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A Voyage To Lilliput

from The Blue Fairy Book





CHAPTER I


My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire, and
I was the third of four sons. He sent me to Cambridge
at fourteen years old, and after studying there three
years I was bound apprentice to Mr. Bates, a famous
surgeon in London. There, as my father now and then
sent me small sums of money, I spent them in learning
navigation, and other arts useful to those who travel, as
I always believed it would be some time or other my
fortune to do.

Three years after my leaving him my good master,
Mr. Bates, recommended me as ship's surgeon to the
"Swallow," on which I voyaged three years. When I
came back I settled in London, and, having taken part
of a small house, I married Miss Mary Burton, daughter
of Mr. Edmund Burton, hosier.

But my good master Bates died two years after; and
as I had few friends my business began to fail, and I
determined to go again to sea. After several voyages, I
accepted an offer from Captain W. Pritchard, master of
the "Antelope," who was making a voyage to the South
Sea. We set sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699; and our
voyage at first was very prosperous.

But in our passage to the East Indies we were driven
by a violent storm to the north-west of Van Diemen's
Land. Twelve of our crew died from hard labor and bad
food, and the rest were in a very weak condition. On the
5th of November, the weather being very hazy, the seamen
spied a rock within 120 yards of the ship; but the
wind was so strong that we were driven straight upon it,
and immediately split. Six of the crew, of whom I was
one, letting down the boat, got clear of the ship, and we
rowed about three leagues, till we could work no longer.
We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy of the waves;
and in about half an hour the boat was upset by a sudden
squall. What became of my companions in the boat, or
those who escaped on the rock or were left in the vessel,
I cannot tell; but I conclude they were all lost. For my
part, I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forward
by wind and tide; but when I was able to struggle
no longer I found myself within my depth. By this time
the storm was much abated. I reached the shore at last,
about eight o'clock in the evening, and advanced nearly
half a mile inland, but could not discover any sign of
inhabitants. I was extremely tired, and with the heat of
the weather I found myself much inclined to sleep. I
lay down on the grass, which was very short and soft, and
slept sounder than ever I did in my life for about nine
hours. When I woke, it was just daylight. I attempted
to rise, but could not; for as I happened to be lying on my
back, I found my arms and legs were fastened on each
side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and
thick, tied down in the same manner. I could only look
upward. The sun began to grow hot, and the light hurt
my eyes. I heard a confused noise about me, but could
see nothing except the sky. In a little time I felt
something alive and moving on my left leg, which, advancing
gently over my breast, came almost up to my chin, when,
bending my eyes downward, 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 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 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, lifted up
his hands in admiration. I lay all this while in great
uneasiness; but at length, struggling to get loose, I succeeded
in breaking the strings that fastened my left arm to the
ground; and at the same time, with a violent pull that
gave me extreme pain, I a little loosened the strings that
tied down my hair, 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, and in an instant I felt above a hundred
arrows discharged on my left hand, which pricked me like
so many needles. Moreover, they shot another flight into
the air, of which some fell on my face, which I immediately
covered with my left hand. When this shower of arrows
was over I groaned with grief and pain, and then, striving
again to get loose, they discharged another flight of
arrows larger than the first, and some of them tried to
stab me with their spears; but by good luck I had on a
leather jacket, which they could not pierce. By this time
I thought it most prudent to lie still till night, when, my
left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself;
and as for the inhabitants, I thought I might be a match
for the greatest army they could bring against me if they
were all of the same size as him I saw. When the people
observed that I was quiet they discharged no more arrows,
but by the noise I heard I knew that their number was
increased; and about four yards from me, for more than
an hour, there was a knocking, like people at work. Then,
turning my head that way as well as the pegs and strings
would let me, I saw a stage set up, about a foot and a half
from the ground, with two or three ladders to mount it.
From this, one of them, who seemed to be a person of
quality, made me a long speech, of which I could not
understand a word, though I could tell from his manner
that he sometimes threatened me, and sometimes spoke
with pity and kindness. I answered in few words, but
in the most submissive manner; and, being almost famished
with hunger, I could not help showing my impatience
by putting my finger frequently to my mouth, to signify
that I wanted food. He understood me very well, and,
descending from the stage, commanded that several
ladders should be set against my sides, on which more
than a hundred of the inhabitants mounted, and walked
toward my mouth with baskets full of food, which had
been sent by the King's orders when he first received
tidings of me. There were legs and shoulders like mutton
but smaller than the wings of a lark. I ate them two or
three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time.
They supplied me as fast as they could, with a thousand
marks of wonder at my appetite. I then made a sign that
I wanted something to drink. They guessed that a small
quantity would not suffice me, and, being a most ingenious
people, they slung up 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. They brought me a second hogshead,
which I drank, and made signs for more; but they
had none to give me. However, I could not wonder
enough at the daring of these tiny mortals, who ventured
to mount and walk upon my body, while one of my hands
was free, without trembling at the very sight of so huge
a creature as I must have seemed to them. After some
time there appeared before me a person of high rank from
his Imperial Majesty. His Excellency, having mounted
my right leg, advanced to my face, with about a dozen
of his retinue, and spoke about ten minutes, often pointing
forward, which, as I afterward found, was toward the
capital city, about half a mile distant, whither it was
commanded by his Majesty that I should be conveyed.
I 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), to show that I desired my
liberty. He seemed to understand me well enough, for he
shook his head, though he made other signs to let me
know that I should have meat and drink enough, and
very good treatment. Then I once more thought of
attempting to escape; but when I felt the smart of their
arrows on my face and hands, which were all in blisters
and observed likewise that the number of my enemies
increased, I gave tokens to let them know that they might
do with me what they pleased. Then they daubed my
face and hands with a sweet-smelling ointment, which in
a few minutes removed all the smarts of the arrows. The
relief from pain and hunger made me drowsy, and presently
I fell asleep. I slept about eight hours, as I was told
afterward; and it was no wonder, for the physicians, by
the Emperor's orders, had mingled a sleeping draught in
the hogsheads of wine.

