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Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5 by Charles Sylvester

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Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Andy Jewell and PG Distributed

_Geraint and Enid_]








_Author of English and American Literature_


_New Edition_




LEAD, KINDLY LIGHT _Cardinal Veuman_
POLONIUS' ADVICE _Shakespeare_
GERAINT AND ENID _Alfred Tennyson_
THE HOLY GRAIL _Adapted from Thomas Malory_
THE HEART OF BRUCE _William E Aytoun_
THE SKELETON IN ARMOR _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_
_Robert Browning_
BRADDOCK'S DEFEAT _Benjamin Franklin_
THE AMERICAN FLAG _Joseph Rodman Drake_
WE PLAN A RIVER TRIP _Jerome K Jerome_
ON COMIC SONGS _Jerome K Jerome_
THE INCHCAPE ROCK _Robert Southey_
TOM BROWN AT RUBGY _Thomas Hughes_


The Classification of Selections, see General Index at end of Volume X


_Donn P Crane_
GULLIVER AND THE PISTOL (Color Plate) _G H Mitchell_
A GALE WITH THEIR FANS _Iris Weddell White_
GULLIVER AND THE KING _Iris Weddell White_
KING ARTHUR (Halftone)
THE LIGHT _Donn P Crane_
SIR GALAHAD _Jessie Arms_
ON THE MARCH _Everett E Lowry_
THE AMBUSH _Everett E Lowry_
_Donn P Crane_
_Donn P Crane_
"WHEN I WAS YOUNG" _Herbert N Rudeen_
RUGBY SCHOOL (Color Plate)
"A FIGHT!" _Louis Grell_


The father of Jonathan Swift was a Dublin lawyer who died just as he was
beginning what might have been a profitable career, and before his only
son was born. The widow was left with so little money that when her son
was born in November, 1667, she was not able to take care of him. Her
brother-in-law undertook to provide for mother and child.

He procured a nurse who became so attached to her little charge that
when she received a small sum of money from a relative in England and
was compelled to go to that country, she stole the baby and took him
with her across the channel. It was more than three years before
Jonathan was brought back to Dublin, but he had been tenderly cared for,
and though but five years of age had been taught to spell and to read in
the Bible.

A year later he was sent to a good school, where he made rapid progress.
However, he could not have been always studious, for visitors to the
school are still shown a desk in which his name is deeply cut.

He was fourteen years old when he entered the University of Dublin,
where his record was not a very satisfactory one. When it came time for
him to graduate, his standing was too poor for him to take his degree,
but after some delay it was given him "by special favor," a term then
used in Dublin to show that a candidate did not pass in his

After this, Swift remained three years at the University under the
pretense of studying, but he was chiefly notorious for his connection
with a gang of wild and disobedient students who were often under
censure of the faculty for their irregularities. For one offense Swift
was severely censured and compelled upon his knees to beg pardon of the
dean. This punishment he did not forgive, and long afterward he wrote
bitter things about Dr. Allen, the dean.

Yet while indulging in these follies, Swift learned to write well and
became noted for a peculiar satirical style that afterward made him much
feared by the government.

When the uncle who had first supported Swift had died, a second uncle
and his son took up the burden. At one time this cousin sent Swift quite
a large sum of money, a fact which seemed to change the nature of the
wild young spendthrift, who thereafter remained economical; in fact, he
became niggardly in his saving.

Swift's second degree from the University was earned creditably, and he
was much pleased with the praise and respect with which he was received.
This was owing to two years of diligent study which he spent at the home
of Sir William Temple, a leading statesman of the time and a distant
relative by marriage of Swift's mother.

Discouraged by his fruitless attempt to enter public life, he began to
study for the ministry, and, ultimately, he received a church
appointment, of which he wearied after a short experience.

Until 1710, he led a varied life, sometimes dependent upon his
relatives, and at others making his way in various political positions.
From the date above he was embroiled in heated political controversies
in which his bitter writings made him feared even by his friends and
fiercely hated by his enemies. But he steadily rose in power and
influence, and when his party triumphed he was rewarded for his
political services by being appointed dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral
in Ireland.

His appointment was exceedingly unpopular, even in Ireland, for few
believed him at all suited for a position in the church, much less for
one so high and important. On the day he was installed, some bitter
verses, of which the following are three, were found posted on the door
of the cathedral:

To-day this temple gets a dean,
Of parts and fame uncommon;
Used both to pray and to profane,
To serve both God and Mammon.

* * * * *

This place he got by wit and rhyme,
And many ways most odd;
And might a bishop be in time,
Did he believe in God.

* * * * *

And now when'er his deanship dies,
Upon his tomb be graven--
A man of God here buried lies,
Who never thought of heaven.

Unfortunately there was too much truth in the charges against Swift's
character, and his career, in spite of his genius, is a pitiful one. He
was admired for his wit and brilliancy, and courted by the noble and
powerful, but he was never able to gratify his ambitions, though he did
secure many devoted friends. From his disappointments he became moody,
bitter and discontented. This state of mind, together with other causes,
finally broke his health, destroyed his mind and left him but the sad
wreck of a brilliant manhood, and an old age of helpless imbecility.
Such a life has little that is attractive for anyone, but it does show
us that even a brilliant intellect cannot save a man who persistently
neglects to guard his character, and that fame does not always bring

But Swift was by no means all bad, and his great services to Ireland are
still deservedly recognized by that devoted people. He really laid the
foundation for their prosperity and may be said to have created
constitutional liberty for them.

It is, however, as a wit and a writer that Swift is now chiefly famous.
Many are the stories told of his readiness in repartee, his bright
sallies in conversation, and of his skill in quick and caustic rhyming.
It is said that one day, when traveling in the south of Ireland, he
stopped to give his horse water at a brook which crossed the road; a
gentleman of the neighborhood halted for the same purpose, and saluted
him, a courtesy which was politely returned. They parted, but the
gentleman, struck by the dean's figure, sent his servant to inquire who
the man was. The messenger rode up to the dean and said, "Please, sir,
master would be obliged if you would tell him who you are."

"Willingly," replied the dean. "Tell your master I am the person that
bowed to him when we were giving our horses water at the brook yonder."

[Illustration: JONATHAN SWIFT 1667-1745]

Swift's interests lay rather with the common people than with the Irish
aristocracy, who, he thought, were arrant "grafters." Of one in
particular he said,

"So great was his bounty--
He erected a bridge--at the expense of the county."

The last thing Swift wrote was an epigram. It was in almost the final
lucid interval between periods of insanity that he was riding in the
park with his physician. As they drove along, Swift saw, for the first
time, a building that had recently been put up.

"What is that?" he inquired.

"That," said the physician, "is the new magazine in which are stored
arms and powder for the defence of the city."

"Oh!" said the dean, pulling out his notebook. "Let me take an item of
that; this is worth remarking: 'My tablets!' as Hamlet says, 'my
tablets! Memory put down that.'" Then he scribbled the following lines,
the last he ever penned:

"Behold a proof of Irish sense!
Here Irish wit is seen!
When nothing's left that's worth defence,
We build a magazine."

With the exception of _Gulliver's Travels_, very
little that Dean Swift wrote is now read by anyone
but students.



Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726 and without any allusion to the
real author, though many knew that the work must have come from the pen
of Dean Swift. Though the dean was habitually secretive in what he did,
he had some reason for not wishing to say in public that he had written
so bitter a satire on the government and on mankind.

The work was immediately popular, not only in the British Isles but on
the Continent as well. No such form of political satire had ever
appeared, and everyone was excited over its possibilities. Not all parts
of the work were considered equally good; some parts were thought to be
failures, and the Fourth Voyage was as a whole deservedly unpopular. The
Voyages to Lilliput and to Brobdingnag were considered the best, and to
them is to be attributed the greater part of the author's fame. Their
popularity continues with the years.

Lemuel Gulliver is represented as a British sailor who had been educated
as a doctor but whose wandering instincts led him back to the sea. On
his return from his voyages he writes the account of his adventures; and
the manner in which this account is written is so masterly that we
almost believe the things he tells.

In describing the manners, customs, and governments of the several
countries, he shows in his inimitable way the weakness of his king,
prince, nobles, government and mankind in general.

While the scholar and the man of affairs may still be interested in the
political significance of what is said and in a study of the keen
knowledge of human nature shown by the writer, yet it is principally as
a story that the work is now popular. Everybody enjoys reading about the
wonderful people who existed only in the imagination of the great dean
of Saint Patrick's.

In this volume are printed some of the most enjoyable parts of the first
and second voyages. About the only changes from the original text are in
the omission of those passages which contribute nothing to the narrative
or which for other reasons it seems inadvisable to reprint. These
omissions put the real fictitious narrative into so small a compass that
children will be entertained from beginning to end.

The _Voyage to Lilliput_ was directed against the policy of the English
Court during the reign of George I. The real differences between the
parties were trifling; not more, to Swift's idea, than that between
_High-heels_ and _Low-heels_ in the court of Lilliput; and the
controversies between the churches were not greater than those between
the _Big-endians_ and the _Little-endians._ As the Prince of Wales was
thought to favor a union of parties, he was typified in the
heir-apparent of Lilliput who wore one shoe with a high heel and one
with a low heel. This explanation will give an idea of the nature of
Swift's milder satire.

The _Voyage to Brobdingnag_ advocates the principles then held by the
Tory party in England and attacks those of the Whigs.

The _Voyage to Laputa_, from which we give no selections, was not
generally understood and hence was not popular. Its chief purpose was to
ridicule the proceedings of the Royal Society, but Swift was not well
enough acquainted with music and some of the other sciences fostered by
the Society to attack them to advantage.

The _Voyage to the Houyhnhnms_ was a bitter screed against mankind,
and is in many respects disgusting. It showed Swift's venom against the
world and something of the approach of the malady which finally hurried
him into insanity.

The following selections are somewhat condensed from the original story,
chiefly by the omission of passages of no interest to people of to-day.


_I. The Arrival_

We set sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699, and our voyage at first was very

It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the
particulars of our adventures; let it suffice to inform him, that, in
our passage to the East Indies, we were driven by a violent storm to the
northwest of Van Diemen's Land.[1] By an observation we found ourselves
in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were
dead by immoderate labor and ill food; the rest were in a very weak

[Footnote 1: _Van Diemen's Land_ is the old name for Tasmania, an
island off the coast of Australia.]

On the 5th of November, which was the beginning of summer in those
parts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock within half
a cable's length of the ship; but the wind was so strong that we were
driven directly upon it, and immediately split. Six of the crew, of whom
I was one, having let down the boat into the sea, made a shift to get
clear of the ship and the rock. We rowed, by my computation, about three
leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spent with
labor while we were in the ship. We, therefore, trusted ourselves to the
mercy of the waves; and in about half an hour the boat was overset by a
sudden flurry from the north. What became of my companions in the boat,
as well as those who escaped on the rock, or were left in the vessel, I
cannot tell, but conclude they were all lost.

For my own part, I swam as Fortune directed me, and was pushed forward
by wind and tide. I often let my legs drop, and could feel no bottom;
but when I was almost gone, and able to struggle no longer, I found
myself within my depth; and by this time the storm was much abated. The
declivity was so small, that I walked near a mile before I got to the
shore, which I conjectured was about eight o'clock in the evening. I
then advanced forward near half a mile, but could not discover any sign
of houses or inhabitants; at least I was in so weak a condition that I
did not observe them. I was extremely tired; and with that, and the heat
of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that I drank as I left
the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down on the
grass, which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever I
remember to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, above nine hours;
for when I awaked it was just daylight.

I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir; for as I happened to lie
on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side
to the ground, and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the
same manner. I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body,
from my armpits to my thighs. I could only look upward; the sun began to
grow hot, and the light offended mine eyes. I heard a confused noise
about me, but, in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky.

In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which,
advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin;
when, bending mine eyes downward as much as I could, I perceived it to
be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his
hands, and a quiver at his back. In the meantime, I felt at least forty
more of the same kind (as I conjectured) following the first. I was in
the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud that they all ran back in a
fright; and some of them, as I was afterward told, were hurt with the
falls they got by leaping from my sides upon the ground. However, they
soon returned; and one of them, who ventured so far as to get a full
sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way of admiration,
cried out, in a shrill but distinct voice, "Hekinah degul." The others
repeated the same words several times; but I then knew not what they
meant. I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great

At length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the
strings and wrench out the pegs that fastened my left arm to the ground;
for, by lifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had
taken to bind me, and, at the same time, with a violent pull, which gave
me excessive pain, I a little loosened the strings that tied down my
hair on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my head about two
inches. But the creatures ran off a second time, before I could seize
them; whereupon there was a great shout, in a very shrill accent, and,
after it ceased, I heard one of them cry aloud, "Tolgo phonac"; when, in
an instant, I felt above an hundred arrows discharged on my left hand,
which pricked me like so many needles; and, besides, they shot another
flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe; whereof many, I suppose,
fell on my body (though I felt them not), and some on my face, which I
immediately covered with my left hand.

When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a-groaning with grief and
pain; and then, striving again to get loose, they discharged another
volley, larger than the first, and some of them attempted, with spears,
to stick me in the sides; but, by good luck, I had on me a buff[2]
jerkin, which they could not pierce. I thought it the most prudent
method to lie still; and my design was to continue so till night, when,
my left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself; and as for
the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the
greatest armies they could bring against me, if they were all of the
same size with him that I saw.

[Footnote 2: _Buff_ is the name given to a kind of leather, made
originally of buffalo hide, but later of the skins of other animals]

But fortune disposed otherwise of me. When the people observed I was
quiet, they discharged no more arrows; but, by the noise I heard, I knew
their numbers increased; and about four yards from me, over against my
right ear, I heard a knocking for above an hour, like that of people at
work; when, turning my head that way, as well as the pegs and strings
would permit me, I saw a stage erected about a foot and a half from the
ground, capable of holding four of the inhabitants, with two or three
ladders to mount it; from whence one of them, who seemed to be a person
of quality, made me a long speech, whereof I understood not one

But I should have mentioned that, before the principal person began his
oration, he cried out three times, "Langro dehul san" (these words and
the former were afterward repeated and explained to me); whereupon,
immediately, about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the strings
that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of
turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him
that was to speak. He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than
any of the other three who attended him; whereof one was a page, that
held up his train, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle
finger; the other two stood one on each side to support him. He acted
every part of an orator; and I could observe many periods of
threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness.

