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Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Part 2 out of 6

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"You are very sensible that Skyresh Bolgolam" (galbet, or high-
admiral) "has been your mortal enemy, almost ever since your
arrival. His original reasons I know not; but his hatred is
increased since your great success against Blefuscu, by which his
glory as admiral is much obscured. This lord, in conjunction with
Flimnap the high-treasurer, whose enmity against you is notorious
on account of his lady, Limtoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain,
and Balmuff the grand justiciary, have prepared articles of
impeachment against you, for treason and other capital crimes."

This preface made me so impatient, being conscious of my own merits
and innocence, that I was going to interrupt him; when he entreated
me to be silent, and thus proceeded:-

"Out of gratitude for the favours you have done me, I procured
information of the whole proceedings, and a copy of the articles;
wherein I venture my head for your service.

"'Articles of Impeachment against QUINBUS FLESTRIN, (the Man-


"'Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his imperial majesty
Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted, that, whoever shall make water
within the precincts of the royal palace, shall be liable to the
pains and penalties of high-treason; notwithstanding, the said
Quinbus Flestrin, in open breach of the said law, under colour of
extinguishing the fire kindled in the apartment of his majesty's
most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, traitorously, and
devilishly, by discharge of his urine, put out the said fire
kindled in the said apartment, lying and being within the precincts
of the said royal palace, against the statute in that case
provided, etc. against the duty, etc.


"'That the said Quinbus Flestrin, having brought the imperial fleet
of Blefuscu into the royal port, and being afterwards commanded by
his imperial majesty to seize all the other ships of the said
empire of Blefuscu, and reduce that empire to a province, to be
governed by a viceroy from hence, and to destroy and put to death,
not only all the Big-endian exiles, but likewise all the people of
that empire who would not immediately forsake the Big-endian
heresy, he, the said Flestrin, like a false traitor against his
most auspicious, serene, imperial majesty, did petition to be
excused from the said service, upon pretence of unwillingness to
force the consciences, or destroy the liberties and lives of an
innocent people.


"'That, whereas certain ambassadors arrived from the Court of
Blefuscu, to sue for peace in his majesty's court, he, the said
Flestrin, did, like a false traitor, aid, abet, comfort, and
divert, the said ambassadors, although he knew them to be servants
to a prince who was lately an open enemy to his imperial majesty,
and in an open war against his said majesty.


"'That the said Quinbus Flestrin, contrary to the duty of a
faithful subject, is now preparing to make a voyage to the court
and empire of Blefuscu, for which he has received only verbal
license from his imperial majesty; and, under colour of the said
license, does falsely and traitorously intend to take the said
voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the emperor of
Blefuscu, so lately an enemy, and in open war with his imperial
majesty aforesaid.'

"There are some other articles; but these are the most important,
of which I have read you an abstract.

"In the several debates upon this impeachment, it must be confessed
that his majesty gave many marks of his great lenity; often urging
the services you had done him, and endeavouring to extenuate your
crimes. The treasurer and admiral insisted that you should be put
to the most painful and ignominious death, by setting fire to your
house at night, and the general was to attend with twenty thousand
men, armed with poisoned arrows, to shoot you on the face and
hands. Some of your servants were to have private orders to strew
a poisonous juice on your shirts and sheets, which would soon make
you tear your own flesh, and die in the utmost torture. The
general came into the same opinion; so that for a long time there
was a majority against you; but his majesty resolving, if possible,
to spare your life, at last brought off the chamberlain.

"Upon this incident, Reldresal, principal secretary for private
affairs, who always approved himself your true friend, was
commanded by the emperor to deliver his opinion, which he
accordingly did; and therein justified the good thoughts you have
of him. He allowed your crimes to be great, but that still there
was room for mercy, the most commendable virtue in a prince, and
for which his majesty was so justly celebrated. He said, the
friendship between you and him was so well known to the world, that
perhaps the most honourable board might think him partial; however,
in obedience to the command he had received, he would freely offer
his sentiments. That if his majesty, in consideration of your
services, and pursuant to his own merciful disposition, would
please to spare your life, and only give orders to put out both
your eyes, he humbly conceived, that by this expedient justice
might in some measure be satisfied, and all the world would applaud
the lenity of the emperor, as well as the fair and generous
proceedings of those who have the honour to be his counsellors.
That the loss of your eyes would be no impediment to your bodily
strength, by which you might still be useful to his majesty; that
blindness is an addition to courage, by concealing dangers from us;
that the fear you had for your eyes, was the greatest difficulty in
bringing over the enemy's fleet, and it would be sufficient for you
to see by the eyes of the ministers, since the greatest princes do
no more.

"This proposal was received with the utmost disapprobation by the
whole board. Bolgolam, the admiral, could not preserve his temper,
but, rising up in fury, said, he wondered how the secretary durst
presume to give his opinion for preserving the life of a traitor;
that the services you had performed were, by all true reasons of
state, the great aggravation of your crimes; that you, who were
able to extinguish the fire by discharge of urine in her majesty's
apartment (which he mentioned with horror), might, at another time,
raise an inundation by the same means, to drown the whole palace;
and the same strength which enabled you to bring over the enemy's
fleet, might serve, upon the first discontent, to carry it back;
that he had good reasons to think you were a Big-endian in your
heart; and, as treason begins in the heart, before it appears in
overt-acts, so he accused you as a traitor on that account, and
therefore insisted you should be put to death.

"The treasurer was of the same opinion: he showed to what straits
his majesty's revenue was reduced, by the charge of maintaining
you, which would soon grow insupportable; that the secretary's
expedient of putting out your eyes, was so far from being a remedy
against this evil, that it would probably increase it, as is
manifest from the common practice of blinding some kind of fowls,
after which they fed the faster, and grew sooner fat; that his
sacred majesty and the council, who are your judges, were, in their
own consciences, fully convinced of your guilt, which was a
sufficient argument to condemn you to death, without the formal
proofs required by the strict letter of the law.

"But his imperial majesty, fully determined against capital
punishment, was graciously pleased to say, that since the council
thought the loss of your eyes too easy a censure, some other way
may be inflicted hereafter. And your friend the secretary, humbly
desiring to be heard again, in answer to what the treasurer had
objected, concerning the great charge his majesty was at in
maintaining you, said, that his excellency, who had the sole
disposal of the emperor's revenue, might easily provide against
that evil, by gradually lessening your establishment; by which, for
want of sufficient for you would grow weak and faint, and lose your
appetite, and consequently, decay, and consume in a few months;
neither would the stench of your carcass be then so dangerous, when
it should become more than half diminished; and immediately upon
your death five or six thousand of his majesty's subjects might, in
two or three days, cut your flesh from your bones, take it away by
cart-loads, and bury it in distant parts, to prevent infection,
leaving the skeleton as a monument of admiration to posterity.

"Thus, by the great friendship of the secretary, the whole affair
was compromised. It was strictly enjoined, that the project of
starving you by degrees should be kept a secret; but the sentence
of putting out your eyes was entered on the books; none dissenting,
except Bolgolam the admiral, who, being a creature of the empress,
was perpetually instigated by her majesty to insist upon your
death, she having borne perpetual malice against you, on account of
that infamous and illegal method you took to extinguish the fire in
her apartment.

"In three days your friend the secretary will be directed to come
to your house, and read before you the articles of impeachment; and
then to signify the great lenity and favour of his majesty and
council, whereby you are only condemned to the loss of your eyes,
which his majesty does not question you will gratefully and humbly
submit to; and twenty of his majesty's surgeons will attend, in
order to see the operation well performed, by discharging very
sharp-pointed arrows into the balls of your eyes, as you lie on the

"I leave to your prudence what measures you will take; and to avoid
suspicion, I must immediately return in as private a manner as I

His lordship did so; and I remained alone, under many doubts and
perplexities of mind.

It was a custom introduced by this prince and his ministry (very
different, as I have been assured, from the practice of former
times,) that after the court had decreed any cruel execution,
either to gratify the monarch's resentment, or the malice of a
favourite, the emperor always made a speech to his whole council,
expressing his great lenity and tenderness, as qualities known and
confessed by all the world. This speech was immediately published
throughout the kingdom; nor did any thing terrify the people so
much as those encomiums on his majesty's mercy; because it was
observed, that the more these praises were enlarged and insisted
on, the more inhuman was the punishment, and the sufferer more
innocent. Yet, as to myself, I must confess, having never been
designed for a courtier, either by my birth or education, I was so
ill a judge of things, that I could not discover the lenity and
favour of this sentence, but conceived it (perhaps erroneously)
rather to be rigorous than gentle. I sometimes thought of standing
my trial, for, although I could not deny the facts alleged in the
several articles, yet I hoped they would admit of some extenuation.
But having in my life perused many state-trials, which I ever
observed to terminate as the judges thought fit to direct, I durst
not rely on so dangerous a decision, in so critical a juncture, and
against such powerful enemies. Once I was strongly bent upon
resistance, for, while I had liberty the whole strength of that
empire could hardly subdue me, and I might easily with stones pelt
the metropolis to pieces; but I soon rejected that project with
horror, by remembering the oath I had made to the emperor, the
favours I received from him, and the high title of nardac he
conferred upon me. Neither had I so soon learned the gratitude of
courtiers, to persuade myself, that his majesty's present seventies
acquitted me of all past obligations.

At last, I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is probable I may
incur some censure, and not unjustly; for I confess I owe the
preserving of mine eyes, and consequently my liberty, to my own
great rashness and want of experience; because, if I had then known
the nature of princes and ministers, which I have since observed in
many other courts, and their methods of treating criminals less
obnoxious than myself, I should, with great alacrity and readiness,
have submitted to so easy a punishment. But hurried on by the
precipitancy of youth, and having his imperial majesty's license to
pay my attendance upon the emperor of Blefuscu, I took this
opportunity, before the three days were elapsed, to send a letter
to my friend the secretary, signifying my resolution of setting out
that morning for Blefuscu, pursuant to the leave I had got; and,
without waiting for an answer, I went to that side of the island
where our fleet lay. I seized a large man of war, tied a cable to
the prow, and, lifting up the anchors, I stripped myself, put my
clothes (together with my coverlet, which I carried under my arm)
into the vessel, and, drawing it after me, between wading and
swimming arrived at the royal port of Blefuscu, where the people
had long expected me: they lent me two guides to direct me to the
capital city, which is of the same name. I held them in my hands,
till I came within two hundred yards of the gate, and desired them
"to signify my arrival to one of the secretaries, and let him know,
I there waited his majesty's command." I had an answer in about an
hour, "that his majesty, attended by the royal family, and great
officers of the court, was coming out to receive me." I advanced a
hundred yards. The emperor and his train alighted from their
horses, the empress and ladies from their coaches, and I did not
perceive they were in any fright or concern. I lay on the ground
to kiss his majesty's and the empress's hands. I told his majesty,
"that I was come according to my promise, and with the license of
the emperor my master, to have the honour of seeing so mighty a
monarch, and to offer him any service in my power, consistent with
my duty to my own prince;" not mentioning a word of my disgrace,
because I had hitherto no regular information of it, and might
suppose myself wholly ignorant of any such design; neither could I
reasonably conceive that the emperor would discover the secret,
while I was out of his power; wherein, however, it soon appeared I
was deceived.

I shall not trouble the reader with the particular account of my
reception at this court, which was suitable to the generosity of so
great a prince; nor of the difficulties I was in for want of a
house and bed, being forced to lie on the ground, wrapped up in my


[The author, by a lucky accident, finds means to leave Blefuscu;
and, after some difficulties, returns safe to his native country.]

Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the north-
east coast of the island, I observed, about half a league off in
the sea, somewhat that looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off
my shoes and stockings, and, wailing two or three hundred yards, I
found the object to approach nearer by force of the tide; and then
plainly saw it to be a real boat, which I supposed might by some
tempest have been driven from a ship. Whereupon, I returned
immediately towards the city, and desired his imperial majesty to
lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he had left, after the loss
of his fleet, and three thousand seamen, under the command of his
vice-admiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went back the
shortest way to the coast, where I first discovered the boat. I
found the tide had driven it still nearer. The seamen were all
provided with cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a
sufficient strength. When the ships came up, I stripped myself,
and waded till I came within a hundred yards off the boat, after
which I was forced to swim till I got up to it. The seamen threw
me the end of the cord, which I fastened to a hole in the fore-part
of the boat, and the other end to a man of war; but I found all my
labour to little purpose; for, being out of my depth, I was not
able to work. In this necessity I was forced to swim behind, and
push the boat forward, as often as I could, with one of my hands;
and the tide favouring me, I advanced so far that I could just hold
up my chin and feel the ground. I rested two or three minutes, and
then gave the boat another shove, and so on, till the sea was no
higher than my arm-pits; and now, the most laborious part being
over, I took out my other cables, which were stowed in one of the
ships, and fastened them first to the boat, and then to nine of the
vessels which attended me; the wind being favourable, the seamen
towed, and I shoved, until we arrived within forty yards of the
shore; and, waiting till the tide was out, I got dry to the boat,
and by the assistance of two thousand men, with ropes and engines,
I made a shift to turn it on its bottom, and found it was but
little damaged.

I shall not trouble the reader with the difficulties I was under,
by the help of certain paddles, which cost me ten days making, to
get my boat to the royal port of Blefuscu, where a mighty concourse
of people appeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at the sight of
so prodigious a vessel. I told the emperor "that my good fortune
had thrown this boat in my way, to carry me to some place whence I
might return into my native country; and begged his majesty's
orders for getting materials to fit it up, together with his
license to depart;" which, after some kind expostulations, he was
pleased to grant.

I did very much wonder, in all this time, not to have heard of any
express relating to me from our emperor to the court of Blefuscu.
But I was afterward given privately to understand, that his
imperial majesty, never imagining I had the least notice of his
designs, believed I was only gone to Blefuscu in performance of my
promise, according to the license he had given me, which was well
known at our court, and would return in a few days, when the
ceremony was ended. But he was at last in pain at my long absence;
and after consulting with the treasurer and the rest of that cabal,
a person of quality was dispatched with the copy of the articles
against me. This envoy had instructions to represent to the
monarch of Blefuscu, "the great lenity of his master, who was
content to punish me no farther than with the loss of mine eyes;
that I had fled from justice; and if I did not return in two hours,
I should be deprived of my title of nardac, and declared a
traitor." The envoy further added, "that in order to maintain the
peace and amity between both empires, his master expected that his
brother of Blefuscu would give orders to have me sent back to
Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to be punished as a traitor."

The emperor of Blefuscu, having taken three days to consult,
returned an answer consisting of many civilities and excuses. He
said, "that as for sending me bound, his brother knew it was
impossible; that, although I had deprived him of his fleet, yet he
owed great obligations to me for many good offices I had done him
in making the peace. That, however, both their majesties would
soon be made easy; for I had found a prodigious vessel on the
shore, able to carry me on the sea, which he had given orders to
fit up, with my own assistance and direction; and he hoped, in a
few weeks, both empires would be freed from so insupportable an

With this answer the envoy returned to Lilliput; and the monarch of
Blefuscu related to me all that had passed; offering me at the same
time (but under the strictest confidence) his gracious protection,
if I would continue in his service; wherein, although I believed
him sincere, yet I resolved never more to put any confidence in
princes or ministers, where I could possibly avoid it; and
therefore, with all due acknowledgments for his favourable
intentions, I humbly begged to be excused. I told him, "that since
fortune, whether good or evil, had thrown a vessel in my way, I was
resolved to venture myself on the ocean, rather than be an occasion
of difference between two such mighty monarchs." Neither did I
find the emperor at all displeased; and I discovered, by a certain
accident, that he was very glad of my resolution, and so were most
of his ministers.

These considerations moved me to hasten my departure somewhat
sooner than I intended; to which the court, impatient to have me
gone, very readily contributed. Five hundred workmen were employed
to make two sails to my boat, according to my directions, by
quilting thirteen folds of their strongest linen together. I was
at the pains of making ropes and cables, by twisting ten, twenty,
or thirty of the thickest and strongest of theirs. A great stone
that I happened to find, after a long search, by the sea-shore,
served me for an anchor. I had the tallow of three hundred cows,
for greasing my boat, and other uses. I was at incredible pains in
cutting down some of the largest timber-trees, for oars and masts,
wherein I was, however, much assisted by his majesty's ship-
carpenters, who helped me in smoothing them, after I had done the
rough work.

In about a month, when all was prepared, I sent to receive his
majesty's commands, and to take my leave. The emperor and royal
family came out of the palace; I lay down on my face to kiss his
hand, which he very graciously gave me: so did the empress and
young princes of the blood. His majesty presented me with fifty
purses of two hundred sprugs a-piece, together with his picture at
full length, which I put immediately into one of my gloves, to keep
it from being hurt. The ceremonies at my departure were too many
to trouble the reader with at this time.

I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred oxen, and three
hundred sheep, with bread and drink proportionable, and as much
meat ready dressed as four hundred cooks could provide. I took
with me six cows and two bulls alive, with as many ewes and rams,
intending to carry them into my own country, and propagate the
breed. And to feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay, and
a bag of corn. I would gladly have taken a dozen of the natives,
but this was a thing the emperor would by no means permit; and,
besides a diligent search into my pockets, his majesty engaged my
honour "not to carry away any of his subjects, although with their
own consent and desire."

Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able, I set sail
on the twenty-fourth day of September 1701, at six in the morning;
and when I had gone about four-leagues to the northward, the wind
being at south-east, at six in the evening I descried a small
island, about half a league to the north-west. I advanced forward,
and cast anchor on the lee-side of the island, which seemed to be
uninhabited. I then took some refreshment, and went to my rest. I
slept well, and as I conjectured at least six hours, for I found
the day broke in two hours after I awaked. It was a clear night.
I ate my breakfast before the sun was up; and heaving anchor, the
wind being favourable, I steered the same course that I had done
the day before, wherein I was directed by my pocket compass. My
intention was to reach, if possible, one of those islands. which I
had reason to believe lay to the north-east of Van Diemen's Land.
I discovered nothing all that day; but upon the next, about three
in the afternoon, when I had by my computation made twenty-four
leagues from Blefuscu, I descried a sail steering to the south-
east; my course was due east. I hailed her, but could get no
answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the wind slackened. I
made all the sail I could, and in half an hour she spied me, then
hung out her ancient, and discharged a gun. It is not easy to
express the joy I was in, upon the unexpected hope of once more
seeing my beloved country, and the dear pledges I left in it. The
ship slackened her sails, and I came up with her between five and
six in the evening, September 26th; but my heart leaped within me
to see her English colours. I put my cows and sheep into my coat-
pockets, and got on board with all my little cargo of provisions.
The vessel was an English merchantman, returning from Japan by the
North and South seas; the captain, Mr. John Biddel, of Deptford, a
very civil man, and an excellent sailor.

We were now in the latitude of 30 degrees south; there were about
fifty men in the ship; and here I met an old comrade of mine, one
Peter Williams, who gave me a good character to the captain. This
gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I would let him
know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound; which I
did in a few words, but he thought I was raving, and that the
dangers I underwent had disturbed my head; whereupon I took my
black cattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after great
astonishment, clearly convinced him of my veracity. I then showed
him the gold given me by the emperor of Blefuscu, together with his
majesty's picture at full length, and some other rarities of that
country. I gave him two purses of two hundreds sprugs each, and
promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a present of a
cow and a sheep big with young.

I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this
voyage, which was very prosperous for the most part. We arrived in
the Downs on the 13th of April, 1702. I had only one misfortune,
that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep; I found her
bones in a hole, picked clean from the flesh. The rest of my
cattle I got safe ashore, and set them a-grazing in a bowling-green
at Greenwich, where the fineness of the grass made them feed very
heartily, though I had always feared the contrary: neither could I
possibly have preserved them in so long a voyage, if the captain
had not allowed me some of his best biscuit, which, rubbed to
powder, and mingled with water, was their constant food. The short
time I continued in England, I made a considerable profit by
showing my cattle to many persons of quality and others: and
before I began my second voyage, I sold them for six hundred
pounds. Since my last return I find the breed is considerably
increased, especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to
the advantage of the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the

I stayed but two months with my wife and family, for my insatiable
desire of seeing foreign countries, would suffer me to continue no
longer. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife, and fixed her
in a good house at Redriff. My remaining stock I carried with me,
part in money and part in goods, in hopes to improve my fortunes.
My eldest uncle John had left me an estate in land, near Epping, of
about thirty pounds a-year; and I had a long lease of the Black
Bull in Fetter-Lane, which yielded me as much more; so that I was
not in any danger of leaving my family upon the parish. My son
Johnny, named so after his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a
towardly child. My daughter Betty (who is now well married, and
has children) was then at her needle-work. I took leave of my
wife, and boy and girl, with tears on both sides, and went on board
the Adventure, a merchant ship of three hundred tons, bound for
Surat, captain John Nicholas, of Liverpool, commander. But my
account of this voyage must be referred to the Second Part of my



[A great storm described; the long boat sent to fetch water; the
author goes with it to discover the country. He is left on shore,
is seized by one of the natives, and carried to a farmer's house.
His reception, with several accidents that happened there. A
description of the inhabitants.]

Having been condemned, by nature and fortune, to active and
restless life, in two months after my return, I again left my
native country, and took shipping in the Downs, on the 20th day of
June, 1702, in the Adventure, Captain John Nicholas, a Cornish man,
commander, bound for Surat. We had a very prosperous gale, till we
arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, where we landed for fresh water;
but discovering a leak, we unshipped our goods and wintered there;
for the captain falling sick of an ague, we could not leave the
Cape till the end of March. We then set sail, and had a good
voyage till we passed the Straits of Madagascar; but having got
northward of that island, and to about five degrees south latitude,
the winds, which in those seas are observed to blow a constant
equal gale between the north and west, from the beginning of
December to the beginning of May, on the 19th of April began to
blow with much greater violence, and more westerly than usual,
continuing so for twenty days together: during which time, we were
driven a little to the east of the Molucca Islands, and about three
degrees northward of the line, as our captain found by an
observation he took the 2nd of May, at which time the wind ceased,
and it was a perfect calm, whereat I was not a little rejoiced.
But he, being a man well experienced in the navigation of those
seas, bid us all prepare against a storm, which accordingly
happened the day following: for the southern wind, called the
southern monsoon, began to set in.