It seems that, when I was discovered sleeping on the
ground after my landing, the Emperor had early notice
of it, and determined 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 me,
and a machine prepared to carry me to the capital city.
Five hundred carpenters and engineers were immediately
set to work to prepare the engine. It was a frame of wood,
raised three inches from the ground, about seven feet long
and four wide, moving upon twenty-two wheels. But the
difficulty was to place me on it. Eighty poles were erected
for this purpose, and very strong cords fastened to
bandages which the workmen had tied round my neck, hands,
body, and legs. Nine hundred of the strongest men were
employed to draw up these cords by pulleys fastened on
the poles, and in less than three hours I was raised and
slung into the engine, and there tied fast. Fifteen hundred
of the Emperor's largest horses, each about four
inches and a half high, were then employed to draw me
toward the capital. But while all this was done I still lay
in a deep sleep, and I did not wake till four hours after we
began our journey.

The Emperor and all his Court came out to meet us
when we reached the capital; but his great officials would
not suffer his Majesty to risk his person by mounting on
my body. Where the carriage stopped there stood an
ancient temple, supposed to be the largest in the whole
kingdom, and here it was determined that I should lodge.
Near the great gate, through which I could easily creep,
they fixed ninety-one chains, like those which hang to a
lady's watch, which were locked to my left leg with
thirty-six padlocks; and when the workmen found it was
impossible for me to break loose, they cut all the strings
that bound me. Then I rose up, feeling as melancholy as
ever I did in my life. But the noise and astonishment of
the people on seeing me rise and walk were inexpressible.
The chains that held my left leg were about two yards
long, and gave me not only freedom to walk backward and
forward in a semicircle, but to creep in and lie at full
length inside the temple. The Emperor, advancing
toward me from among his courtiers, all most magnificently
clad, surveyed me with great admiration, but kept beyond
the length of my chain. He was taller by about the
breadth of my nail than any of his Court, which alone
was enough to strike awe into the beholders, and graceful
and majestic. The better to behold him, I lay down on
my side, so that my face was level with his, and he stood
three yards off. However, I have had him since many
times in my hand, and therefore cannot be deceived. His
dress was very simple; but he wore a light helmet of gold,
adorned with jewels and a plume. He held his sword
drawn in his hand, to defend himself if I should break
loose; it was almost three inches long, and the hilt was of
gold, enriched with diamonds. His voice was shrill, but
very clear. His Imperial Majesty spoke often to me, and
I answered; but neither of us could understand a word.


