausen with Russia? How random in short stories he created "Russian scenery"? The basic facts of his biography are known, interest in it is caused by the literary glory which Baron himself, however, saw disgrace. Alas, there is still not one writer in Russia and Germany, talking about really existed, as it is called, "the historical Myunhauzenom" wittingly or unwittingly confuses his biography with the adventures of a fun-filled adventurer.

This is all the more painful that from the XVIII century are extant many documents, the pages of which Russian and German letters written in the name; they lie on the shelves of the archives of the two countries - Germany and Russia: in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Göttingen, Wolfenbüttel, Hannover, D Bodenverde. By linking them with some published and unpublished studies, we can draw a biography of Baron. The journal article will not be able to look through all the pages of his life story. And among them there is no way inferior to inflame the passions of the fact that in his name released sometime in light Raspe and Burger. Therefore dwell only on some of them.

Munchausen was born in 1720 in the small town of Bodenwerder, which lay then on an island in the middle of the river Weser. The emblem Myunhauzenom known from the XIII century, depicted in the garb of a monk of the Cistercian Order, and with a staff bag in his hand in the bag - the book. For eight centuries, repeatedly changed the spelling - Munchausen. There are about 80 variants. Among them - Monekhusen, Munchhausen, Monichusen, Monigkusen, Minnighusen and many others.

Our hero has lost his father and was brought up at the court of the Prince of Brunswick-Bevern Bevernskogo in the castle, not far from the house. In 1735 the Prince became the reigning Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and Munchausen was officially promoted to the pages. Ahead of the traditional opened to a poor nobleman career - military service in the army or Braunschweig smallest in neighboring states. But the fate of the young men opened before the other way.

Prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg Anton Ulrich, now in its fifth year living in Russia on the Rights of the groom Leopoldovna Anna, niece of the Russian Empress Anna Ivanovna, urgently need two pages instead of killed during the storming of the Turkish fortress Ochakov. After a long search (very few people want to go to the mysterious Russian) there were still two desperate and one of them - Munchausen. In St. Petersburg, he arrived at the beginning of February 1738. It is very likely (but not yet documented) that he immediately took part in the campaign against the Turks in the suite Anton Ulrich. I had to participate, and for that he was discharged.

In December 1739 Munchausen suite of Anton Ulrich goes to the army cornet in cuirassiers regiment of Brunswick, who was standing near Riga. Protection at the same time he had a wife of the Duke of Biron. So the level of a young man at the court of bonds was high.

Less than a year on the Russian throne, the monarch change occurs. Suddenly dies Empress Anna Ivanovna, passing before his death, the reign of Biron, and the crown - two months to Ivan Antonovich, the son of Anna Leopoldovna and Anton Ulrich, patron Munchausen. After another three weeks Biron is already sitting in a cell Shlisselburg Fortress, the ruler becomes Leopoldovna Anna and Anton Ulrich received the rank of generalissimo. But Munchausen Generalissimo did not forget: it is produced from cornets to lieutenant, and as proudly informs his mother, he beat 12 other Cornets, is expected to increase in rank.

Myunhauzenom was something to boast. He was appointed commander of the first regiment company commander, the commander in chief is directly in Riga for carrying honor guard parade and other actions (for example, in 1744 Munchausen commanded the guard, when in Riga drove Anhalt-Zerbst princess, the future Catherine II). In the military-historical archives are hundreds of documents that portray the life of a troubled company commander Munchausen (company consisted of 90 people). Here and repair of ammunition, and the acceptance of new horses, and reports on the sale of skins, stripped the fallen, allowing soldiers to marry, catch deserters, repair weapons, purchasing food and forage, grazing horses, correspondence with the heads of salary delays and more.

All documents written by a clerk in Russian and only signed «Lieutenant von Munchhausen». How good is our hero knew the Russian language, it is difficult to judge. In communicating with the officers he had not experienced difficulties with two-thirds of them were foreigners, mainly Germans. The documents to be submitted later to the rank of captain Munchausen, says that he can read and write in German and in Russian only said.

In the Russian-Swedish war, which began in 1741, Munchausen did not participate, it is documented. In general, the sole basis for claims by some biographers of fighting last baron is his letter to his mother in 1741 asking for clothes, because "old lost in the campaign." Most likely, with the exception of the campaign in 1738, where he was allegedly able to participate in the retinue of Anton Ulrich, Munchausen is still in the battle did not happen.