Finding it was likely to overblow, we took in our sprit-sail, and
stood by to hand the fore-sail; but making foul weather, we looked
the guns were all fast, and handed the mizen. The ship lay very
broad off, so we thought it better spooning before the sea, than
trying or hulling. We reefed the fore-sail and set him, and hauled
aft the fore-sheet; the helm was hard a-weather. The ship wore
bravely. We belayed the fore down-haul; but the sail was split,
and we hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and
unbound all the things clear of it. It was a very fierce storm;
the sea broke strange and dangerous. We hauled off upon the
laniard of the whip-staff, and helped the man at the helm. We
would not get down our topmast, but let all stand, because she
scudded before the sea very well, and we knew that the top-mast
being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made better way
through the sea, seeing we had sea-room. When the storm was over,
we set fore-sail and main-sail, and brought the ship to. Then we
set the mizen, main-top-sail, and the fore-top-sail. Our course
was east-north-east, the wind was at south-west. We got the
starboard tacks aboard, we cast off our weather-braces and lifts;
we set in the lee-braces, and hauled forward by the weather-
bowlings, and hauled them tight, and belayed them, and hauled over
the mizen tack to windward, and kept her full and by as near as she
would lie.

During this storm, which was followed by a strong wind west-south-
west, we were carried, by my computation, about five hundred
leagues to the east, so that the oldest sailor on board could not
tell in what part of the world we were. Our provisions held out
well, our ship was staunch, and our crew all in good health; but we
lay in the utmost distress for water. We thought it best to hold
on the same course, rather than turn more northerly, which might
have brought us to the north-west part of Great Tartary, and into
the Frozen Sea.

On the 16th day of June, 1703, a boy on the top-mast discovered
land. On the 17th, we came in full view of a great island, or
continent (for we knew not whether;) on the south side whereof was
a small neck of land jutting out into the sea, and a creek too
shallow to hold a ship of above one hundred tons. We cast anchor
within a league of this creek, and our captain sent a dozen of his
men well armed in the long-boat, with vessels for water, if any
could be found. I desired his leave to go with them, that I might
see the country, and make what discoveries I could. When we came
to land we saw no river or spring, nor any sign of inhabitants.
Our men therefore wandered on the shore to find out some fresh
water near the sea, and I walked alone about a mile on the other
side, where I observed the country all barren and rocky. I now
began to be weary, and seeing nothing to entertain my curiosity, I
returned gently down towards the creek; and the sea being full in
my view, I saw our men already got into the boat, and rowing for
life to the ship. I was going to holla after them, although it had
been to little purpose, when I observed a huge creature walking
after them in the sea, as fast as he could: he waded not much
deeper than his knees, and took prodigious strides: but our men
had the start of him half a league, and, the sea thereabouts being
full of sharp-pointed rocks, the monster was not able to overtake
the boat. This I was afterwards told, for I durst not stay to see
the issue of the adventure; but ran as fast as I could the way I
first went, and then climbed up a steep hill, which gave me some
prospect of the country. I found it fully cultivated; but that
which first surprised me was the length of the grass, which, in
those grounds that seemed to be kept for hay, was about twenty feet

I fell into a high road, for so I took it to be, though it served
to the inhabitants only as a foot-path through a field of barley.
Here I walked on for some time, but could see little on either
side, it being now near harvest, and the corn rising at least forty
feet. I was an hour walking to the end of this field, which was
fenced in with a hedge of at least one hundred and twenty feet
high, and the trees so lofty that I could make no computation of
their altitude. There was a stile to pass from this field into the
next. It had four steps, and a stone to cross over when you came
to the uppermost. It was impossible for me to climb this stile,
because every step was six-feet high, and the upper stone about
twenty. I was endeavouring to find some gap in the hedge, when I
discovered one of the inhabitants in the next field, advancing
towards the stile, of the same size with him whom I saw in the sea
pursuing our boat. He appeared as tall as an ordinary spire
steeple, and took about ten yards at every stride, as near as I
could guess. I was struck with the utmost fear and astonishment,
and ran to hide myself in the corn, whence I saw him at the top of
the stile looking back into the next field on the right hand, and
heard him call in a voice many degrees louder than a speaking-
trumpet: but the noise was so high in the air, that at first I
certainly thought it was thunder. Whereupon seven monsters, like
himself, came towards him with reaping-hooks in their hands, each
hook about the largeness of six scythes. These people were not so
well clad as the first, whose servants or labourers they seemed to
be; for, upon some words he spoke, they went to reap the corn in
the field where I lay. I kept from them at as great a distance as
I could, but was forced to move with extreme difficulty, for the
stalks of the corn were sometimes not above a foot distant, so that
I could hardly squeeze my body betwixt them. However, I made a
shift to go forward, till I came to a part of the field where the
corn had been laid by the rain and wind. Here it was impossible
for me to advance a step; for the stalks were so interwoven, that I
could not creep through, and the beards of the fallen ears so
strong and pointed, that they pierced through my clothes into my
flesh. At the same time I heard the reapers not a hundred yards
behind me. Being quite dispirited with toil, and wholly overcome
by grief and dispair, I lay down between two ridges, and heartily
wished I might there end my days. I bemoaned my desolate widow and
fatherless children. I lamented my own folly and wilfulness, in
attempting a second voyage, against the advice of all my friends
and relations. In this terrible agitation of mind, I could not
forbear thinking of Lilliput, whose inhabitants looked upon me as
the greatest prodigy that ever appeared in the world; where I was
able to draw an imperial fleet in my hand, and perform those other
actions, which will be recorded for ever in the chronicles of that
empire, while posterity shall hardly believe them, although
attested by millions. I reflected what a mortification it must
prove to me, to appear as inconsiderable in this nation, as one
single Lilliputian would be among us. But this I conceived was to
be the least of my misfortunes; for, as human creatures are
observed to be more savage and cruel in proportion to their bulk,
what could I expect but to be a morsel in the mouth of the first
among these enormous barbarians that should happen to seize me?
Undoubtedly philosophers are in the right, when they tell us that
nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison. It might
have pleased fortune, to have let the Lilliputians find some
nation, where the people were as diminutive with respect to them,
as they were to me. And who knows but that even this prodigious
race of mortals might be equally overmatched in some distant part
of the world, whereof we have yet no discovery.

Scared and confounded as I was, I could not forbear going on with
these reflections, when one of the reapers, approaching within ten
yards of the ridge where I lay, made me apprehend that with the
next step I should be squashed to death under his foot, or cut in
two with his reaping-hook. And therefore, when he was again about
to move, I screamed as loud as fear could make me: whereupon the
huge creature trod short, and, looking round about under him for
some time, at last espied me as I lay on the ground. He considered
awhile, with the caution of one who endeavours to lay hold on a
small dangerous animal in such a manner that it shall not be able
either to scratch or bite him, as I myself have sometimes done with
a weasel in England. At length he ventured to take me behind, by
the middle, between his fore-finger and thumb, and brought me
within three yards of his eyes, that he might behold my shape more
perfectly. I guessed his meaning, and my good fortune gave me so
much presence of mind, that I resolved not to struggle in the least
as he held me in the air above sixty feet from the ground, although
he grievously pinched my sides, for fear I should slip through his
fingers. All I ventured was to raise mine eyes towards the sun,
and place my hands together in a supplicating posture, and to speak
some words in a humble melancholy tone, suitable to the condition I
then was in: for I apprehended every moment that he would dash me
against the ground, as we usually do any little hateful animal,
which we have a mind to destroy. But my good star would have it,
that he appeared pleased with my voice and gestures, and began to
look upon me as a curiosity, much wondering to hear me pronounce
articulate words, although he could not understand them. In the
mean time I was not able to forbear groaning and shedding tears,
and turning my head towards my sides; letting him know, as well as
I could, how cruelly I was hurt by the pressure of his thumb and
finger. He seemed to apprehend my meaning; for, lifting up the
lappet of his coat, he put me gently into it, and immediately ran
along with me to his master, who was a substantial farmer, and the
same person I had first seen in the field.

The farmer having (as I suppose by their talk) received such an
account of me as his servant could give him, took a piece of a
small straw, about the size of a walking-staff, and therewith
lifted up the lappets of my coat; which it seems he thought to be
some kind of covering that nature had given me. He blew my hairs
aside to take a better view of my face. He called his hinds about
him, and asked them, as I afterwards learned, whether they had ever
seen in the fields any little creature that resembled me. He then
placed me softly on the ground upon all fours, but I got
immediately up, and walked slowly backward and forward, to let
those people see I had no intent to run away. They all sat down in
a circle about me, the better to observe my motions. I pulled off
my hat, and made a low bow towards the farmer. I fell on my knees,
and lifted up my hands and eyes, and spoke several words as loud as
I could: I took a purse of gold out of my pocket, and humbly
presented it to him. He received it on the palm of his hand, then
applied it close to his eye to see what it was, and afterwards
turned it several times with the point of a pin (which he took out
of his sleeve,) but could make nothing of it. Whereupon I made a
sign that he should place his hand on the ground. I then took the
purse, and, opening it, poured all the gold into his palm. There
were six Spanish pieces of four pistoles each, beside twenty or
thirty smaller coins. I saw him wet the tip of his little finger
upon his tongue, and take up one of my largest pieces, and then
another; but he seemed to be wholly ignorant what they were. He
made me a sign to put them again into my purse, and the purse again
into my pocket, which, after offering it to him several times, I
thought it best to do.

The farmer, by this time, was convinced I must be a rational
creature. He spoke often to me; but the sound of his voice pierced
my ears like that of a water-mill, yet his words were articulate
enough. I answered as loud as I could in several languages, and he
often laid his ear within two yards of me: but all in vain, for we
were wholly unintelligible to each other. He then sent his
servants to their work, and taking his handkerchief out of his
pocket, he doubled and spread it on his left hand, which he placed
flat on the ground with the palm upward, making me a sign to step
into it, as I could easily do, for it was not above a foot in
thickness. I thought it my part to obey, and, for fear of falling,
laid myself at full length upon the handkerchief, with the
remainder of which he lapped me up to the head for further
security, and in this manner carried me home to his house. There
he called his wife, and showed me to her; but she screamed and ran
back, as women in England do at the sight of a toad or a spider.
However, when she had a while seen my behaviour, and how well I
observed the signs her husband made, she was soon reconciled, and
by degrees grew extremely tender of me.

It was about twelve at noon, and a servant brought in dinner. It
was only one substantial dish of meat (fit for the plain condition
of a husbandman,) in a dish of about four-and-twenty feet diameter.
The company were, the farmer and his wife, three children, and an
old grandmother. When they were sat down, the farmer placed me at
some distance from him on the table, which was thirty feet high
from the floor. I was in a terrible fright, and kept as far as I
could from the edge, for fear of falling. The wife minced a bit of
meat, then crumbled some bread on a trencher, and placed it before
me. I made her a low bow, took out my knife and fork, and fell to
eat, which gave them exceeding delight. The mistress sent her maid
for a small dram cup, which held about two gallons, and filled it
with drink; I took up the vessel with much difficulty in both
hands, and in a most respectful manner drank to her ladyship's
health, expressing the words as loud as I could in English, which
made the company laugh so heartily, that I was almost deafened with
the noise. This liquor tasted like a small cider, and was not
unpleasant. Then the master made me a sign to come to his trencher
side; but as I walked on the table, being in great surprise all the
time, as the indulgent reader will easily conceive and excuse, I
happened to stumble against a crust, and fell flat on my face, but
received no hurt. I got up immediately, and observing the good
people to be in much concern, I took my hat (which I held under my
arm out of good manners,) and waving it over my head, made three
huzzas, to show I had got no mischief by my fall. But advancing
forward towards my master (as I shall henceforth call him,) his
youngest son, who sat next to him, an arch boy of about ten years
old, took me up by the legs, and held me so high in the air, that I
trembled every limb: but his father snatched me from him, and at
the same time gave him such a box on the left ear, as would have
felled an European troop of horse to the earth, ordering him to be
taken from the table. But being afraid the boy might owe me a
spite, and well remembering how mischievous all children among us
naturally are to sparrows, rabbits, young kittens, and puppy dogs,
I fell on my knees, and pointing to the boy, made my master to
understand, as well as I could, that I desired his son might be
pardoned. The father complied, and the lad took his seat again,
whereupon I went to him, and kissed his hand, which my master took,
and made him stroke me gently with it.