CHAPTER II


After about two hours the Court retired, and I was left
with a strong guard to keep away the crowd, some of
whom had had the impudence to shoot their arrows at me
as I sat by the door of my house. But the colonel ordered
six of them to be seized and delivered bound into my
hands. I put five of them into my coat pocket; and as to
the sixth, I made a face as if I would eat him alive. The
poor man screamed terribly, and the colonel and his
officers were much distressed, especially when they saw
me take out my penknife. But I soon set them at ease,
for, cutting the strings he was bound with, I put 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 saw that both the soldiers and people were
delighted at this mark of my kindness.

Toward night I got with some difficulty into my house,
where I lay on the ground, as I had to do for a fortnight,
till a bed was prepared for me out of six hundred beds of
the ordinary measure.

Six hundred servants were appointed me, and three
hundred tailors made me a suit of clothes. Moreover, six
of his Majesty's greatest scholars were employed to teach
me their language, so that soon I was able to converse
after a fashion with the Emperor, who often honored me
with his visits. The first words I learned were to desire
that he would please to give me my liberty, which I every
day repeated on my knees; but he answered that this
must be a work of time, and that first I must swear a
peace with him and his kingdom. He told me also that
by the laws of the nation I must be searched by two of his
officers, and that as this could not be done without my
help, he trusted them in my hands, and whatever they
took from me should be returned when I left the country.
I took up the two officers, and put them into my coat
pockets. These gentlemen, having pen, ink, and paper
about them, made an exact list of everything they saw,
which I afterward translated into English, and which ran
as follows:

"In the right coat pocket of the great Man-Mountain
we found only one great piece of coarse cloth, large enough
to cover the carpet of your Majesty's chief room of state.
In the left pocket we saw a huge silver chest, with a silver
cover, which we could not lift. We desired that it should
be opened, and one of us stepping into it found himself
up to the mid-leg in a sort of dust, some of which flying
into our faces sent us both into a fit of sneezing. In his
right waistcoat pocket we found a number of white thin
substances, folded one over another, about the size of
three men, tied with a strong cable, and marked with
black figures, which we humbly conceive to be writings.
In the left there was a sort of engine, from the back of
which extended twenty long poles, with which, we
conjecture, the Man-Mountain combs his head. In the
smaller pocket on the right side were several round flat
pieces of white and red metal, of different sizes. Some of
the white, which appeared to be silver, were so large and
heavy that my comrade and I could hardly lift them.
From another pocket hung a huge silver chain, with a
wonderful kind of engine fastened to it, a globe half silver
and half of some transparent metal; for on the transparent
side we saw certain strange figures, and thought we could
touch them till we found our fingers stopped by the shining
substance. This engine made an incessant noise, like
a water-mill, and we conjecture it is either some unknown
animal, or the god he worships, but probably the latter,
for he told us that he seldom did anything without consulting it.

"This is a list of what we found about the body of the
Man-Mountain, who treated us with great civility."

I had one private pocket which escaped their search,
containing a pair of spectacles and a small spy-glass,
which, being of no consequence to the Emperor, I did not
think myself bound in honor to discover.


CHAPTER III


My gentleness and good behavior gained so far on the
Emperor and his Court, and, indeed, on the people in
general, that I began to have hopes of getting my liberty
in a short time. The natives came by degrees to be less
fearful of danger from me. I would sometimes lie down
and let five or six of them dance on my hand; and at last
the boys and girls ventured to come and play at hide-and-seek in my hair.