I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up
my left hand and both mine eyes to the sun, as calling him for a
witness: and being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten a
morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands of
nature so strong upon me that I could not forbear showing my impatience
(perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my finger
frequently on my mouth, to signify that I wanted food.

The _hurgo_ (for so they call a great lord, as I afterward learned)
understood me very well. He descended from the stage, and commanded that
several ladders should be applied to my sides, on which above an hundred
of the inhabitants mounted, and walked toward my mouth, laden with
baskets full of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the
king's orders, upon the first intelligence he received of me. I observed
there was the flesh of several animals, but could not distinguish them
by the taste. There were shoulders, legs, and loins, shaped like those
of mutton, and very well dressed but smaller than the wings of a lark. I
eat them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time,
about the bigness of musket-bullets. They supplied me as fast as they
could, showing a thousand marks of wonder and astonishment at my bulk
and appetite.

I then made another sign, that I wanted drink. They found by my eating
that a small quantity would not suffice me; and, being a most ingenious
people, they slung up, with great dexterity, one of their largest
hogsheads, then rolled it toward my hand, and beat out the top. I drank
it off at a draught, which I might well do, for it did not hold half a
pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, but much more delicious.
They brought me a second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner, and
made signs for more; but they had none to give me.

When I had performed these wonders, they shouted for joy, and danced
upon my breast, repeating several times, as they did at first, "Hekinah
degul." They made me a sign that I should throw down the two hogsheads,
but first warning the people below to stand out of the way, crying
aloud, "Borach mivolah"; and when they saw the vessels in the air there
was an universal shout of "Hekinah degul."

I confess I was often tempted, while they were passing backward and
forward on my body, to seize forty or fifty of the first that came in my
reach, and dash them against the ground. But the remembrance of what I
had felt, which probably might not be the worst they could do, and the
promise of honor I made them--for so I interpreted my submissive
behavior--soon drove out these imaginations. Besides, I now considered
myself as bound by the laws of hospitality to a people who had treated
me with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts I
could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive
mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk upon my body, while one of
my hands was at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so
prodigious a creature as I must appear to them.

After some time, when they observed that I made no more demands for
meat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from his imperial
majesty. His excellency, having mounted on the small of my right leg,
advanced forward up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue; and
producing his credentials, under the signet-royal, which he applied
close to mine eyes, spoke about ten minutes without any signs of anger,
but with a kind of determinate resolution; often pointing forward;
which, as I afterward found, was toward the capital city, about half a
mile distant, whither it was agreed by his majesty in council that I
must be conveyed.

I answered in few words, but to no purpose, and made a sign with my
hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over his excellency's
head, for fear of hurting him or his train), and then to my own head and
body, to signify that I desired my liberty.

It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head by
way of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show that I
must be carried as a prisoner. However, he made other signs, to let me
understand that I should have meat and drink enough, and very good
treatment. Whereupon, I once more thought of attempting to break my
bonds; but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows upon my face and
hands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking
in them, and observing likewise that the number of my enemies increased,
I gave tokens to let them know that they might do with me what they

Upon this, the _hurgo_ and his train withdrew, with much civility
and cheerful countenances. Soon after, I heard a general shout, with
frequent repetitions of the words "Peplom selan," and I felt great
numbers of the people on my left side, relaxing the cords to such a
degree that I was able to turn upon my right. But before this they had
daubed my face and both my hands with a sort of ointment, very pleasant
to the smell, which, in a few minutes, removed all the smart of their
arrows. These circumstances, added to the refreshment I had received by
their victuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to
sleep. I slept about eight hours, as I was afterward assured; and it was
no wonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled a
sleepy potion in the hogsheads of wine.

It seems that upon the first moment I was discovered sleeping on the
ground, after my landing, the emperor had early notice of it by an
express, and determined in council that I should be tied in the manner I
have related (which was done in the night, while I slept), that plenty
of meat and drink should be sent to me, and a machine prepared to carry
me to the capital city.

This resolution, perhaps, may appear very bold and dangerous, and I am
confident would not be imitated by any prince in Europe, on the like
occasion. However, in my opinion, it was extremely prudent, as well as
generous; for supposing these people had endeavored to kill me with
their spears and arrows while I was asleep, I should certainly have
awaked with the first sense of smart, which might so far have roused my
rage and strength as to have enabled me to break the strings wherewith I
was tied; after which, as they were not able to make resistance, so they
could expect no mercy.


These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a great
perfection in mechanics, by the countenance and encouragement of the
emperor, who is a renowned patron of learning. This prince has several
machines fixed on wheels, for the carriage of trees and other great
weights. He often builds his largest men-of-war, whereof some are nine
feet long, in the woods where the timber grows, and has them carried on
these engines, three or four hundred yards, to the sea.

Five hundred carpenters and engineers were immediately set at work to
prepare the greatest engine they had. It was a frame of wood raised
three inches from the ground, about seven feet long, and four wide,
moving upon twenty-two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival of
this engine, which, it seems, set out in four hours after my landing. It
was brought parallel to me as I lay. But the principal difficulty was to
raise and place me in this vehicle. Eighty poles, each of one foot high,
were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords, of the bigness of
pack-thread, were fastened by hooks to many bandages, which the workmen
had girt round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs. Nine hundred of
the strongest men were employed to draw up these cords, by many pulleys
fastened on the poles; and thus, in less than three hours, I was raised
and slung into the engine, and there tied fast. All this I was told;
for, while the whole operation was performing, I lay in a profound
sleep, by the force of that soporiferous medicine infused into my
liquor. Fifteen hundred of the emperor's largest horses, each about four
inches and a half high, were employed to draw me toward the metropolis,
which, as I said, was half a mile distant. About four hours after we
began our journey, I awaked by a very ridiculous accident; for the
carriage being stopped awhile to adjust something that was out of order,
two or three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked
when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and advancing very
softly to my face, one of them, an officer in the guards, put the sharp
end of his half-pike a good way up into my nostril, which tickled my
nose like a straw, and made me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole
off unperceived, and it was three weeks before I knew the cause of my
awaking so suddenly.

We made a long march the remaining part of that day,[3] and rested at
night with five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches,
and half with bows and arrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to
stir. The next morning at sunrise we continued our march, and arrived
within two hundred yards of the city gates about noon. The emperor and
all his court came out to meet us, but his great officers would by no
means suffer his majesty to endanger his person by mounting on my body.

[Footnote 3: Notice the skill with which Swift adjusts all things to his
tiny Lilliputians. The half-mile journey would have been but a few
minutes' walk for Gulliver, but the six-inch men and the
four-and-one-half-inch horses spent almost a day and a half in covering
the distance.]