In the night from 24 to 25 November 1741 the daughter of Peter I, the Princess Elizabeth, personally leading the Grenadier company, he seized the throne. All so-called "Brunswick Family" (young emperor, his parents and sister, two months) were arrested and held for decades in prison. His fate shared by courtiers and servants. But Munchausen happily avoids such a fate, for both on a whim two years before the revolution moved from the ducal suites in the army. Lucky Myunhauzenom both. Initially, the new Empress announced that the military and civilians are shot all grades received by them in the previous government, but then thought better of it, realizing how many people she hurt it, and Munchausen retained his rank of lieutenant.

On the 24 th year of life Munchausen marries the daughter of a judge, Jacobine von Dunte (house Duntenov only recently burned near Riga). By the way, the paternal line Jacobine "sprouted" in Russia from the same place where Munchausen was born out of the current Lower Saxony. It was necessary to organize the family nest. But further career has not evolved. War was no more, to bypass a long series of lieutenants just as easily as a dozen Cornets, did not work. Finally in 1750, waiting for the next rank of captain, Munchausen asked for leave of absence for a year "to correct the extreme and essential needs" and left with his wife at home to settle the property business: at that time had long been dead mother, the war killed two of his brother.

Munchausen twice sent to Russia from Bodenwerder petition to extend the vacation and twice received a reprieve. But, apparently, "extreme and necessary needs" dragged in Russian baron did not return, and August 6, 1754 he was expelled from the regiment. From the Military Collegium of the documents that Munchausen asked to give him up, but received a reply that, according to the Russian law, he must personally appear in Russia, and to petition. Details of his arrival is not yet discovered.

True, not made-up adventures of Baron did not begin in Russia, and in Germany. Almost immediately he came into conflict with his native town. In Bodenwerder archive is a lot of documents that tell about it. It all started with the fact that the Baron wanted to build a bridge width of five cubits, which could move through a narrow arm of the Weser from his home to his same piece of land on the other side, and not make a big detour through the city bridge. Mayor banned Baron build the bridge, saying that then it is necessary to protect another entrance to the city.

Apparently, there had an extended stay Munchausen in Russia: he could not imagine that someone interferes retired officers in some hole, throw a few logs over a narrow ditch. Not a bit of it! Only had time to score a pile and put the beam as the townspeople gathered in the square and chaired some tailor a bell ringing with crowbars and ropes went to the house of Baron. In an instant, we pulled out of the pile, thrown off the beam in the water. Since the people were many, but the case did not have at all, then broke at the same time and new fence around the yard Munchausen. Then, for failure to pay any taxes he arrested pigs. Then require penalties for ease urban meadows.

Shortly after returning home Munchausen Seven Years' War broke out, the French invaded in the Hanover land requisitioning all the population, that is possible. Here Myunhauzenom lucky: Chief of the French corps gave him a safe-conduct, protecting his property from taxation and duties. Probably played a role service of Munchausen in the Russian army in the war - an ally of the French.

Munchausen marriage was childless, relations with neighbors, apparently, did not exist. "... In the mental confusion ... hunting and the war - this is the way, always ready for a gentleman" - as Goethe wrote, the younger contemporary of Munchausen. However, to defend the fatherland 36-year-old retired cuirassiers captain, a professional soldier, did not go, and chose hunting. It is not known how he was the best shooter, but soon he opened a bright talent of the narrator in the genre, called in Germany «Jagerlatein» - «Hunting jokes."

Listen to his collected not only friends, but also foreign people, when Baron went to the neighboring town of Hameln, Hanover, Göttingen ... whether he tells his stories in Bodenwerder is unknown, but probably not: Munchausen relationship with the townspeople remained strained. But gettingentsy eagerly awaited his arrival, usually going in the restaurant of the hotel "King of Prussia" to have fun with all the heart, listening to funny short stories Baron.

A contemporary described his impressions: "Usually, he began to talk after dinner, lit his huge meerschaum pipe with a short mouthpiece and put in front of a steaming cup of punch ... He gestured all the expressive, twisting his hands on his head a little nifty wig, his face more and more enlivened and reddened, and he is usually very truthful man, these minutes played wonderful imaginations. " (Incidentally, the wig was really nifty, remained one of the accounts for the new wig 4 thaler -. At that time quite a lot of money) Thank the narrator grew, but on oral literary creativity claims Baron never stretched. So it would be rolling his life to a quiet end, but in old age Munchausen ambushed adventure hotter than a flight to the nucleus.