The horses of the army and of the royal stables were
no longer shy, having been daily led before me; and one
of the Emperor's huntsmen, on a large courser, took my
foot, shoe and all, which was indeed a prodigious leap.
I amused the Emperor one day in a very extraordinary
manner. I took nine sticks, and fixed them firmly in the
ground in a square. Then I took four other sticks, and
tied them parallel at each corner, about two feet from
the ground. I fastened my handkerchief to the nine sticks
that stood erect, and extended it on all sides till it was as
tight as the top of a drum; and I desired the Emperor
to let a troop of his best horse, twenty-four in number,
come and exercise upon this plain. His majesty approved
of the proposal, and I took them up one by one, with the
proper officers to exercise them. As soon as they got into
order they divided into two parties, discharged blunt
arrows, drew their swords, fled and pursued, and, in short,
showed the best military discipline I ever beheld. The
parallel sticks secured them and their horses from falling
off the stage, and the Emperor was so much delighted
that he ordered this entertainment to be repeated several
days, and persuaded the Empress herself to let me hold
her in her chair within two yards of the stage, whence she
could view the whole performance. Fortunately no
accident happened, only once a fiery horse, pawing with
his hoof, struck a hole in my handkerchief, and overthrew
his rider and himself. But I immediately relieved them
both, and covering the hole with one hand, I set down the
troop with the other as I had taken them up. The horse
that fell was strained in the shoulder; but the rider was
not hurt, and I repaired my handkerchief as well as I
could. However, I would not trust to the strength of it
any more in such dangerous enterprises.

I had sent so many petitions for my liberty that his
Majesty at length mentioned the matter in a full council,
where it was opposed by none except Skyresh Bolgolam,
admiral of the realm, who was pleased without any
provocation to be my mortal enemy. However, he agreed at
length, though he succeeded in himself drawing up the
conditions on which I should be set free. After they were
read I was requested to swear to perform them in the
method prescribed by their laws, which was to hold my
right foot in my left hand, and to place the middle finger
of my right hand on the crown of my head, and my
thumb on the top of my right ear. But I have made a
translation of the conditions, which I here offer to the
public:

"Golbaste Mamarem Evlame Gurdile Shefin Mully Ully
Gue, Most Mighty Emperor of Lilliput, delight and terror
of the universe, whose dominions extend to the ends of
the globe, monarch of all monarchs, taller than the sons
of men, whose feet press down to the center, and whose
head strikes against the sun, at whose nod the princes of
the earth shake their knees, pleasant as the spring,
comfortable as the summer, fruitful as autumn, dreadful as
winter: His Most Sublime Majesty proposeth to the
Man-Mountain, lately arrived at our celestial dominions,
the following articles, which by a solemn oath he shall be
obliged to perform:

"First. The Man-Mountain shall not depart from our
dominions without our license under the great seal.

"Second. He shall not presume to come into our
metropolis without our express order, at which time the
inhabitants shall have two hours' warning to keep within
doors.

"Third. The said Man-Mountain shall confine his
walks to our principal high roads, and not offer to walk
or lie down in a meadow or field of corn.

"Fourth. As he walks the said roads he shall take the
utmost care not to trample upon the bodies of any of our
loving subjects, their horses or carriages, nor take any of
our subjects into his hands without their own consent.

"Fifth. If an express requires extraordinary speed the
Man-Mountain shall be obliged to carry in his pocket the
messenger and horse a six days' journey, and return the
said messenger (if so required) safe to our imperial
presence.

"Sixth. He shall be our ally against our enemies in the
island of Blefuscu, and do his utmost to destroy their
fleet, which is now preparing to invade us.

"Lastly. Upon his solemn oath to observe all the above
articles, the said Man-Mountain shall have a daily allowance
of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1,724
of our subjects, with free access to our royal person, and
other marks of our favor. Given at our palace at Belfaburac,
the twelfth day of the ninety-first moon of our
reign."

I swore to these articles with great cheerfulness,
whereupon my chains were immediately unlocked, and I was
at full liberty.