At the place where the carriage stopped there stood an ancient temple,
esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom; which, having been
polluted some years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to the
zeal of those people, looked on as profane, and therefore had been
applied to common use, and all the ornaments and furniture carried away.
In this edifice it was determined I should lodge. The great gate
fronting to the north was about four foot high, and about two foot wide,
through which I could easily creep. On each side of the gate was a small
window, not above six inches from the ground: into that on the left side
the king's smiths conveyed fourscore and eleven chains, like those that
hang to a lady's watch in Europe, and almost as large, which were locked
to my left leg with thirty-six padlocks.

Over against this temple, on t'other side of the great highway, at
twenty foot distance, there was a turret at least five foot high. Here
the emperor ascended, with many principal lords of his court, to have an
opportunity of viewing me, as I was told, for I could not see them. It
was reckoned that above an hundred thousand inhabitants came out of the
town upon the same errand; and, in spite of my guards, I believe there
could not be fewer than ten thousand at several times, who mounted upon
my body by the help of ladders. But a proclamation was soon issued to
forbid it upon pain of death.

When the workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose they cut
all the strings that bound me; whereupon I rose up, with as melancholy a
disposition as ever I had in my life. But the noise and astonishment of
the people, at seeing me rise and walk, are not to be expressed. The
chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not
only the liberty of walking backward and forward in a semicircle, but,
being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in and
lie at my full length in the temple.

_II. Imprisonment_

When I found myself on my feet I looked about me, and must confess I
never beheld a more entertaining prospect. The country round appeared
like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally
forty foot square, resembled so many beds of flowers. These fields were
intermingled with woods of half a stang,[4] and the tallest trees, as I
could judge, appeared to be seven foot high. I viewed the town on my
left hand, which looked like the painted scene of a city in a theater.

The emperor was already descended from the tower, and advancing on
horseback toward me, which had like to have cost him dear, for the
beast, though very well trained, yet wholly unused to such a sight,
which appeared as if a mountain moved before him, reared up on his
hinder feet; but that prince, who is an excellent horseman, kept his
seat till his attendants ran in and held the bridle while his majesty
had time to dismount.

[Footnote 4: _Stang_ is an old name for a pole, or perch, sixteen
and one-half feet.]

When he alighted he surveyed me round with great admiration, but kept
beyond the length of my chain. He ordered his cooks and butlers, who
were already prepared, to give me victuals and drink, which they pushed
forward in sorts of vehicles upon wheels till I could reach them. I took
these vehicles, and soon emptied them all; twenty of them were filled
with meat, and ten with liquor; each of the former afforded me two or
three good mouthfuls, and I emptied the liquor of ten vessels, which was
contained in earthen vials, into one vehicle, drinking it off at a
draught. The empress and young princes of the blood, of both sexes,
attended by many ladies, sat at some distance in their chairs, but upon
the accident that happened to the emperor's horse they alighted and came
near his person, which I am now going to describe.

He is taller, by almost the breadth of my nail, than any of his court,
which is alone enough to strike an awe into the beholders. His features
are strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip and arched nose; his
complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and limbs well
proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic. He
was then past his prime, being twenty-eight years and three-quarters
old,[5] of which he had reigned about seven in great felicity, and
generally victorious. For the better convenience of beholding him I lay
on my side, so that my face was parallel to his, and he stood but three
yards off; however, I have had him since many times in my hand, and
therefore cannot be deceived in the description. His dress was very
plain and simple, and the fashion of it between the Asiatic and the
European; but he had on his head a light helmet of gold, adorned with
jewels, and a plume on the crest. He held his sword drawn in his hand to
defend himself if I should happen to break loose; it was almost three
inches long, the hilt and scabbard were gold enriched with diamonds. His
voice was shrill, but very clear and articulate, and I could distinctly
hear it when I stood up.

[Footnote 5: Swift uses his reducing imagination even on the time,
perceiving that it would not seem natural for his tiny manikins to have
as long lives as the "man mountain" on which they gazed with such


The ladies and courtiers were all most magnificently clad, so that the
spot they stood upon seemed to resemble a petticoat spread on the ground
embroidered with figures of gold and silver.

His imperial majesty spoke often to me, and I returned answers, but
neither of us could understand a syllable. There were several of his
priests and lawyers present (as I conjectured by their habit), who were
commanded to address themselves to me, and I spoke to them in as many
languages as I had the least smattering of, which were High and Low
Dutch, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Lingua Franca,[6] but all to
no purpose.

[Footnote 6: _Lingua Franca_ was the name given to a mixed dialect
used in some parts of the Mediterranean coasts as means of communication
between people of different nationalities. It consisted largely of
corrupted Italian words.]

After about two hours the court retired, and I was left with a strong
guard to prevent the impertinence and probably the malice of the rabble,
who were very impatient to crowd about me as near as they durst, and
some of them had the impudence to shoot their arrows at me as I sat on
the ground by the door of my house, whereof one very narrowly missed my
left eye. But the colonel ordered six of the ringleaders to be seized,
and thought no punishment so proper as to deliver them bound into my
hands, which some of his soldiers accordingly did, pushing them forward
with the butt ends of their pikes into my reach. I took them all in my
right hand, put five of them into my coat pocket, and as to the sixth, I
made a countenance as if I would eat him alive. The poor man squalled
terribly, and the colonel and his officers were in much pain, especially
when they saw me take out my penknife; but I soon put them out of fear,
for looking mildly, and immediately cutting the strings he was bound
with, I set him gently on the ground, and away he ran. I treated the
rest in the same manner, taking them one by one out of my pocket, and I
observed both the soldiers and people were highly delighted at this mark
of my clemency, which was represented very much to my advantage at

Toward night I got with some difficulty into my house, where I lay on
the ground, and continued to do so about a fortnight, during which time
the emperor gave orders to have a bed prepared for me. Six hundred beds
of the common measure were brought in carriages, and worked up in my
house; an hundred and fifty of their beds sewn together made up the
breadth and length, and these were four double, which, however, kept me
but very indifferently from the hardness of the floor, that was of
smooth stone. By the same computation they provided me with sheets,
blankets, and coverlets, tolerable enough for one who had been so long
inured to hardships as I.

In the meantime the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what
course should be taken with me; and I was afterward assured by a
particular friend, a person of great quality, who was looked upon to be
as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties
concerning me. They apprehended my breaking loose; that my diet would be
very expensive, and might cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to
starve me, or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned
arrows, which would soon despatch me.

In the midst of these consultations, several officers of the army went
to the door of the great council-chamber, and two of them, being
admitted, gave an account of my behavior to the six criminals above
mentioned, which made so favorable an impression in the breast of his
majesty and the whole board in my behalf, that an imperial commission
was issued out obliging all the villages nine hundred yards round the
city to deliver in every morning six beeves, forty sheep, and other
victuals for my sustenance; together with a proportionable quantity of
bread, and wine, and other liquors; for the payment of which his majesty
gave orders upon his treasury. An establishment was also made of six
hundred persons to be my domestics, who had board wages allowed for
their maintenance, and tents built for them, very conveniently on each
side of my door. It was likewise ordered that three hundred tailors
should make me a suit of clothes, after the fashion of the country; that
six of his majesty's greatest scholars should be employed to instruct me
in their language; and, lastly, that the emperor's horses, and those of
the nobility, and troops of guard, should be frequently exercised in my
sight, to accustom themselves to me.