First, his stories began to spread throughout Lower Saxony oral transmission; then began to appear cheerful collections of ridiculous stories, allegedly told a "M-g-h-n", and at the end of 1785 the baron's name was printed in full on the front page booklet, published in London. The following year she was reprinted four times! The first collections released in England, Rudolf Erich Raspe, who fled there from Kassel (not far from Bodenverde ra), born with the exiled need and hope for a fee. They were then processed and published another famous writer, Gottfried August Bürger. True, the first edition be published anonymously, and only from the middle of the XIX century, both of these names - separately or together - are on the title pages of all the books about the adventures of Baron Munchausen. These books quickly spread across Europe. (The first Russian edition was published around 1791, but there's all sorts of references to Russian translator carefully removed.)

Baron took his fantastic, but unsolicited literary fame as an insulting mockery, found his good name disgraced, even going to sue, but could change nothing. By the way, still in his name the Germans added the official epithet «Lugenbaron» - bapon-liar.

But this trouble was not enough. The last years of the life of the Baron - a solid row. In 1790, he buried his wife, and three years later, in the seventy-third year, he married the daughter of a Major from a nearby town, a certain Bernardine von Brunn (for family and friends - just Bernie), which according to some sources was 17, on the other - "20 years." Chagrin started from the date of the wedding, which Bernardine against the wishes of Baron invited many guests and musicians from Hanover and have fun with them all night, while the bridegroom went into the bedroom is still at 10 pm! Then it turned out that Bernardin, married, does not intend to interrupt a long-standing relationship with an old friend, a clerk from his native town, and after six months of marriage it turned out that she was pregnant.

Nephews childless Baron, from which so explicitly escaped inheritance, filed a lawsuit, Baron refused to recognize their unborn child, the judicial machine spun, requiring ever greater costs. Documents left of this case set the baron's lawyer made an application to the court on 86 pages, enclosing testimony (para 201). Seventeen witnesses of different ages, gender, and social status have argued that Bernardine shamelessly cheated on her husband, and described the smallest details of her walks, trips, meetings with the clerk, remembered her words and gestures, listed her purchases, we reported how the rumor went about it in Bodenwerder and surroundings ... But witnesses the most intimate connection and was not found, all the indications contained the words "very likely" and "without doubt," all the evidence was circumstantial, and no one saw the clerk in the arms of the baroness. The point was not easy.

Munchausen in the detailed explanations are the most sublime and noble motives that prompted him to marry a girl from a poor family. He, de, count on the joy of spiritual communion, but was cruelly deceived. Bernardin, for its part, claimed that the unborn child can only be from the Baron, and no one else, and her husband, as it turns out, has a bad temper, pathologically jealous, stingy, denies his wife in the ladies' innocent pleasures and generally out of your mind. The proceedings came to a dead end and slip, but demanded more money; Baron had to pay for the services of the doctor and midwife, the lawyer demanded that the witnesses were present at birth and bright lights were (in order to avoid any fraud and Child). The child (a girl) was born. Munchausen was forced to pay child support of his legitimate daughter - the amount was considerable, and he had to borrow money from one of his friends. From grief Baron took to his bed, nephews were beside themselves: the uncle may have died and the inheritance would have taken from them forever. But, oh joy! - So in the correspondence - the child died a year later! Baron died a year later, in 1796. He was very weak, cared for him his wife huntsman. In just a few days before the baron's death, she noticed that his feet do not have enough fingers. "They chewed off on hunting polar bear," - found the strength to joke that "the king of liars."

Baron was buried in the family vault in the village Myunhauzenom Kemnade near Bodenwerder. In the book, he called the church "a retired Russian cavalry captain."

Centuries later, the church opened the floor and vault, would move there remains resting at the cemetery. Witness (future writer Karl Hensel), who was then a boy, described his impressions: "When the coffin was opened, the men dropped out of the hand tools. The coffin did not lay a skeleton and a sleeping man with hair, skin and recognizable face: Hieronymus von Munchausen. Wide round kind face with a prominent nose and a bit of a smiling mouth. No scars, no mustache. " According to the church swept a gust of wind. And the body suddenly disintegrated into dust. "Instead of a face made the skull, instead of the body - the bones." The coffin was closed and did not migrate to another place.

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