In the midst of dinner, my mistress's favourite cat leaped into her
lap. I heard a noise behind me like that of a dozen stocking-
weavers at work; and turning my head, I found it proceeded from the
purring of that animal, who seemed to be three times larger than an
ox, as I computed by the view of her head, and one of her paws,
while her mistress was feeding and stroking her. The fierceness of
this creature's countenance altogether discomposed me; though I
stood at the farther end of the table, above fifty feet off; and
although my mistress held her fast, for fear she might give a
spring, and seize me in her talons. But it happened there was no
danger, for the cat took not the least notice of me when my master
placed me within three yards of her. And as I have been always
told, and found true by experience in my travels, that flying or
discovering fear before a fierce animal, is a certain way to make
it pursue or attack you, so I resolved, in this dangerous juncture,
to show no manner of concern. I walked with intrepidity five or
six times before the very head of the cat, and came within half a
yard of her; whereupon she drew herself back, as if she were more
afraid of me: I had less apprehension concerning the dogs, whereof
three or four came into the room, as it is usual in farmers'
houses; one of which was a mastiff, equal in bulk to four
elephants, and another a greyhound, somewhat taller than the
mastiff, but not so large.

When dinner was almost done, the nurse came in with a child of a
year old in her arms, who immediately spied me, and began a squall
that you might have heard from London-Bridge to Chelsea, after the
usual oratory of infants, to get me for a plaything. The mother,
out of pure indulgence, took me up, and put me towards the child,
who presently seized me by the middle, and got my head into his
mouth, where I roared so loud that the urchin was frighted, and let
me drop, and I should infallibly have broke my neck, if the mother
had not held her apron under me. The nurse, to quiet her babe,
made use of a rattle which was a kind of hollow vessel filled with
great stones, and fastened by a cable to the child's waist: but
all in vain; so that she was forced to apply the last remedy by
giving it suck. I must confess no object ever disgusted me so much
as the sight of her monstrous breast, which I cannot tell what to
compare with, so as to give the curious reader an idea of its bulk,
shape, and colour. It stood prominent six feet, and could not be
less than sixteen in circumference. The nipple was about half the
bigness of my head, and the hue both of that and the dug, so varied
with spots, pimples, and freckles, that nothing could appear more
nauseous: for I had a near sight of her, she sitting down, the
more conveniently to give suck, and I standing on the table. This
made me reflect upon the fair skins of our English ladies, who
appear so beautiful to us, only because they are of our own size,
and their defects not to be seen but through a magnifying glass;
where we find by experiment that the smoothest and whitest skins
look rough, and coarse, and ill-coloured.

I remember when I was at Lilliput, the complexion of those
diminutive people appeared to me the fairest in the world; and
talking upon this subject with a person of learning there, who was
an intimate friend of mine, he said that my face appeared much
fairer and smoother when he looked on me from the ground, than it
did upon a nearer view, when I took him up in my hand, and brought
him close, which he confessed was at first a very shocking sight.
He said, "he could discover great holes in my skin; that the stumps
of my beard were ten times stronger than the bristles of a boar,
and my complexion made up of several colours altogether
disagreeable:" although I must beg leave to say for myself, that I
am as fair as most of my sex and country, and very little sunburnt
by all my travels. On the other side, discoursing of the ladies in
that emperor's court, he used to tell me, "one had freckles;
another too wide a mouth; a third too large a nose;" nothing of
which I was able to distinguish. I confess this reflection was
obvious enough; which, however, I could not forbear, lest the
reader might think those vast creatures were actually deformed:
for I must do them the justice to say, they are a comely race of
people, and particularly the features of my master's countenance,
although he was but a farmer, when I beheld him from the height of
sixty feet, appeared very well proportioned.

When dinner was done, my master went out to his labourers, and, as
I could discover by his voice and gesture, gave his wife strict
charge to take care of me. I was very much tired, and disposed to
sleep, which my mistress perceiving, she put me on her own bed, and
covered me with a clean white handkerchief, but larger and coarser
than the mainsail of a man-of-war.

I slept about two hours, and dreamt I was at home with my wife and
children, which aggravated my sorrows when I awaked, and found
myself alone in a vast room, between two and three hundred feet
wide, and above two hundred high, lying in a bed twenty yards wide.
My mistress was gone about her household affairs, and had locked me
in. The bed was eight yards from the floor. Some natural
necessities required me to get down; I durst not presume to call;
and if I had, it would have been in vain, with such a voice as
mine, at so great a distance from the room where I lay to the
kitchen where the family kept. While I was under these
circumstances, two rats crept up the curtains, and ran smelling
backwards and forwards on the bed. One of them came up almost to
my face, whereupon I rose in a fright, and drew out my hanger to
defend myself. These horrible animals had the boldness to attack
me on both sides, and one of them held his fore-feet at my collar;
but I had the good fortune to rip up his belly before he could do
me any mischief. He fell down at my feet; and the other, seeing
the fate of his comrade, made his escape, but not without one good
wound on the back, which I gave him as he fled, and made the blood
run trickling from him. After this exploit, I walked gently to and
fro on the bed, to recover my breath and loss of spirits. These
creatures were of the size of a large mastiff, but infinitely more
nimble and fierce; so that if I had taken off my belt before I went
to sleep, I must have infallibly been torn to pieces and devoured.
I measured the tail of the dead rat, and found it to be two yards
long, wanting an inch; but it went against my stomach to drag the
carcass off the bed, where it lay still bleeding; I observed it had
yet some life, but with a strong slash across the neck, I
thoroughly despatched it.

Soon after my mistress came into the room, who seeing me all
bloody, ran and took me up in her hand. I pointed to the dead rat,
smiling, and making other signs to show I was not hurt; whereat she
was extremely rejoiced, calling the maid to take up the dead rat
with a pair of tongs, and throw it out of the window. Then she set
me on a table, where I showed her my hanger all bloody, and wiping
it on the lappet of my coat, returned it to the scabbard. I was
pressed to do more than one thing which another could not do for
me, and therefore endeavoured to make my mistress understand, that
I desired to be set down on the floor; which after she had done, my
bashfulness would not suffer me to express myself farther, than by
pointing to the door, and bowing several times. The good woman,
with much difficulty, at last perceived what I would be at, and
taking me up again in her hand, walked into the garden, where she
set me down. I went on one side about two hundred yards, and
beckoning to her not to look or to follow me, I hid myself between
two leaves of sorrel, and there discharged the necessities of

I hope the gentle reader will excuse me for dwelling on these and
the like particulars, which, however insignificant they may appear
to groveling vulgar minds, yet will certainly help a philosopher to
enlarge his thoughts and imagination, and apply them to the benefit
of public as well as private life, which was my sole design in
presenting this and other accounts of my travels to the world;
wherein I have been chiefly studious of truth, without affecting
any ornaments of learning or of style. But the whole scene of this
voyage made so strong an impression on my mind, and is so deeply
fixed in my memory, that, in committing it to paper I did not omit
one material circumstance: however, upon a strict review, I
blotted out several passages. Of less moment which were in my
first copy, for fear of being censured as tedious and trifling,
whereof travellers are often, perhaps not without justice, accused.


[A description of the farmer's daughter. The author carried to a
market-town, and then to the metropolis. The particulars of his

My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly
parts for her age, very dexterous at her needle, and skilful in
dressing her baby. Her mother and she contrived to fit up the
baby's cradle for me against night: the cradle was put into a
small drawer of a cabinet, and the drawer placed upon a hanging
shelf for fear of the rats. This was my bed all the time I staid
with those people, though made more convenient by degrees, as I
began to learn their language and make my wants known. This young
girl was so handy, that after I had once or twice pulled off my
clothes before her, she was able to dress and undress me, though I
never gave her that trouble when she would let me do either myself.
She made me seven shirts, and some other linen, of as fine cloth as
could be got, which indeed was coarser than sackcloth; and these
she constantly washed for me with her own hands. She was likewise
my school-mistress, to teach me the language: when I pointed to
any thing, she told me the name of it in her own tongue, so that in
a few days I was able to call for whatever I had a mind to. She
was very good-natured, and not above forty feet high, being little
for her age. She gave me the name of Grildrig, which the family
took up, and afterwards the whole kingdom. The word imports what
the Latins call nanunculus, the Italians homunceletino, and the
English mannikin. To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that
country: we never parted while I was there; I called her my
Glumdalclitch, or little nurse; and should be guilty of great
ingratitude, if I omitted this honourable mention of her care and
affection towards me, which I heartily wish it lay in my power to
requite as she deserves, instead of being the innocent, but unhappy
instrument of her disgrace, as I have too much reason to fear.

It now began to be known and talked of in the neighbourhood, that
my master had found a strange animal in the field, about the
bigness of a splacnuck, but exactly shaped in every part like a
human creature; which it likewise imitated in all its actions;
seemed to speak in a little language of its own, had already
learned several words of theirs, went erect upon two legs, was tame
and gentle, would come when it was called, do whatever it was bid,
had the finest limbs in the world, and a complexion fairer than a
nobleman's daughter of three years old. Another farmer, who lived
hard by, and was a particular friend of my master, came on a visit
on purpose to inquire into the truth of this story. I was
immediately produced, and placed upon a table, where I walked as I
was commanded, drew my hanger, put it up again, made my reverence
to my master's guest, asked him in his own language how he did, and
told him HE WAS WELCOME, just as my little nurse had instructed me.
This man, who was old and dim-sighted, put on his spectacles to
behold me better; at which I could not forbear laughing very
heartily, for his eyes appeared like the full moon shining into a
chamber at two windows. Our people, who discovered the cause of my
mirth, bore me company in laughing, at which the old fellow was
fool enough to be angry and out of countenance. He had the
character of a great miser; and, to my misfortune, he well deserved
it, by the cursed advice he gave my master, to show me as a sight
upon a market-day in the next town, which was half an hour's
riding, about two-and-twenty miles from our house. I guessed there
was some mischief when I observed my master and his friend
whispering together, sometimes pointing at me; and my fears made me
fancy that I overheard and understood some of their words. But the
next morning Glumdalclitch, my little nurse, told me the whole
matter, which she had cunningly picked out from her mother. The
poor girl laid me on her bosom, and fell a weeping with shame and
grief. She apprehended some mischief would happen to me from rude
vulgar folks, who might squeeze me to death, or break one of my
limbs by taking me in their hands. She had also observed how
modest I was in my nature, how nicely I regarded my honour, and
what an indignity I should conceive it, to be exposed for money as
a public spectacle, to the meanest of the people. She said, her
papa and mamma had promised that Grildrig should be hers; but now
she found they meant to serve her as they did last year, when they
pretended to give her a lamb, and yet, as soon as it was fat, sold
it to a butcher. For my own part, I may truly affirm, that I was
less concerned than my nurse. I had a strong hope, which never
left me, that I should one day recover my liberty: and as to the
ignominy of being carried about for a monster, I considered myself
to be a perfect stranger in the country, and that such a misfortune
could never be charged upon me as a reproach, if ever I should
return to England, since the king of Great Britain himself, in my
condition, must have undergone the same distress.