All these orders were duly put in execution; and in about three weeks I
made a great progress in learning their language; during which time the
emperor frequently honored me with his visits, and was pleased to assist
my masters in teaching me. We began already to converse together in some
sort: and the first words I learned were to express my desire that he
would please to give me my liberty; which I every day repeated on my
knees. His answer, as I could apprehend it, was, that this must be a
work of time, not to be thought on without the advice of his council,
and that first I must swear a peace with him and his kingdom. However,
that I should be used with all kindness. And he advised me to acquire,
by my patience and discreet behavior, the good opinion of himself and
his subjects.

He desired I would not take it ill, if he gave orders to certain proper
officers to search me; for probably I might carry about me several
weapons, which must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the bulk
of so prodigious a person. I said his majesty should be satisfied; for I
was ready to strip myself, and turn up my pockets before him. This, I
delivered part in words and part in signs.

He replied, that by the laws of the kingdom, I must be searched by two
of his officers; that he knew this could not be done without my consent
and assistance; that he had so good an opinion of my generosity and
justice as to trust their persons in my hands; that whatever they took
from me should be returned when I left the country, or paid for at the
rate which I would set upon them.

I took up the two officers in my hands, put them first into my coat
pockets, and then into every other pocket about me, except my two
fobs,[7] and another secret pocket I had no mind should be searched,
wherein I had some little necessaries that were of no consequence to any
but myself. In one of my fobs there was a silver watch, and in the other
a small quantity of gold in a purse.

[Footnote 7: In England this word means not the ribbon or guard which
hangs from a watch, but the small pocket in the waistband of the
trousers, in which the watch is carried.]

These gentlemen, having pen, ink, and paper about them, made an exact
inventory of everything they saw; and when they had done desired I would
set them down, that they might deliver it to the emperor. This inventory
I afterwards translated into English, and is word for word as follows:

"_Imprimis_[8] in the right coat pocket of the great man-mountain
(for so I interpret the words _quinbus flestrin), after the
strictest search, we found only one great piece of coarse cloth, large
enough to be a footcloth for your majesty's chief room of state.

[Footnote 8: _Imprimis_ is a word from the Latin, and means _in the
first place._]

"In the left pocket we saw a huge silver chest, with a cover of the same
metal, which we, the searchers, were not able to lift. We desired it
should be opened, and one of us, stepping into it, found himself up to
the mid-leg in a sort of dust, some part whereof, flying up to our
faces, set us both a-sneezing for several times together.

"In his right waistcoat pocket we found a prodigious bundle of white,
thin substances, folded one over another, about the bigness of three
men, tied with a strong cable, and marked with black figures, which we
humbly conceive to be writings, every letter almost half as large as the
palm of our hands.

"In the left there was a sort of engine, from the back of which were
extended twenty long poles, resembling the palisadoes before your
majesty's court; wherewith we conjecture the man-mountain combs his
head; for we did not always trouble him with questions, because we found
it a great difficulty to make him understand us.

"In the large pocket, on the right side of his middle cover (so I
translate the word _ranfu-lo,_ by which they meant my breeches), we saw
a hollow pillar of iron, about the length of a man, fastened to a strong
piece of timber larger than the pillar; and upon one side of the pillar
were huge pieces of iron sticking out, cut into strange figures, which
we know not what to make of.

"In the left pocket, another engine of the same kind.

"In the smaller pocket, on the right side, were several round, flat
pieces of white and red metal, of different bulk; some of the white,
which seemed to be silver, were so large and heavy that my comrade and I
could hardly lift them.

"In the left pocket were two black pillars irregularly shaped; we could
not, without difficulty, reach the top of them, as we stood at the
bottom of his pocket. One of them was covered and seemed all of a piece;
but at the upper end of the other there appeared a white, round
substance, about twice the bigness of our heads. Within each of these
was enclosed a prodigious plate of steel; which, by our orders, we
obliged him to show us, because we apprehended they might be dangerous
engines. He took them out of their cases, and told us that, in his own
country, his practice was to shave his beard with one of these, and to
cut his meat with the other.

"There were two pockets which we could not enter; these he called his
fobs; they were two large slits cut into the top of his middle cover,
but squeezed close by the pressure of his belly. Out of the right fob
hung a great silver chain, with a wonderful kind of engine at the
bottom. We directed him to draw out whatever was at the end of that
chain, which appeared to be a globe, half silver, and half of some
transparent metal; for, on the transparent side, we saw certain strange
figures circularly drawn, and thought we could touch them, till we found
our fingers stopped by that lucid substance. He put this engine to our
ears, which made an incessant noise like that of a water-mill: and we
conjecture it is either some unknown animal, or the god that he
worships; but we are more inclined to the latter opinion, because he
assured us (if we understood him right, for he expressed himself very
imperfectly), that he seldom did anything without consulting it. He
called it his oracle, and said it pointed out the time for every action
of his life.

"From the left fob he took out a net, almost large enough for a
fisherman, but contrived to open and shut like a purse, and served him
for the same use: we found therein several massy pieces of yellow metal,
which, if they be real gold, must be of immense value.

"Having thus, in obedience to your majesty's commands, diligently
searched all his pockets, we observed a girdle about his waist, made of
the hide of some prodigious animal, from which, on the left side, hung a
sword of the length of five men; and on the right, a bag or pouch
divided into two cells, each cell capable of holding three of your
majesty's subjects. In one of these cells were several globes or balls,
of a most ponderous metal, about the bigness of our heads, and required
a strong hand to lift them; the other cell contained a heap of certain
black grains, but of no great bulk or weight, for we could hold above
fifty of them in the palms of our hands.

"This is an exact inventory of what we found about the body of the
man-mountain, who used us with great civility, and due respect to your
majesty's commission. Signed and sealed on the fourth day of the
eighty-ninth moon of your majesty's auspicious reign.



When this inventory was read over to the emperor he directed me,
although in very gentle terms, to deliver up the several particulars. He
first called for my scimitar, which I took out, scabbard and all. In the
meantime he ordered three thousand of his choicest troops (who then
attended him) to surround me at a distance, with their bows and arrows
just ready to discharge; but I did not observe it, for mine eyes were
wholly fixed upon his majesty. He then desired me to draw my scimitar,
which, although it had got some rust by the sea-water, was in most parts
exceeding bright. I did so, and immediately all the troops gave a shout
between terror and surprise: for the sun shone clear, and the reflection
dazzled their eyes, as I waved the scimitar to and fro in my hand. His
majesty, who is a most magnanimous prince, was less daunted than I could
expect: he ordered me to return it into the scabbard, and cast it on,
the ground as gently as I could, about six foot from the end of my

The next thing he demanded was one of the hollow iron pillars: by which
he meant my pocket pistols. I drew it out, and at his desire, as well as
I could, expressed to him the use of it; and charging it only with
powder, which, by the closeness of my pouch, happened to escape wetting
in the sea (an inconvenience against which all prudent mariners take
special care to provide), I first cautioned the emperor not to be
afraid, and then I let it off in the air. The astonishment here was much
greater than at the sight of my scimitar. Hundreds fell down as if they
had been struck dead; and even the emperor, although he stood his
ground, could not recover himself in time. I delivered up both my
pistols in the same manner as I had done my scimitar, and then my pouch
of powder and bullets; begging him that the former might be kept from
the fire, for it would kindle with the smallest spark, and blow up his
imperial palace into the air.