One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained
my freedom, Reldresal, the Emperor's secretary for
private affairs, came to my house, attended only by one
servant. He ordered his coach to wait at a distance, and
desired that I would give him an hour's audience. 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, but he added that, save for the
present state of things at Court, perhaps I might not
have obtained it so soon. "For," he said, "however
flourishing we may seem to foreigners, we are in danger
of an invasion from the island of Blefuscu, which is the
other great empire of the universe, almost as large and as
powerful as this of his Majesty. For as to what we have
heard you say, that there are other kingdoms in the
world, inhabited by human creatures as large as yourself,
our philosophers are very doubtful, and rather conjecture
that you dropped from the moon, or one of the stars,
because a hundred mortals of your size would soon destroy
all the fruit and cattle of his Majesty's dominions.
Besides, our histories of six thousand moons make no mention
of any other regions than the two mighty empires of
Lilliput and Blefuscu, which, as I was going to tell you,
are engaged in a most obstinate war, which began in the
following manner: It is allowed on all hands that the
primitive way of breaking eggs 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, made a law commanding
all his subjects to break the smaller end of their
eggs. The people so highly resented this law that there
have been six rebellions raised on that account, wherein
one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. It is
calculated that eleven hundred persons have at different
times suffered rather than break their eggs at the smaller
end. But these rebels, the Bigendians, have found so
much encouragement at the Emperor of Blefuscu's
Court, to which they always fled for refuge, that a bloody
war, as I said, has been carried on between the two empires
for six-and-thirty moons; and now the Blefuscudians have
equipped a large fleet, and are preparing to descend upon
us. Therefore his Imperial Majesty, placing great
confidence in your valor and strength, has commanded me
to set the case before you."

I desired the secretary to present my humble duty to
the Emperor, and to let him know that I was ready, at
the risk of my life, to defend him against all invaders.


CHAPTER IV


It was not long before I communicated to his Majesty
the plan I formed for seizing the enemy's whole fleet.
The Empire of Blefuscu is an island parted from Lilliput
only by a channel eight hundred yards wide. I consulted
the most experienced seamen on the depth of the channel,
and they told me that in the middle, at high water, it was
seventy glumguffs (about six feet of European measure).
I walked toward the coast, where, lying down behind a
hillock, I took out my spy-glass, and viewed the enemy's
fleet at anchor--about fifty men-of-war, and other vessels.
I then came back to my house and gave orders for a great
quantity of the strongest cables 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 twisted
three of the iron bars together, bending the ends into a
hook. Having thus fixed fifty hooks to as many cables,
I went back to the coast, and taking off my coat, shoes,
and stockings, walked into the sea in my leather jacket
about half an hour before high water. I waded with what
haste I could, swimming in the middle about thirty yards,
till I felt ground, and thus arrived at the fleet in less than
half an hour. The enemy was so frightened when they
saw me that they leaped out of their ships and swam
ashore, where there could not be fewer than thirty
thousand. Then, fastening a hook to the hole at the prow of
each ship, I tied all the cords together at the end.
Meanwhile the enemy discharged several thousand arrows,
many of which stuck in my hands and face. My greatest
fear was for my eyes, which I should have lost if I had
not suddenly thought of the pair of spectacles which had
escaped the Emperor's searchers. These I took out and
fastened upon my nose, and thus armed went on with my
work in spite of the arrows, many of which struck against
the glasses of my spectacles, but without any other effect
than slightly disturbing them. Then, taking the knot in
my hand, I began to pull; but not a ship would stir, for
they were too fast held by their anchors. Thus the boldest
part of my enterprise remained. Letting go the cord,
I resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened
the anchors, receiving more than two hundred shots in
my face and hands. Then I took up again 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.

When the Blefuscudians saw the fleet moving in order,
and me pulling at the end, they set up a scream of grief
and despair that it is impossible to describe. When I had
got out of danger I stopped awhile to pick out the arrows
that stuck in my hands and face, and rubbed on some of
the same ointment that was given me at my arrival. I
then took off my spectacles, and after waiting about an
hour, till the tide was a little fallen, I waded on to the
royal port of Lilliput.

The Emperor and his whole Court stood on the shore
awaiting me. They saw the ships move forward in a large
half-moon, but could not discern me, who, in the middle
of the channel, was under water up to my neck. The
Emperor concluded that I was drowned, and that the
enemy's fleet was approaching in a hostile manner. But
he was soon set at ease, 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!" The Prince received me
at my landing with all possible joy, and made me a
Nardal on the spot, which is the highest title of honor
among them.

His Majesty desired that I would take some opportunity
to bring all the rest of his enemy's ships into his ports,
and seemed to think of nothing less than conquering the
whole Empire of Blefuscu, and becoming the sole monarch
of the world. But I plainly protested that I would never
be the means of bringing a free and brave people into
slavery; and though the wisest of the Ministers were of
my opinion, my open refusal was so opposed to his
Majesty's ambition that he could never forgive me. And
from this time a plot began between himself and those of
his Ministers who were my enemies, that nearly ended
in my utter destruction.