My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a
box the next market-day to the neighbouring town, and took along
with him his little daughter, my nurse, upon a pillion behind him.
The box was close on every side, with a little door for me to go in
and out, and a few gimlet holes to let in air. The girl had been
so careful as to put the quilt of her baby's bed into it, for me to
lie down on. However, I was terribly shaken and discomposed in
this journey, though it was but of half an hour: for the horse
went about forty feet at every step and trotted so high, that the
agitation was equal to the rising and falling of a ship in a great
storm, but much more frequent. Our journey was somewhat farther
than from London to St. Alban's. My master alighted at an inn
which he used to frequent; and after consulting awhile with the
inn-keeper, and making some necessary preparations, he hired the
grultrud, or crier, to give notice through the town of a strange
creature to be seen at the sign of the Green Eagle, not so big as a
splacnuck (an animal in that country very finely shaped, about six
feet long,) and in every part of the body resembling a human
creature, could speak several words, and perform a hundred
diverting tricks.

I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which
might be near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood on
a low stool close to the table, to take care of me, and direct what
I should do. My master, to avoid a crowd, would suffer only thirty
people at a time to see me. I walked about on the table as the
girl commanded; she asked me questions, as far as she knew my
understanding of the language reached, and I answered them as loud
as I could. I turned about several times to the company, paid my
humble respects, said THEY WERE WELCOME, and used some other
speeches I had been taught. I took up a thimble filled with
liquor, which Glumdalclitch had given me for a cup, and drank their
health, I drew out my hanger, and flourished with it after the
manner of fencers in England. My nurse gave me a part of a straw,
which I exercised as a pike, having learnt the art in my youth. I
was that day shown to twelve sets of company, and as often forced
to act over again the same fopperies, till I was half dead with
weariness and vexation; for those who had seen me made such
wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break down the
doors to come in. My master, for his own interest, would not
suffer any one to touch me except my nurse; and to prevent danger,
benches were set round the table at such a distance as to put me
out of every body's reach. However, an unlucky school-boy aimed a
hazel nut directly at my head, which very narrowly missed me;
otherwise it came with so much violence, that it would have
infallibly knocked out my brains, for it was almost as large as a
small pumpkin, but I had the satisfaction to see the young rogue
well beaten, and turned out of the room.

My master gave public notice that he would show me again the next
market-day; and in the meantime he prepared a convenient vehicle
for me, which he had reason enough to do; for I was so tired with
my first journey, and with entertaining company for eight hours
together, that I could hardly stand upon my legs, or speak a word.
It was at least three days before I recovered my strength; and that
I might have no rest at home, all the neighbouring gentlemen from a
hundred miles round, hearing of my fame, came to see me at my
master's own house. There could not be fewer than thirty persons
with their wives and children (for the country is very populous;)
and my master demanded the rate of a full room whenever he showed
me at home, although it were only to a single family; so that for
some time I had but little ease every day of the week (except
Wednesday, which is their Sabbath,) although I were not carried to
the town.

My master, finding how profitable I was likely to be, resolved to
carry me to the most considerable cities of the kingdom. Having
therefore provided himself with all things necessary for a long
journey, and settled his affairs at home, he took leave of his
wife, and upon the 17th of August, 1703, about two months after my
arrival, we set out for the metropolis, situate near the middle of
that empire, and about three thousand miles distance from our
house. My master made his daughter Glumdalclitch ride behind him.
She carried me on her lap, in a box tied about her waist. The girl
had lined it on all sides with the softest cloth she could get,
well quilted underneath, furnished it with her baby's bed, provided
me with linen and other necessaries, and made everything as
convenient as she could. We had no other company but a boy of the
house, who rode after us with the luggage.

My master's design was to show me in all the towns by the way, and
to step out of the road for fifty or a hundred miles, to any
village, or person of quality's house, where he might expect
custom. We made easy journeys, of not above seven or eight score
miles a-day; for Glumdalclitch, on purpose to spare me, complained
she was tired with the trotting of the horse. She often took me
out of my box, at my own desire, to give me air, and show me the
country, but always held me fast by a leading-string. We passed
over five or six rivers, many degrees broader and deeper than the
Nile or the Ganges: and there was hardly a rivulet so small as the
Thames at London-bridge. We were ten weeks in our journey, and I
was shown in eighteen large towns, besides many villages, and
private families.

On the 26th day of October we arrived at the metropolis, called in
their language Lorbrulgrud, or Pride of the Universe. My master
took a lodging in the principal street of the city, not far from
the royal palace, and put out bills in the usual form, containing
an exact description of my person and parts. He hired a large room
between three and four hundred feet wide. He provided a table
sixty feet in diameter, upon which I was to act my part, and
pallisadoed it round three feet from the edge, and as many high, to
prevent my falling over. I was shown ten times a-day, to the
wonder and satisfaction of all people. I could now speak the
language tolerably well, and perfectly understood every word, that
was spoken to me. Besides, I had learnt their alphabet, and could
make a shift to explain a sentence here and there; for
Glumdalclitch had been my instructor while we were at home, and at
leisure hours during our journey. She carried a little book in her
pocket, not much larger than a Sanson's Atlas; it was a common
treatise for the use of young girls, giving a short account of
their religion: out of this she taught me my letters, and
interpreted the words.


[The author sent for to court. The queen buys him of his master
the farmer, and presents him to the king. He disputes with his
majesty's great scholars. An apartment at court provided for the
author. He is in high favour with the queen. He stands up for the
honour of his own country. His quarrels with the queen's dwarf.]

The frequent labours I underwent every day, made, in a few weeks, a
very considerable change in my health: the more my master got by
me, the more insatiable he grew. I had quite lost my stomach, and
was almost reduced to a skeleton. The farmer observed it, and
concluding I must soon die, resolved to make as good a hand of me
as he could. While he was thus reasoning and resolving with
himself, a sardral, or gentleman-usher, came from court, commanding
my master to carry me immediately thither for the diversion of the
queen and her ladies. Some of the latter had already been to see
me, and reported strange things of my beauty, behaviour, and good
sense. Her majesty, and those who attended her, were beyond
measure delighted with my demeanour. I fell on my knees, and
begged the honour of kissing her imperial foot; but this gracious
princess held out her little finger towards me, after I was set on
the table, which I embraced in both my arms, and put the tip of it
with the utmost respect to my lip. She made me some general
questions about my country and my travels, which I answered as
distinctly, and in as few words as I could. She asked, "whether I
could be content to live at court?" I bowed down to the board of
the table, and humbly answered "that I was my master's slave: but,
if I were at my own disposal, I should be proud to devote my life
to her majesty's service." She then asked my master, "whether he
was willing to sell me at a good price?" He, who apprehended I
could not live a month, was ready enough to part with me, and
demanded a thousand pieces of gold, which were ordered him on the
spot, each piece being about the bigness of eight hundred moidores;
but allowing for the proportion of all things between that country
and Europe, and the high price of gold among them, was hardly so
great a sum as a thousand guineas would be in England. I then said
to the queen, "since I was now her majesty's most humble creature
and vassal, I must beg the favour, that Glumdalclitch, who had
always tended me with so much care and kindness, and understood to
do it so well, might be admitted into her service, and continue to
be my nurse and instructor."

Her majesty agreed to my petition, and easily got the farmer's
consent, who was glad enough to have his daughter preferred at
court, and the poor girl herself was not able to hide her joy. My
late master withdrew, bidding me farewell, and saying he had left
me in a good service; to which I replied not a word, only making
him a slight bow.

The queen observed my coldness; and, when the farmer was gone out
of the apartment, asked me the reason. I made bold to tell her
majesty, "that I owed no other obligation to my late master, than
his not dashing out the brains of a poor harmless creature, found
by chance in his fields: which obligation was amply recompensed,
by the gain he had made in showing me through half the kingdom, and
the price he had now sold me for. That the life I had since led
was laborious enough to kill an animal of ten times my strength.
That my health was much impaired, by the continual drudgery of
entertaining the rabble every hour of the day; and that, if my
master had not thought my life in danger, her majesty would not
have got so cheap a bargain. But as I was out of all fear of being
ill-treated under the protection of so great and good an empress,
the ornament of nature, the darling of the world, the delight of
her subjects, the phoenix of the creation, so I hoped my late
master's apprehensions would appear to be groundless; for I already
found my spirits revive, by the influence of her most august

This was the sum of my speech, delivered with great improprieties
and hesitation. The latter part was altogether framed in the style
peculiar to that people, whereof I learned some phrases from
Glumdalclitch, while she was carrying me to court.

The queen, giving great allowance for my defectiveness in speaking,
was, however, surprised at so much wit and good sense in so
diminutive an animal. She took me in her own hand, and carried me
to the king, who was then retired to his cabinet. His majesty, a
prince of much gravity and austere countenance, not well observing
my shape at first view, asked the queen after a cold manner "how
long it was since she grew fond of a splacnuck?" for such it seems
he took me to be, as I lay upon my breast in her majesty's right
hand. But this princess, who has an infinite deal of wit and
humour, set me gently on my feet upon the scrutoire, and commanded
me to give his majesty an account of myself, which I did in a very
few words: and Glumdalclitch who attended at the cabinet door, and
could not endure I should be out of her sight, being admitted,
confirmed all that had passed from my arrival at her father's

The king, although he be as learned a person as any in his
dominions, had been educated in the study of philosophy, and
particularly mathematics; yet when he observed my shape exactly,
and saw me walk erect, before I began to speak, conceived I might
be a piece of clock-work (which is in that country arrived to a
very great perfection) contrived by some ingenious artist. But
when he heard my voice, and found what I delivered to be regular
and rational, he could not conceal his astonishment. He was by no
means satisfied with the relation I gave him of the manner I came
into his kingdom, but thought it a story concerted between
Glumdalclitch and her father, who had taught me a set of words to
make me sell at a better price. Upon this imagination, he put
several other questions to me, and still received rational answers:
no otherwise defective than by a foreign accent, and an imperfect
knowledge in the language, with some rustic phrases which I had
learned at the farmer's house, and did not suit the polite style of
a court.

His majesty sent for three great scholars, who were then in their
weekly waiting, according to the custom in that country. These
gentlemen, after they had a while examined my shape with much
nicety, were of different opinions concerning me. They all agreed
that I could not be produced according to the regular laws of
nature, because I was not framed with a capacity of preserving my
life, either by swiftness, or climbing of trees, or digging holes
in the earth. They observed by my teeth, which they viewed with
great exactness, that I was a carnivorous animal; yet most
quadrupeds being an overmatch for me, and field mice, with some
others, too nimble, they could not imagine how I should be able to
support myself, unless I fed upon snails and other insects, which
they offered, by many learned arguments, to evince that I could not
possibly do. One of these virtuosi seemed to think that I might be
an embryo, or abortive birth. But this opinion was rejected by the
other two, who observed my limbs to be perfect and finished; and
that I had lived several years, as it was manifest from my beard,
the stumps whereof they plainly discovered through a magnifying
glass. They would not allow me to be a dwarf, because my
littleness was beyond all degrees of comparison; for the queen's
favourite dwarf, the smallest ever known in that kingdom, was near
thirty feet high. After much debate, they concluded unanimously,
that I was only relplum scalcath, which is interpreted literally
lusus naturae; a determination exactly agreeable to the modern
philosophy of Europe, whose professors, disdaining the old evasion
of occult causes, whereby the followers of Aristotle endeavoured in
vain to disguise their ignorance, have invented this wonderful
solution of all difficulties, to the unspeakable advancement of
human knowledge.