I likewise delivered up my watch, which the emperor was very curious to
see, and commanded two of his tallest yeomen of the guards to bear it on
a pole upon their shoulders, as draymen in England do a barrel of ale.
He was amazed at the continual noise it made, and the motion of the
minute-hand, which he could easily discern; for their sight is much more
acute than ours: and asked the opinions of his learned men about him,
which were various and remote, as the reader may well imagine without my
repeating; although, indeed, I could not perfectly understand them.

I then gave up my silver and copper money, my purse with nine large
pieces of gold and some smaller ones; my knife and razor, my comb and
silver snuffbox, my handkerchief, and journal-book. My scimitar,
pistols, and pouch were conveyed in carriages to his majesty's stores;
but the rest of my goods were returned to me.

I had, as I before observed, one private pocket, which escaped their
search, wherein there was a pair of spectacles (which I sometimes use
for the weakness of mine eyes), a pocket perspective,[9] and several
other little conveniences; which being of no consequence to the emperor,
I did not think myself bound in honor to discover, and I apprehended
they might be lost or spoiled if I ventured them out of my possession.

[Footnote 9: _Perspective_ is an old name for telescope]

About two or three days before I was set at liberty, there arrived an
express to inform his majesty that some of his subjects, riding near the
place where I was first taken up, had seen a great black substance lying
on the ground, very oddly shaped, extending its edges round, as wide as
his majesty's bedchamber, and rising up in the middle as high as a man;
that it was no living creature, as they at first apprehended, for it lay
on the grass without motion, and some of them had walked round it
several times; that, by mounting upon each other's shoulders, they had
got to the top, which was flat and even, and stamping upon it, they
found it was hollow within; that they humbly conceived it might be
something belonging to the man-mountain; and, if his majesty pleased,
they would undertake to bring it with only five horses.

I presently knew what they meant, and was glad at heart to receive this
intelligence. It seems, upon my first reaching the shore after our
shipwreck I was in such confusion that, before I came to the place where
I went to sleep, my hat, which I had fastened with a string to my head
while I was rowing, and which had stuck on all the time I was swimming,
fell off after I came to land; the string, as I conjecture, breaking by
some accident which I never observed, but thought my hat had been lost
at sea. I entreated his imperial majesty to give orders it might be
brought to me as soon as possible, describing to him the use and the
nature of it: and the next day the wagoners arrived with it, but not in
a very good condition; they had bored two holes in the brim, within an
inch and a half of the edge, and fastened two hooks in the holes; these
hooks were tied by a long cord to the harness, and thus my hat was
dragged along for above half an English mile; but the ground in that
country being extremely smooth and level, it received less damage than I

[Footnote 10: Can you see any reason for introducing this long account
of the finding of Gulliver's hat? We have grown accustomed, in the pages
past, to thinking of the Lilliputians in contrast with Gulliver, but
does it not give us a new idea of their diminutive size to see them thus
contrasted with Gulliver's hat?]

_III. The War with Blefuscu_

I had sent so many memorials and petitions for my liberty, that his
majesty at length mentioned the matter, first in the cabinet, and then
in a full council; where it was opposed by none except Skyresh Bolgolam,
who was pleased, without any provocation, to be my mortal enemy. But it
was carried against him by the whole board, and confirmed by the
emperor. That minister was _galbet_, or admiral of the realm, very
much in his master's confidence, and a person well versed in affairs,
but of a morose and sour complexion.[11] However, he was at length
persuaded to comply; but prevailed that the articles and conditions upon
which I should be set free, and to which I must swear, should be drawn
up by himself.

[Footnote 11: _Complexion_ here means disposition.]

These articles were brought to me by Skyresh Bolgolam in person,
attended by two under-secretaries and several persons of distinction.
After they were read, I was demanded to swear to the performance of
them; first in the manner of my own country, and afterward in the method
prescribed by their laws; which was, to hold my right foot in my left
hand, to place the middle finger of my right hand on the crown of my
head, and my thumb on the tip of my right ear.

I swore and subscribed to these articles with great cheerfulness and
content, although some of them were not so honorable as I could have
wished; which proceeded wholly from the malice of Skyresh Bolgolam, the
high admiral; whereupon my chains were immediately unlocked, and I was
at full liberty. The emperor himself in person did me the honor to be by
at the whole ceremony. I made my acknowledgments by prostrating myself
at his majesty's feet: but he commanded me to rise; and after many
gracious expressions, which, to avoid the censure of vanity I shall not
repeat, he added, that he hoped I should prove a useful servant, and
well deserve all the favors he had already conferred upon me, or might
do for the future.

One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained my liberty,
Reldresal, principal secretary (as they style him) of private affairs,
came to my house, attended only by one servant. He ordered his coach to
wait at a distance, and desired I would give him an hour's audience;
which I readily consented to, on account of his quality and personal
merits, as well as of the many good offices he had done me during my
solicitations at court. I offered to lie down, that he might the more
conveniently reach my ear; but he chose rather to let me hold him in my
hand during our conversation. He began with compliments on my liberty;
said he might pretend to some merit in it; but, however, added, that if
it had not been for the present situation of things at court perhaps I
might not have obtained it so soon.

"For," said he, "as flourishing a condition as we may appear to be in to
foreigners, we labor under two mighty evils; a violent faction at home,
and the danger of an invasion by a most potent enemy from abroad. As to
the first, you are to understand that for above seventy moons[12] past
there have been two struggling parties in this empire, under the names
_Tramecksan_ and _Slamecksan_, from the high and low heels of
their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves. It is alleged,
indeed, that the high heels are most agreeable to our ancient
constitution; but, however this be, his majesty hath determined to make
use of only low heels in the administration of the government, and all
offices in the gift of the crown, as you cannot but observe; and
particularly that his majesty's imperial heels are lower, at least by a
_drurr_, than any of his court (_drurr_ is a measure about the
fourteenth part of an inch). The animosities between these two parties
run so high that they will neither eat nor drink, nor talk with each
other. We compute the _Tramecksan_, or high heels, to exceed us in
number; but the power is wholly on our side. We apprehend his imperial
highness, the heir to the crown, to have some tendency toward the high
heels; at least we can plainly discover one of his heels higher than the
other, which gives him a hobble in his gait.

[Footnote 12: These little people measure time by _moons_ or
months, rather than by the longer division of years.]

"Now, in the midst of these intestine disquiets, we are threatened with
an invasion from the island of Blefuscu, which is the other great empire
of the universe, almost as large and powerful as this of his majesty.
For, as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are other kingdoms
and states in the world, inhabited by human creatures as large as
yourself, our philosophers are in much doubt, and would rather
conjecture that you dropped from the moon or one of the stars; because
it is certain that an hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time
destroy all the fruits and cattle of his majesty's dominions; besides,
our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions
than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu; which two mighty
powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most
obstinate war for thirty-six moons past. It began upon the following

"It is allowed on all hands that the primitive way of breaking eggs,
before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty's
grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it
according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers;
whereupon, the emperor, his father, published an edict, commanding all
his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their
eggs. The people so highly resented this law that our histories tell us
there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one
emperor lost his life, and another his crown.