About three weeks after this exploit there arrived an
embassy from Blefuscu, with humble offers of peace,
which was soon concluded, on terms very advantageous
to our Emperor. There were six ambassadors, with a
train of about five hundred persons, all very magnificent.
Having been privately told that I had befriended them,
they made me a visit, and paying me many compliments
on my valor and generosity, invited me to their kingdom
in the Emperor their master's name. I asked them to
present my most humble respects to the Emperor their
master, whose royal person I resolved to attend before I
returned to my own country. Accordingly, the next time
I had the honor to see our Emperor I desired his general
permission to visit the Blefuscudian monarch. This he
granted me, but in a very cold manner, of which I afterward
learned the reason.

When I was just preparing to pay my respects to the
Emperor of Blefuscu, a distinguished person at Court, to
whom I had once done a great service, came to my house
very privately at night, and without sending his name
desired admission. I put his lordship into my coat pocket,
and, giving orders to a trusty servant to admit no one, I
fastened the door, placed my visitor on the table, and sat
down by it. His lordship's face was full of trouble; and
he asked me to hear him with patience, in a matter that
highly concerned my honor and my life.

"You are aware," he said, "that Skyresh Bolgolam has
been your mortal enemy ever since your arrival, and his
hatred is increased since your great success against
Blefuscu, by which his glory as admiral is obscured. This
lord and others have accused you of treason, and several
councils have been called in the most private manner on
your account. Out of gratitude for your favors I procured
information of the whole proceedings, venturing my
head for your service, and this was the charge against
you:

"First, that you, having brought the imperial fleet of

Blefuscu into the royal port, were commanded by his
Majesty to seize all the other ships, and put to death all
the Bigendian exiles, and also all the people of the empire
who would not immediately consent to break their eggs
at the smaller end. And that, like a false traitor to his
Most Serene Majesty, you excused yourself from the service
on pretence of unwillingness to force the consciences
and destroy the liberties and lives of an innocent people.

"Again, when ambassadors arrived from the Court of
Blefuscu, like a false traitor, you aided and entertained
them, though you knew them to be servants of a prince
lately in open war against his Imperial Majesty.

"Moreover, you are now preparing, contrary to the
duty of a faithful subject, to voyage to the Court of
Blefuscu.

"In the debate on this charge," my friend continued,
"his Majesty often urged the services you had done him,
while the admiral and treasurer insisted that you should
be put to a shameful death. But Reldresal, secretary for
private affairs, who has always proved himself your friend
suggested that if his Majesty would please to spare your
life and only give orders to put out both your eyes, justice
might in some measure be satisfied. At this Bolgolam
rose up in fury, wondering how the secretary dared desire
to preserve the life of a traitor; and the treasurer, pointing
out the expense of keeping you, also urged your death.
But his Majesty was graciously pleased to say that since
the council thought the loss of your eyes too easy a
punishment, some other might afterward be inflicted. And
the secretary, humbly desiring to be heard again, said
that as to expense your allowance might be gradually
lessened, so that, for want of sufficient food you should
grow weak and faint, and die in a few months, when his
Majesty's subjects might cut your flesh from your bones
and bury it, leaving the skeleton for the admiration of
posterity.

"Thus, through the great friendship of the secretary
the affair was arranged. It was commanded that the plan
of starving you by degrees should be kept a secret; but
the sentence of putting out your eyes was entered on the
books. In three days your friend the secretary will come
to your house and read the accusation before you, and
point out the great mercy of his Majesty, that only condemns
you to the loss of your eyes--which, he does not
doubt, you will submit to humbly and gratefully. Twenty
of his Majesty's surgeons will attend, 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 you," said my friend, "to consider what
measures you will take; and, to escape suspicion, I must
immediately return, as secretly as I came."