After this decisive conclusion, I entreated to be heard a word or
two. I applied myself to the king, and assured his majesty, "that
I came from a country which abounded with several millions of both
sexes, and of my own stature; where the animals, trees, and houses,
were all in proportion, and where, by consequence, I might be as
able to defend myself, and to find sustenance, as any of his
majesty's subjects could do here; which I took for a full answer to
those gentlemen's arguments." To this they only replied with a
smile of contempt, saying, "that the farmer had instructed me very
well in my lesson." The king, who had a much better understanding,
dismissing his learned men, sent for the farmer, who by good
fortune was not yet gone out of town. Having therefore first
examined him privately, and then confronted him with me and the
young girl, his majesty began to think that what we told him might
possibly be true. He desired the queen to order that a particular
care should be taken of me; and was of opinion that Glumdalclitch
should still continue in her office of tending me, because he
observed we had a great affection for each other. A convenient
apartment was provided for her at court: she had a sort of
governess appointed to take care of her education, a maid to dress
her, and two other servants for menial offices; but the care of me
was wholly appropriated to herself. The queen commanded her own
cabinet-maker to contrive a box, that might serve me for a
bedchamber, after the model that Glumdalclitch and I should agree
upon. This man was a most ingenious artist, and according to my
direction, in three weeks finished for me a wooden chamber of
sixteen feet square, and twelve high, with sash-windows, a door,
and two closets, like a London bed-chamber. The board, that made
the ceiling, was to be lifted up and down by two hinges, to put in
a bed ready furnished by her majesty's upholsterer, which
Glumdalclitch took out every day to air, made it with her own
hands, and letting it down at night, locked up the roof over me. A
nice workman, who was famous for little curiosities, undertook to
make me two chairs, with backs and frames, of a substance not
unlike ivory, and two tables, with a cabinet to put my things in.
The room was quilted on all sides, as well as the floor and the
ceiling, to prevent any accident from the carelessness of those who
carried me, and to break the force of a jolt, when I went in a
coach. I desired a lock for my door, to prevent rats and mice from
coming in. The smith, after several attempts, made the smallest
that ever was seen among them, for I have known a larger at the
gate of a gentleman's house in England. I made a shift to keep the
key in a pocket of my own, fearing Glumdalclitch might lose it.
The queen likewise ordered the thinnest silks that could be gotten,
to make me clothes, not much thicker than an English blanket, very
cumbersome till I was accustomed to them. They were after the
fashion of the kingdom, partly resembling the Persian, and partly
the Chinese, and are a very grave and decent habit.

The queen became so fond of my company, that she could not dine
without me. I had a table placed upon the same at which her
majesty ate, just at her left elbow, and a chair to sit on.
Glumdalclitch stood on a stool on the floor near my table, to
assist and take care of me. I had an entire set of silver dishes
and plates, and other necessaries, which, in proportion to those of
the queen, were not much bigger than what I have seen in a London
toy-shop for the furniture of a baby-house: these my little nurse
kept in her pocket in a silver box, and gave me at meals as I
wanted them, always cleaning them herself. No person dined with
the queen but the two princesses royal, the eldest sixteen years
old, and the younger at that time thirteen and a month. Her
majesty used to put a bit of meat upon one of my dishes, out of
which I carved for myself, and her diversion was to see me eat in
miniature: for the queen (who had indeed but a weak stomach) took
up, at one mouthful, as much as a dozen English farmers could eat
at a meal, which to me was for some time a very nauseous sight.
She would craunch the wing of a lark, bones and all, between her
teeth, although it were nine times as large as that of a full-grown
turkey; and put a bit of bread into her mouth as big as two twelve-
penny loaves. She drank out of a golden cup, above a hogshead at a
draught. Her knives were twice as long as a scythe, set straight
upon the handle. The spoons, forks, and other instruments, were
all in the same proportion. I remember when Glumdalclitch carried
me, out of curiosity, to see some of the tables at court, where ten
or a dozen of those enormous knives and forks were lifted up
together, I thought I had never till then beheld so terrible a

It is the custom, that every Wednesday (which, as I have observed,
is their Sabbath) the king and queen, with the royal issue of both
sexes, dine together in the apartment of his majesty, to whom I was
now become a great favourite; and at these times, my little chair
and table were placed at his left hand, before one of the salt-
cellars. This prince took a pleasure in conversing with me,
inquiring into the manners, religion, laws, government, and
learning of Europe; wherein I gave him the best account I was able.
His apprehension was so clear, and his judgment so exact, that he
made very wise reflections and observations upon all I said. But I
confess, that, after I had been a little too copious in talking of
my own beloved country, of our trade and wars by sea and land, of
our schisms in religion, and parties in the state; the prejudices
of his education prevailed so far, that he could not forbear taking
me up in his right hand, and stroking me gently with the other,
after a hearty fit of laughing, asked me, "whether I was a whig or
tory?" Then turning to his first minister, who waited behind him
with a white staff, near as tall as the mainmast of the Royal
Sovereign, he observed "how contemptible a thing was human
grandeur, which could be mimicked by such diminutive insects as I:
and yet," says he, "I dare engage these creatures have their titles
and distinctions of honour; they contrive little nests and burrows,
that they call houses and cities; they make a figure in dress and
equipage; they love, they fight, they dispute, they cheat, they
betray!" And thus he continued on, while my colour came and went
several times, with indignation, to hear our noble country, the
mistress of arts and arms, the scourge of France, the arbitress of
Europe, the seat of virtue, piety, honour, and truth, the pride and
envy of the world, so contemptuously treated.

But as I was not in a condition to resent injuries, so upon mature
thoughts I began to doubt whether I was injured or no. For, after
having been accustomed several months to the sight and converse of
this people, and observed every object upon which I cast mine eyes
to be of proportionable magnitude, the horror I had at first
conceived from their bulk and aspect was so far worn off, that if I
had then beheld a company of English lords and ladies in their
finery and birth-day clothes, acting their several parts in the
most courtly manner of strutting, and bowing, and prating, to say
the truth, I should have been strongly tempted to laugh as much at
them as the king and his grandees did at me. Neither, indeed,
could I forbear smiling at myself, when the queen used to place me
upon her hand towards a looking-glass, by which both our persons
appeared before me in full view together; and there could be
nothing more ridiculous than the comparison; so that I really began
to imagine myself dwindled many degrees below my usual size.

Nothing angered and mortified me so much as the queen's dwarf; who
being of the lowest stature that was ever in that country (for I
verily think he was not full thirty feet high), became so insolent
at seeing a creature so much beneath him, that he would always
affect to swagger and look big as he passed by me in the queen's
antechamber, while I was standing on some table talking with the
lords or ladies of the court, and he seldom failed of a smart word
or two upon my littleness; against which I could only revenge
myself by calling him brother, challenging him to wrestle, and such
repartees as are usually in the mouths of court pages. One day, at
dinner, this malicious little cub was so nettled with something I
had said to him, that, raising himself upon the frame of her
majesty's chair, he took me up by the middle, as I was sitting
down, not thinking any harm, and let me drop into a large silver
bowl of cream, and then ran away as fast as he could. I fell over
head and ears, and, if I had not been a good swimmer, it might have
gone very hard with me; for Glumdalclitch in that instant happened
to be at the other end of the room, and the queen was in such a
fright, that she wanted presence of mind to assist me. But my
little nurse ran to my relief, and took me out, after I had
swallowed above a quart of cream. I was put to bed: however, I
received no other damage than the loss of a suit of clothes, which
was utterly spoiled. The dwarf was soundly whipt, and as a farther
punishment, forced to drink up the bowl of cream into which he had
thrown me: neither was he ever restored to favour; for soon after
the queen bestowed him on a lady of high quality, so that I saw him
no more, to my very great satisfaction; for I could not tell to
what extremities such a malicious urchin might have carried his

He had before served me a scurvy trick, which set the queen a-
laughing, although at the same time she was heartily vexed, and
would have immediately cashiered him, if I had not been so generous
as to intercede. Her majesty had taken a marrow-bone upon her
plate, and, after knocking out the marrow, placed the bone again in
the dish erect, as it stood before; the dwarf, watching his
opportunity, while Glumdalclitch was gone to the side-board,
mounted the stool that she stood on to take care of me at meals,
took me up in both hands, and squeezing my legs together, wedged
them into the marrow bone above my waist, where I stuck for some
time, and made a very ridiculous figure. I believe it was near a
minute before any one knew what was become of me; for I thought it
below me to cry out. But, as princes seldom get their meat hot, my
legs were not scalded, only my stockings and breeches in a sad
condition. The dwarf, at my entreaty, had no other punishment than
a sound whipping.

I was frequently rallied by the queen upon account of my
fearfulness; and she used to ask me whether the people of my
country were as great cowards as myself? The occasion was this:
the kingdom is much pestered with flies in summer; and these odious
insects, each of them as big as a Dunstable lark, hardly gave me
any rest while I sat at dinner, with their continual humming and
buzzing about mine ears. They would sometimes alight upon my
victuals, and leave their loathsome excrement, or spawn behind,
which to me was very visible, though not to the natives of that
country, whose large optics were not so acute as mine, in viewing
smaller objects. Sometimes they would fix upon my nose, or
forehead, where they stung me to the quick, smelling very
offensively; and I could easily trace that viscous matter, which,
our naturalists tell us, enables those creatures to walk with their
feet upwards upon a ceiling. I had much ado to defend myself
against these detestable animals, and could not forbear starting
when they came on my face. It was the common practice of the
dwarf, to catch a number of these insects in his hand, as
schoolboys do among us, and let them out suddenly under my nose, on
purpose to frighten me, and divert the queen. My remedy was to cut
them in pieces with my knife, as they flew in the air, wherein my
dexterity was much admired.

I remember, one morning, when Glumdalclitch had set me in a box
upon a window, as she usually did in fair days to give me air (for
I durst not venture to let the box be hung on a nail out of the
window, as we do with cages in England), after I had lifted up one
of my sashes, and sat down at my table to eat a piece of sweet cake
for my breakfast, above twenty wasps, allured by the smell, came
flying into the room, humming louder than the drones of as many
bagpipes. Some of them seized my cake, and carried it piecemeal
away; others flew about my head and face, confounding me with the
noise, and putting me in the utmost terror of their stings.
However, I had the courage to rise and draw my hanger, and attack
them in the air. I dispatched four of them, but the rest got away,
and I presently shut my window. These insects were as large as
partridges: I took out their stings, found them an inch and a half
long, and as sharp as needles. I carefully preserved them all; and
having since shown them, with some other curiosities, in several
parts of Europe, upon my return to England I gave three of them to
Gresham College, and kept the fourth for myself.


[The country described. A proposal for correcting modern maps.
The king's palace; and some account of the metropolis. The
author's way of travelling. The chief temple described.]

I now intend to give the reader a short description of this
country, as far as I travelled in it, which was not above two
thousand miles round Lorbrulgrud, the metropolis. For the queen,
whom I always attended, never went farther when she accompanied the
king in his progresses, and there staid till his majesty returned
from viewing his frontiers. The whole extent of this prince's
dominions reaches about six thousand miles in length, and from
three to five in breadth: whence I cannot but conclude, that our
geographers of Europe are in a great error, by supposing nothing
but sea between Japan and California; for it was ever my opinion,
that there must be a balance of earth to counterpoise the great
continent of Tartary; and therefore they ought to correct their
maps and charts, by joining this vast tract of land to the north-
west parts of America, wherein I shall be ready to lend them my

The kingdom is a peninsula, terminated to the north-east by a ridge
of mountains thirty miles high, which are altogether impassable, by
reason of the volcanoes upon the tops: neither do the most learned
know what sort of mortals inhabit beyond those mountains, or
whether they be inhabited at all. On the three other sides, it is
bounded by the ocean. There is not one seaport in the whole
kingdom: and those parts of the coasts into which the rivers
issue, are so full of pointed rocks, and the sea generally so
rough, that there is no venturing with the smallest of their boats;
so that these people are wholly excluded from any commerce with the
rest of the world. But the large rivers are full of vessels, and
abound with excellent fish; for they seldom get any from the sea,
because the sea fish are of the same size with those in Europe, and
consequently not worth catching; whereby it is manifest, that
nature, in the production of plants and animals of so extraordinary
a bulk, is wholly confined to this continent, of which I leave the
reasons to be determined by philosophers. However, now and then
they take a whale that happens to be dashed against the rocks,
which the common people feed on heartily. These whales I have
known so large, that a man could hardly carry one upon his
shoulders; and sometimes, for curiosity, they are brought in
hampers to Lorbrulgrud; I saw one of them in a dish at the king's
table, which passed for a rarity, but I did not observe he was fond
of it; for I think, indeed, the bigness disgusted him, although I
have seen one somewhat larger in Greenland.