"These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of
Blefuscu; and when they were quelled the exiles always fled for refuge
to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at
several times suffered death rather than submit to break their eggs at
the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon
this controversy; but the books of the Big-endians have been long
forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding
employments. During the course of these troubles, the emperors of
Blefuscu did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of
making a schism in religion by offending against a fundamental doctrine
of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the
Blundecral (which is their Alcoran)[13]. This, however, is thought to be
a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: that all true
believers shall break their eggs at the convenient end. And which is the
convenient end seems, in my humble opinion, to be left to every man's
conscience, or at least in the power of the chief magistrate to

[Footnote 13: The Alcoran, or, as it is more commonly called, the Koran,
is the Mohammedan Bible.]

"Now, the Big-endian exiles have found so much credit in the emperor of
Blefuscu's court, and so much private assistance and encouragement from
their party here at home, that a bloody war hath been carried on between
the two empires for thirty-six moons with various success; during which
time we have lost forty capital ships, and a much greater number of
smaller vessels, together with thirty thousand of our best seamen and
soldiers; and the damage received by the enemy is reckoned to be
somewhat greater than ours. However, they have now equipped a numerous
fleet, and are just preparing to make a descent upon us; and his
imperial majesty, placing great confidence in your valor and strength,
hath commanded me to lay this account of his affairs before you."

I desired the secretary to present my humble duty to the emperor; and to
let him know that I thought it would not become me, who was a foreigner,
to interfere with parties; but I was ready, with the hazard of my life,
to defend his person and state against all invaders.

The empire of Blefuscu is an island, situated to the northeast of
Lilliput, from which it is parted only by a channel of eight hundred
yards wide. I had not yet seen it, and upon this notice of an intended
invasion I avoided appearing on that side of the coast, for fear of
being discovered by some of the enemy's ships, who had received no
intelligence of me; all intercourse between the two empires having been
strictly forbidden during the war, upon pain of death. I communicated to
his majesty a project I had formed, of seizing the enemy's whole fleet;
which, as our scouts assured us, lay at anchor in the harbor, ready to
sail with the first fair wind. I consulted the most experienced seamen
upon the depth of the channel, which they had often plumbed; who told me
that in the middle, at high-water, it was seventy _glumgluffs_
deep, which is about six foot of European measure; and the rest of it
fifty _glumgluffs_ at most.

I walked toward the northeast coast, over against Blefuscu, and, lying
down behind a hillock, took out my small pocket perspective glass, and
viewed the enemy's fleet at anchor, consisting of about fifty
men-of-war, and a great number of transports: I then came back to my
house, and gave order (for which I had a warrant) for a great quantity
of the strongest cable and bars of iron. The cable was about as thick as
packthread, and the bars of the length and size of a knitting-needle. I
trebled the cable to make it stronger, and for the same reason I twisted
three of the iron bars together, bending the extremities into a hook.
Having thus fixed fifty hooks to as many cables, I went back to the
northeast coast, and, putting off my coat, shoes, and stockings, walked
into the sea, in my leathern jerkin, about half an hour before

I waded with what haste I could, and swam in the middle, about thirty
yards, till I felt ground. I arrived at the fleet in less than half an
hour. The enemy was so frighted when they saw me that they leaped out of
their ships, and swam to shore, where there could not be fewer than
thirty thousand souls: I then took my tackling, and, fastening a hook to
the hole at the prow of each, I tied all the cords together at the end.
While I was thus employed the enemy discharged several thousand arrows,
many of which stuck in my hands and face; and, besides the excessive
smart, gave me much disturbance in my work. My greatest apprehension was
for mine eyes, which I should have infallibly lost, if I had not
suddenly thought of an expedient. I kept, among other little
necessaries, a pair of spectacles in a private pocket, which, as I
observed before, had escaped the emperor's searchers. These I took out,
and fastened as strongly as I could upon my nose, and, thus armed, went
on boldly with my work, in spite of the enemy's arrows, many of which
struck against the glasses of my spectacles, but without any other
effect further than a little to discompose them.

I had now fastened all the hooks, and, taking the knot in my hand, began
to pull; but not a ship would stir, for they were all too fast held by
their anchors, so that the bold part of my enterprise remained. I
therefore let go the cord, and, leaving the hooks fixed to the ships, I
resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors,
receiving about two hundred shots in my face and hands; then I took up
the knotted end of the cables, to which my hooks were tied, and with
great ease drew fifty of the enemy's largest men-of-war after me.

The Blefuscudians, who had not the least imagination of what I intended,
were at first confounded with astonishment. They had seen me cut the
cables, and thought my design was only to let the ships run adrift, or
fall foul on each other; but when they perceived the whole fleet moving
in order, and saw me pulling at the end, they set up such a scream of
grief and despair that it is almost impossible to describe or conceive.
When I had got out of danger I stopped a while to pick out the arrows
that stuck in my hands and face; and rubbed on some of the ointment that
was given me at my first arrival, as I have formerly mentioned. I then
took off my spectacles, and, waiting about an hour, till the tide was a
little fallen, I waded through the middle with my cargo, and arrived
safe at the royal port of Lilliput.

The emperor and his whole court stood on the shore, expecting the issue
of this great adventure. They saw the ships move forward in a large
half-moon, but could not discern me, who was up to my breast in water.
When I advanced to the middle of the channel they were yet more in pain,
because I was under water to my neck. The emperor concluded me to be
drowned, and that the enemy's fleet was approaching in a hostile manner:
but he was soon eased of his fears; for, the channel growing shallower
every step I made, I came in a short time within hearing, and, holding
up the end of the cable by which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a
loud voice, "Long live the most puissant Emperor of Lilliput!" This
great prince received me at my landing with all possible encomiums, and
created me a _nardac_ upon the spot, which is the highest title of
honor among them.


His majesty desired I would take some other opportunity of bringing all
the rest of the enemy's ships into his ports. And so unmeasurable is the
ambition of princes, that he seemed to think of nothing else than
reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu into a province, and governing it
by a viceroy; of destroying the Big-endian exiles, and compelling that
people to break the smaller end of their eggs, by which he would remain
the sole monarch of the whole world. But I endeavored to divert him from
this design, by many arguments drawn from the topics of policy as well
as justice; and I plainly protested that I would never be an instrument
of bringing a free and brave people into slavery. And, when the matter
was debated in council, the wisest part of the ministry were of my

This open, bold declaration of mine was so opposite to the schemes and
politics of his imperial majesty that he could never forgive it. He
mentioned it in a very artful manner at council, where I was told that
some of the wisest appeared at least, by their silence, to be of my
opinion; but others, who were my secret enemies, could not forbear some
expressions which, by a side-wind, reflected on me. And from this time
began an intrigue between his majesty and a junto of ministers,
maliciously bent against me, which broke out in less than two months,
and had like to have ended in my utter destruction. Of so little weight
are the greatest services to princes when put into the balance with a
refusal to gratify their passions.

About three weeks after this exploit there arrived a solemn embassy from
Blefuscu, with humble offers of a peace; which was soon concluded, upon
conditions very advantageous to our emperor, wherewith I shall not
trouble the reader.