His lordship did so; and I remained alone, in great
perplexity. At first I was bent on resistance; for while I
had liberty I could easily with stones pelt the metropolis
to pieces; but I soon rejected that idea with horror,
remembering the oath I had made to the Emperor, and the
favors I had received from him. At last, having his
Majesty's leave to pay my respects to the Emperor of
Blefuscu, I resolved to take this opportunity. Before the
three days had passed I wrote a letter to my friend the
secretary telling him of my resolution; and, without
waiting for an answer, went to the coast, and entering the
channel, between wading and swimming reached the port
of Blefuscu, where the people, who had long expected me,
led me to the capital.

His Majesty, with the royal family and great officers of
the Court, came out to receive me, and they entertained
me in a manner suited to the generosity of so great a
prince. I did not, however, mention my disgrace with the
Emperor of Lilliput, since I did not suppose that prince
would disclose the secret while I was out of his power.
But in this, it soon appeared, I was deceived.


CHAPTER V


Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity
to the northeast coast of the island, I observed at some
distance in the sea something that looked like a boat
overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and
wading two or three hundred yards, I plainly saw it to be
a real boat, which I supposed might by some tempest
have been driven from a ship. I returned immediately to
the city for help, and after a huge amount of labor I
managed to get my boat to the royal port of Blefuscu,
where a great crowd of people appeared, full of wonder at
sight of so prodigious a vessel. I told the Emperor that
my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way to
carry me to some place whence I might return to my
native country, and begged his orders for materials to fit
it up, and leave to depart--which, after many kindly
speeches, he was pleased to grant.

Meanwhile the Emperor of Lilliput, uneasy at my long
absence (but never imagining that I had the least notice
of his designs), sent a person of rank to inform the
Emperor of Blefuscu of my disgrace; this messenger had
orders to represent the great mercy of his master, who was
content to punish me with the loss of my eyes, and who
expected that his brother of Blefuscu would have me sent
back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to be punished as
a traitor. The Emperor of Blefuscu answered with many
civil excuses. He said that as for sending me bound, his
brother knew it was impossible. Moreover, though I had
taken away his fleet he was grateful to me for many good
offices I had done him in making the peace. But that both
their Majesties would soon be made easy; for I had found
a prodigious vessel on the shore, able to carry me on the
sea, which he had given orders to fit up; and he hoped in
a few weeks both empires would be free from me.

With this answer the messenger returned to Lilliput;
and I (though the monarch of Blefuscu secretly offered
me his gracious protection if I would continue in his
service) hastened my departure, resolving never more to put
confidence in princes.

In about a month I was ready to take leave. The
Emperor of Blefuscu, with the Empress and the royal family,
came out of the palace; and I lay down on my face to kiss
their hands, which they graciously gave me. His Majesty
presented me with fifty purses of sprugs (their greatest
gold coin) and his picture at full length, which I put
immediately into one of my gloves, to keep it from being
hurt. Many other ceremonies took place at my departure.

I stored the boat with meat and drink, and took six
cows and two bulls alive, with as many ewes and rams,
intending to carry them into my own country; and to feed
them on board, I had a good bundle of hay and a bag of
corn. I would gladly have taken a dozen of the natives;
but this was a thing the Emperor would by no means permit,
and besides a diligent search into my pockets, his
Majesty pledged my honor not to carry away any of his
subjects, though with their own consent and desire.

Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able,
I set sail. When I had made twenty-four leagues, by my
reckoning, from the island of Blefuscu, I saw a sail steering
to the northeast. I hailed her, but could get no
answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the wind
slackened; and in half an hour she spied me, and
discharged a gun. I came up with her between five and six
in the evening, Sept. 26, 1701; 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. The captain received me with kindness, and asked
me to tell him what place I came from last; but at my
answer he thought I was raving. However, I took my black
cattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after great
astonishment, clearly convinced him.

We arrived in England on the 13th of April, 1702. I
stayed two months with my wife and family; but my
eager desire to see foreign countries would suffer me to
remain no longer. However, while in England I made
great profit by showing my cattle to persons of quality
and others; and before I began my second voyage I sold
them for 600l. I left 1500l. with my wife, and fixed her in
a good house; then taking leave of her and my boy and
girl, with tears on both sides, I sailed on board the
"Adventure."





Next: The Princess On The Glass Hill

Previous: The Brave Little Tailor



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