The country is well inhabited, for it contains fifty-one cities,
near a hundred walled towns, and a great number of villages. To
satisfy my curious reader, it may be sufficient to describe
Lorbrulgrud. This city stands upon almost two equal parts, on each
side the river that passes through. It contains above eighty
thousand houses, and about six hundred thousand inhabitants. It is
in length three glomglungs (which make about fifty-four English
miles,) and two and a half in breadth; as I measured it myself in
the royal map made by the king's order, which was laid on the
ground on purpose for me, and extended a hundred feet: I paced the
diameter and circumference several times barefoot, and, computing
by the scale, measured it pretty exactly.

The king's palace is no regular edifice, but a heap of buildings,
about seven miles round: the chief rooms are generally two hundred
and forty feet high, and broad and long in proportion. A coach was
allowed to Glumdalclitch and me, wherein her governess frequently
took her out to see the town, or go among the shops; and I was
always of the party, carried in my box; although the girl, at my
own desire, would often take me out, and hold me in her hand, that
I might more conveniently view the houses and the people, as we
passed along the streets. I reckoned our coach to be about a
square of Westminster-hall, but not altogether so high: however, I
cannot be very exact. One day the governess ordered our coachman
to stop at several shops, where the beggars, watching their
opportunity, crowded to the sides of the coach, and gave me the
most horrible spectacle that ever a European eye beheld. There was
a woman with a cancer in her breast, swelled to a monstrous size,
full of holes, in two or three of which I could have easily crept,
and covered my whole body. There was a fellow with a wen in his
neck, larger than five wool-packs; and another, with a couple of
wooden legs, each about twenty feet high. But the most hateful
sight of all, was the lice crawling on their clothes. I could see
distinctly the limbs of these vermin with my naked eye, much better
than those of a European louse through a microscope, and their
snouts with which they rooted like swine. They were the first I
had ever beheld, and I should have been curious enough to dissect
one of them, if I had had proper instruments, which I unluckily
left behind me in the ship, although, indeed, the sight was so
nauseous, that it perfectly turned my stomach.

Besides the large box in which I was usually carried, the queen
ordered a smaller one to be made for me, of about twelve feet
square, and ten high, for the convenience of travelling; because
the other was somewhat too large for Glumdalclitch's lap, and
cumbersome in the coach; it was made by the same artist, whom I
directed in the whole contrivance. This travelling-closet was an
exact square, with a window in the middle of three of the squares,
and each window was latticed with iron wire on the outside, to
prevent accidents in long journeys. On the fourth side, which had
no window, two strong staples were fixed, through which the person
that carried me, when I had a mind to be on horseback, put a
leathern belt, and buckled it about his waist. This was always the
office of some grave trusty servant, in whom I could confide,
whether I attended the king and queen in their progresses, or were
disposed to see the gardens, or pay a visit to some great lady or
minister of state in the court, when Glumdalclitch happened to be
out of order; for I soon began to be known and esteemed among the
greatest officers, I suppose more upon account of their majesties'
favour, than any merit of my own. In journeys, when I was weary of
the coach, a servant on horseback would buckle on my box, and place
it upon a cushion before him; and there I had a full prospect of
the country on three sides, from my three windows. I had, in this
closet, a field-bed and a hammock, hung from the ceiling, two
chairs and a table, neatly screwed to the floor, to prevent being
tossed about by the agitation of the horse or the coach. And
having been long used to sea-voyages, those motions, although
sometimes very violent, did not much discompose me.

Whenever I had a mind to see the town, it was always in my
travelling-closet; which Glumdalclitch held in her lap in a kind of
open sedan, after the fashion of the country, borne by four men,
and attended by two others in the queen's livery. The people, who
had often heard of me, were very curious to crowd about the sedan,
and the girl was complaisant enough to make the bearers stop, and
to take me in her hand, that I might be more conveniently seen.

I was very desirous to see the chief temple, and particularly the
tower belonging to it, which is reckoned the highest in the
kingdom. Accordingly one day my nurse carried me thither, but I
may truly say I came back disappointed; for the height is not above
three thousand feet, reckoning from the ground to the highest
pinnacle top; which, allowing for the difference between the size
of those people and us in Europe, is no great matter for
admiration, nor at all equal in proportion (if I rightly remember)
to Salisbury steeple. But, not to detract from a nation, to which,
during my life, I shall acknowledge myself extremely obliged, it
must be allowed, that whatever this famous tower wants in height,
is amply made up in beauty and strength: for the walls are near a
hundred feet thick, built of hewn stone, whereof each is about
forty feet square, and adorned on all sides with statues of gods
and emperors, cut in marble, larger than the life, placed in their
several niches. I measured a little finger which had fallen down
from one of these statues, and lay unperceived among some rubbish,
and found it exactly four feet and an inch in length.
Glumdalclitch wrapped it up in her handkerchief, and carried it
home in her pocket, to keep among other trinkets, of which the girl
was very fond, as children at her age usually are.

The king's kitchen is indeed a noble building, vaulted at top, and
about six hundred feet high. The great oven is not so wide, by ten
paces, as the cupola at St. Paul's: for I measured the latter on
purpose, after my return. But if I should describe the kitchen
grate, the prodigious pots and kettles, the joints of meat turning
on the spits, with many other particulars, perhaps I should be
hardly believed; at least a severe critic would be apt to think I
enlarged a little, as travellers are often suspected to do. To
avoid which censure I fear I have run too much into the other
extreme; and that if this treatise should happen to be translated
into the language of Brobdingnag (which is the general name of that
kingdom,) and transmitted thither, the king and his people would
have reason to complain that I had done them an injury, by a false
and diminutive representation.

His majesty seldom keeps above six hundred horses in his stables:
they are generally from fifty-four to sixty feet high. But, when
he goes abroad on solemn days, he is attended, for state, by a
military guard of five hundred horse, which, indeed, I thought was
the most splendid sight that could be ever beheld, till I saw part
of his army in battalia, whereof I shall find another occasion to


[Several adventurers that happened to the author. The execution of
a criminal. The author shows his skill in navigation.]

I should have lived happy enough in that country, if my littleness
had not exposed me to several ridiculous and troublesome accidents;
some of which I shall venture to relate. Glumdalclitch often
carried me into the gardens of the court in my smaller box, and
would sometimes take me out of it, and hold me in her hand, or set
me down to walk. I remember, before the dwarf left the queen, he
followed us one day into those gardens, and my nurse having set me
down, he and I being close together, near some dwarf apple trees, I
must needs show my wit, by a silly allusion between him and the
trees, which happens to hold in their language as it does in ours.
Whereupon, the malicious rogue, watching his opportunity, when I
was walking under one of them, shook it directly over my head, by
which a dozen apples, each of them near as large as a Bristol
barrel, came tumbling about my ears; one of them hit me on the back
as I chanced to stoop, and knocked me down flat on my face; but I
received no other hurt, and the dwarf was pardoned at my desire,
because I had given the provocation.

Another day, Glumdalclitch left me on a smooth grass-plot to divert
myself, while she walked at some distance with her governess. In
the meantime, there suddenly fell such a violent shower of hail,
that I was immediately by the force of it, struck to the ground:
and when I was down, the hailstones gave me such cruel bangs all
over the body, as if I had been pelted with tennis-balls; however,
I made a shift to creep on all fours, and shelter myself, by lying
flat on my face, on the lee-side of a border of lemon-thyme, but so
bruised from head to foot, that I could not go abroad in ten days.
Neither is this at all to be wondered at, because nature, in that
country, observing the same proportion through all her operations,
a hailstone is near eighteen hundred times as large as one in
Europe; which I can assert upon experience, having been so curious
as to weigh and measure them.

But a more dangerous accident happened to me in the same garden,
when my little nurse, believing she had put me in a secure place
(which I often entreated her to do, that I might enjoy my own
thoughts,) and having left my box at home, to avoid the trouble of
carrying it, went to another part of the garden with her governess
and some ladies of her acquaintance. While she was absent, and out
of hearing, a small white spaniel that belonged to one of the chief
gardeners, having got by accident into the garden, happened to
range near the place where I lay: the dog, following the scent,
came directly up, and taking me in his mouth, ran straight to his
master wagging his tail, and set me gently on the ground. By good
fortune he had been so well taught, that I was carried between his
teeth without the least hurt, or even tearing my clothes. But the
poor gardener, who knew me well, and had a great kindness for me,
was in a terrible fright: he gently took me up in both his hands,
and asked me how I did? but I was so amazed and out of breath, that
I could not speak a word. In a few minutes I came to myself, and
he carried me safe to my little nurse, who, by this time, had
returned to the place where she left me, and was in cruel agonies
when I did not appear, nor answer when she called. She severely
reprimanded the gardener on account of his dog. But the thing was
hushed up, and never known at court, for the girl was afraid of the
queen's anger; and truly, as to myself, I thought it would not be
for my reputation, that such a story should go about.

This accident absolutely determined Glumdalclitch never to trust me
abroad for the future out of her sight. I had been long afraid of
this resolution, and therefore concealed from her some little
unlucky adventures, that happened in those times when I was left by
myself. Once a kite, hovering over the garden, made a stoop at me,
and if I had not resolutely drawn my hanger, and run under a thick
espalier, he would have certainly carried me away in his talons.
Another time, walking to the top of a fresh mole-hill, I fell to my
neck in the hole, through which that animal had cast up the earth,
and coined some lie, not worth remembering, to excuse myself for
spoiling my clothes. I likewise broke my right shin against the
shell of a snail, which I happened to stumble over, as I was
walking alone and thinking on poor England.

I cannot tell whether I were more pleased or mortified to observe,
in those solitary walks, that the smaller birds did not appear to
be at all afraid of me, but would hop about within a yard's
distance, looking for worms and other food, with as much
indifference and security as if no creature at all were near them.
I remember, a thrush had the confidence to snatch out of my hand,
with his bill, a of cake that Glumdalclitch had just given me for
my breakfast. When I attempted to catch any of these birds, they
would boldly turn against me, endeavouring to peck my fingers,
which I durst not venture within their reach; and then they would
hop back unconcerned, to hunt for worms or snails, as they did
before. But one day, I took a thick cudgel, and threw it with all
my strength so luckily, at a linnet, that I knocked him down, and
seizing him by the neck with both my hands, ran with him in triumph
to my nurse. However, the bird, who had only been stunned,
recovering himself gave me so many boxes with his wings, on both
sides of my head and body, though I held him at arm's-length, and
was out of the reach of his claws, that I was twenty times thinking
to let him go. But I was soon relieved by one of our servants, who
wrung off the bird's neck, and I had him next day for dinner, by
the queen's command. This linnet, as near as I can remember,
seemed to be somewhat larger than an English swan.