_IV. The Escape and the Return_

Before I proceed to give an account of my leaving this kingdom, it may
be proper to inform the reader of a private intrigue which had been for
two months forming against me.

When I was just preparing to pay my attendance on the emperor of
Blefuscu, a considerable person at court (to whom I had been very
serviceable at a time when he lay under the highest displeasure of his
imperial majesty) came to my house very privately at night, in a close
chair, and, without sending his name, desired admittance. The chairmen
were dismissed; I put the chair, with his lordship in it, into my coat
pocket; and giving orders to a trusty servant to say I was indisposed
and gone to sleep, I fastened the door of my house, placed the chair on
the table, according to my usual custom, and sate down by it. After the
common salutations were over, observing his lordship's countenance full
of concern, and inquiring into the reason, he desired I would hear him
with patience, in a matter that highly concerned my honor and my life.
His speech was to the following effect, for I took notes of it as soon
as he left me:

"You are to know," said he, "that several committees of council have
been lately called, in the most private manner, on your account; and it
is but two days since his majesty came to a full resolution.

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

"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 favor of his majesty and council, whereby
you are only condemned to the loss of your eyes, which his majesty doth
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 ground.

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

I took the 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 brought 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' hand. I told his majesty that I was come, according to my
promise, and with the license of the emperor my master, to have the
honor 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.

Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the northeast
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, wading 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 toward 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 the 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 an hundred yards of 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
labor 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
favoring 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 armpits,
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
favorable, the seamen towed and I shoved, till 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 some place from 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.

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 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 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 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_ apiece,
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 carcasses of an 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 which the emperor
would by no means permit; and, besides a diligent search into my
pockets, his majesty engaged my honor 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
24th day of September, 1701, at six in the morning; and when I had gone
about four leagues to the northward, the wind being at southeast, at six
in the evening I descried a small island, about half a league to the
northwest. 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 I conjecture at least six hours,
for I found the day broke in two hours after I awaked. It was a clear
night. I eat my breakfast before the sun was up; and, heaving anchor,
the wind being favorable, 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 northeast of Van Diemen's Land.[14]

[Footnote 14: Australia is a short distance from Tasmania, or Van
Diemen's Land. There are no islands to the northeast for a long

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 described a sail steering to the southeast; 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,[15] 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 26; but my heart leaped within me to
see her English colors. I put my cows and sheep into my coat pockets,
and got on board with all my little cargo of provisions.

[Footnote 15: _Ancient_ is an old word for _ensign_.]

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 thirty
degrees south; there were about fifty men in the ship; and 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 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
hundred _sprugs_ each, and promised, when we arrived in England, to
make him a present of a cow and a sheep.

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 on shore, 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 woolen
manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.


_I. Among the Giants_

Having been condemned, by nature and fortune, to an 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 Cornishman, 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,[16] and about three degrees northward of the line, as
our captain found by an observation he took the 2d 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 a southern wind, called the Southern
monsoon,[17] began to set in, and soon it was a very fierce storm.

[Footnote 16: They could not really have been driven to the east of the
Molucca Islands without passing Sumatra, Java, Borneo or other islands.]

[Footnote 17: _Monsoons_ are winds that blow part of the year in
one direction, and the rest of the year in the opposite direction.]

During this storm, which was followed by a strong wind west-southwest,
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 northwest parts of
Great Tartary, and into the Frozen Sea.

On the 16th day of June, 1703, a boy on the topmast 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 longboat, 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 toward 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 halloo 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 got 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 afterward told, for I
durst not stay to see the issue of that 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 above twenty foot high.

I fell into a highroad, for so I took it to be, though it served to the
inhabitants only as a footpath 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 foot. 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 foot 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 foot high, and the upper stone above

I was endeavoring to find some gap in the hedge, when I discovered one
of the inhabitants in the next field, advancing toward 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, from 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 toward 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 laborers they seemed to be; for, upon
some words he spoke, they went to reap the corn in the field where I

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 above an hundred yards behind
me. Being quite dispirited with toil, and wholly overcome by grief and
despair, 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 willfulness 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 forever 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 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
endeavors to lay hold on a small dangerous animal in such a manner that
it may not be able either to scratch or to bite him, as I myself have
sometimes done with a weasel in England.

At length he ventured to take me up behind, by the middle, between his
forefinger 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 foot 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 toward the
sun, and place my hands together in a supplicating posture, and to speak
some words in an 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 meantime I was not able to
forbear groaning and shedding tears, and turning my head toward 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 supposed 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 afterward
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 four,
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 sate down in a circle about me, the better to observe my
motions. I pulled off my hat, and made a low bow toward 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 afterward 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[18] each, besides 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 to him several
times, I thought it best to do.

[Footnote 18: A _pistole_ is equivalent to about four dollars.]

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 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' favorite 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 this
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 further end of the
table, above fifty foot 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 draw 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 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 toward the
child, who presently seized me by the middle and got my head in 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.

The vast creatures are not deformed: for I must do them 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 foot, appeared very well-proportioned.

When dinner was done my master went out to his laborers, and, as I could
discover by his voice and gesture, gave his wife a 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

I slept about two hours, and dreamed 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 foot 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. I wished to get down, but 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 as 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 backward and forward on the bed. One of them came up
almost to my face, whereupon I rose in a fright, and drew out my
hanger[19] to defend myself. These horrible animals had the boldness to
attack me on both sides, and one of them held his forefeet 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.[20]

[Footnote 19: _Hanger_ is the name given to a kind of short, broad
sword which was formerly carried.]

[Footnote 20: Gulliver told how, as he was returning from Lilliput, an
ordinary rat carried off a Lilliputian sheep; here he tells of rats
large enough to kill and eat a man. It is by such violent contrasts as
these that Swift impresses on us the difference in size between the
Lilliputians and the giants.]

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 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 travelers are often, perhaps not without justice, accused.

My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly parts
for her age, very dexterous at her needle, and skillful in dressing her
baby.[21] 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 stayed with those people, though made more
convenient by degrees, as I began to learn their language, and make my
wants known. 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 schoolmistress, to teach me the language; when I pointed to anything
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 foot high, being little for her age. I
called her my _Glumdalclitch,_ or little nurse, and I should be guilty
of great ingratitude if I omitted this honorable mention of her care and
affection toward me, which I heartily wish it lay in my power to requite
as she deserves.

[Footnote 21: That is, her doll.]

A most ingenious artist, according to my directions, in three weeks
finished for me a wooden chamber, of sixteen foot square, and twelve
high, with sash windows, a door, and two closets, like a London
bedchamber. 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 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 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.

_III. Adventures at the Royal Court_

I should have lived happily 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 a smaller box, and would sometimes take me out
of it, and hold me in her hand, or set me down to walk. I remember the
queen's dwarf 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

Another day Glumdalclitch left me on a smooth grassplot 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 four, 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, where
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 gardens, with her governess and some ladies of her
acquaintance. While she was absent, and out of hearing, a small white
spaniel, belonging 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.

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 molehill, 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 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 piece 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, endeavoring
to peck my fingers, which I durst not venture within their reach; and
then they would turn 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

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