The maids of honour often invited Glumdalclitch to their
apartments, and desired she would bring me along with her, on
purpose to have the pleasure of seeing and touching me. They would
often strip me naked from top to toe, and lay me at full length in
their bosoms; wherewith I was much disgusted because, to say the
truth, a very offensive smell came from their skins; which I do not
mention, or intend, to the disadvantage of those excellent ladies,
for whom I have all manner of respect; but I conceive that my sense
was more acute in proportion to my littleness, and that those
illustrious persons were no more disagreeable to their lovers, or
to each other, than people of the same quality are with us in
England. And, after all, I found their natural smell was much more
supportable, than when they used perfumes, under which I
immediately swooned away. I cannot forget, that an intimate friend
of mine in Lilliput, took the freedom in a warm day, when I had
used a good deal of exercise, to complain of a strong smell about
me, although I am as little faulty that way, as most of my sex:
but I suppose his faculty of smelling was as nice with regard to
me, as mine was to that of this people. Upon this point, I cannot
forbear doing justice to the queen my mistress, and Glumdalclitch
my nurse, whose persons were as sweet as those of any lady in

That which gave me most uneasiness among these maids of honour
(when my nurse carried me to visit then) was, to see them use me
without any manner of ceremony, like a creature who had no sort of
consequence: for they would strip themselves to the skin, and put
on their smocks in my presence, while I was placed on their toilet,
directly before their naked bodies, which I am sure to me was very
far from being a tempting sight, or from giving me any other
emotions than those of horror and disgust: their skins appeared so
coarse and uneven, so variously coloured, when I saw them near,
with a mole here and there as broad as a trencher, and hairs
hanging from it thicker than packthreads, to say nothing farther
concerning the rest of their persons. Neither did they at all
scruple, while I was by, to discharge what they had drank, to the
quantity of at least two hogsheads, in a vessel that held above
three tuns. The handsomest among these maids of honour, a
pleasant, frolicsome girl of sixteen, would sometimes set me
astride upon one of her nipples, with many other tricks, wherein
the reader will excuse me for not being over particular. But I was
so much displeased, that I entreated Glumdalclitch to contrive some
excuse for not seeing that young lady any more.

One day, a young gentleman, who was nephew to my nurse's governess,
came and pressed them both to see an execution. It was of a man,
who had murdered one of that gentleman's intimate acquaintance.
Glumdalclitch was prevailed on to be of the company, very much
against her inclination, for she was naturally tender-hearted:
and, as for myself, although I abhorred such kind of spectacles,
yet my curiosity tempted me to see something that I thought must be
extraordinary. The malefactor was fixed in a chair upon a scaffold
erected for that purpose, and his head cut off at one blow, with a
sword of about forty feet long. The veins and arteries spouted up
such a prodigious quantity of blood, and so high in the air, that
the great jet d'eau at Versailles was not equal to it for the time
it lasted: and the head, when it fell on the scaffold floor, gave
such a bounce as made me start, although I was at least half an
English mile distant.

The queen, who often used to hear me talk of my sea-voyages, and
took all occasions to divert me when I was melancholy, asked me
whether I understood how to handle a sail or an oar, and whether a
little exercise of rowing might not be convenient for my health? I
answered, that I understood both very well: for although my proper
employment had been to be surgeon or doctor to the ship, yet often,
upon a pinch, I was forced to work like a common mariner. But I
could not see how this could be done in their country, where the
smallest wherry was equal to a first-rate man of war among us; and
such a boat as I could manage would never live in any of their
rivers. Her majesty said, if I would contrive a boat, her own
joiner should make it, and she would provide a place for me to sail
in. The fellow was an ingenious workman, and by my instructions,
in ten days, finished a pleasure-boat with all its tackling, able
conveniently to hold eight Europeans. When it was finished, the
queen was so delighted, that she ran with it in her lap to the
king, who ordered it to be put into a cistern full of water, with
me in it, by way of trial, where I could not manage my two sculls,
or little oars, for want of room. But the queen had before
contrived another project. She ordered the joiner to make a wooden
trough of three hundred feet long, fifty broad, and eight deep;
which, being well pitched, to prevent leaking, was placed on the
floor, along the wall, in an outer room of the palace. It had a
cock near the bottom to let out the water, when it began to grow
stale; and two servants could easily fill it in half an hour. Here
I often used to row for my own diversion, as well as that of the
queen and her ladies, who thought themselves well entertained with
my skill and agility. Sometimes I would put up my sail, and then
my business was only to steer, while the ladies gave me a gale with
their fans; and, when they were weary, some of their pages would
blow my sail forward with their breath, while I showed my art by
steering starboard or larboard as I pleased. When I had done,
Glumdalclitch always carried back my boat into her closet, and hung
it on a nail to dry.

In this exercise I once met an accident, which had like to have
cost me my life; for, one of the pages having put my boat into the
trough, the governess who attended Glumdalclitch very officiously
lifted me up, to place me in the boat: but I happened to slip
through her fingers, and should infallibly have fallen down forty
feet upon the floor, if, by the luckiest chance in the world, I had
not been stopped by a corking-pin that stuck in the good
gentlewoman's stomacher; the head of the pin passing between my
shirt and the waistband of my breeches, and thus I was held by the
middle in the air, till Glumdalclitch ran to my relief.

Another time, one of the servants, whose office it was to fill my
trough every third day with fresh water, was so careless as to let
a huge frog (not perceiving it) slip out of his pail. The frog lay
concealed till I was put into my boat, but then, seeing a resting-
place, climbed up, and made it lean so much on one side, that I was
forced to balance it with all my weight on the other, to prevent
overturning. When the frog was got in, it hopped at once half the
length of the boat, and then over my head, backward and forward,
daubing my face and clothes with its odious slime. The largeness
of its features made it appear the most deformed animal that can be
conceived. However, I desired Glumdalclitch to let me deal with it
alone. I banged it a good while with one of my sculls, and at last
forced it to leap out of the boat.

But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom, was from
a monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen.
Glumdalclitch had locked me up in her closet, while she went
somewhere upon business, or a visit. The weather being very warm,
the closet-window was left open, as well as the windows and the
door of my bigger box, in which I usually lived, because of its
largeness and conveniency. As I sat quietly meditating at my
table, I heard something bounce in at the closet-window, and skip
about from one side to the other: whereat, although I was much
alarmed, yet I ventured to look out, but not stirring from my seat;
and then I saw this frolicsome animal frisking and leaping up and
down, till at last he came to my box, which he seemed to view with
great pleasure and curiosity, peeping in at the door and every
window. I retreated to the farther corner of my room; or box; but
the monkey looking in at every side, put me in such a fright, that
I wanted presence of mind to conceal myself under the bed, as I
might easily have done. After some time spent in peeping,
grinning, and chattering, he at last espied me; and reaching one of
his paws in at the door, as a cat does when she plays with a mouse,
although I often shifted place to avoid him, he at length seized
the lappet of my coat (which being made of that country silk, was
very thick and strong), and dragged me out. He took me up in his
right fore-foot and held me as a nurse does a child she is going to
suckle, just as I have seen the same sort of creature do with a
kitten in Europe; and when I offered to struggle he squeezed me so
hard, that I thought it more prudent to submit. I have good reason
to believe, that he took me for a young one of his own species, by
his often stroking my face very gently with his other paw. In
these diversions he was interrupted by a noise at the closet door,
as if somebody were opening it: whereupon he suddenly leaped up to
the window at which he had come in, and thence upon the leads and
gutters, walking upon three legs, and holding me in the fourth,
till he clambered up to a roof that was next to ours. I heard
Glumdalclitch give a shriek at the moment he was carrying me out.
The poor girl was almost distracted: that quarter of the palace
was all in an uproar; the servants ran for ladders; the monkey was
seen by hundreds in the court, sitting upon the ridge of a
building, holding me like a baby in one of his forepaws, and
feeding me with the other, by cramming into my mouth some victuals
he had squeezed out of the bag on one side of his chaps, and
patting me when I would not eat; whereat many of the rabble below
could not forbear laughing; neither do I think they justly ought to
be blamed, for, without question, the sight was ridiculous enough
to every body but myself. Some of the people threw up stones,
hoping to drive the monkey down; but this was strictly forbidden,
or else, very probably, my brains had been dashed out.

The ladders were now applied, and mounted by several men; which the
monkey observing, and finding himself almost encompassed, not being
able to make speed enough with his three legs, let me drop on a
ridge tile, and made his escape. Here I sat for some time, five
hundred yards from the ground, expecting every moment to be blown
down by the wind, or to fall by my own giddiness, and come tumbling
over and over from the ridge to the eaves; but an honest lad, one
of my nurse's footmen, climbed up, and putting me into his breeches
pocket, brought me down safe.

I was almost choked with the filthy stuff the monkey had crammed
down my throat: but my dear little nurse picked it out of my mouth
with a small needle, and then I fell a-vomiting, which gave me
great relief. Yet I was so weak and bruised in the sides with the
squeezes given me by this odious animal, that I was forced to keep
my bed a fortnight. The king, queen, and all the court, sent every
day to inquire after my health; and her majesty made me several
visits during my sickness. The monkey was killed, and an order
made, that no such animal should be kept about the palace.

When I attended the king after my recovery, to return him thanks
for his favours, he was pleased to rally me a good deal upon this
adventure. He asked me, "what my thoughts and speculations were,
while I lay in the monkey's paw; how I liked the victuals he gave
me; his manner of feeding; and whether the fresh air on the roof
had sharpened my stomach." He desired to know, "what I would have
done upon such an occasion in my own country." I told his majesty,
"that in Europe we had no monkeys, except such as were brought for
curiosity from other places, and so small, that I could deal with a
dozen of them together, if they presumed to attack me. And as for
that monstrous animal with whom I was so lately engaged (it was
indeed as large as an elephant), if my fears had suffered me to
think so far as to make use of my hanger," (looking fiercely, and
clapping my hand on the hilt, as I spoke) "when he poked his paw
into my chamber, perhaps I should have given him such a wound, as
would have made him glad to withdraw it with more haste than he put
it in." This I delivered in a firm tone, like a person who was
jealous lest his courage should be called in question. However, my
speech produced nothing else beside a laud laughter, which all the
respect due to his majesty from those about him could not make them
contain. This made me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man
to endeavour to do himself honour among those who are out of all
degree of equality or comparison with him. And yet I have seen the
moral of my own behaviour very frequent in England since my return;
where a little contemptible varlet, without the least title to
birth, person, wit, or common sense, shall presume to look with
importance, and put himself upon a foot with the greatest persons
of the kingdom.

I was every day furnishing the court with some ridiculous story:
and Glumdalclitch, although she loved me to excess, yet was arch
enough to inform the queen, whenever I committed any folly that she
thought would be diverting to her majesty. The girl, who had been
out of order, was carried by her governess to take the air about an
hour's distance, or thirty miles from town. They alighted out of
the coach near a small foot-path in a field, and Glumdalclitch
setting down my travelling box, I went out of it to walk. There
was a cow-dung in the path, and I must need try my activity by
attempting to leap over it. I took a run, but unfortunately jumped
short, and found myself just in the middle up to my knees. I waded
through with some difficulty, and one of the footmen wiped me as
clean as he could with his handkerchief, for I was filthily
bemired; and my nurse confined me to my box, till we returned home;
where the queen was soon informed of what had passed, and the
footmen spread it about the court: so that all the mirth for some
days was at my expense.


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