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Title: Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World
Author: Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Gulliver's Travels - Into Several Remote Regions of the World" ***

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Into Several Remote Regions of the World



Edited with Introduction and Notes by Thomas M. Balliet
Superintendent of Schools, Springfield, Mass.

With Thirty-Eight Illustrations and a Map






D.C. Heath & Co., Publishers
Boston New York Chicago



    And lo! the book, from all its end beguiled,
    A harmless wonder to some happy child.


Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726; and, although it was by no
means intended for them, the book was soon appropriated by the children,
who have ever since continued to regard it as one of the most delightful
of their story books. They cannot comprehend the occasion which provoked
the book nor appreciate the satire which underlies the narrative, but
they delight in the wonderful adventures, and wander full of open-eyed
astonishment into the new worlds through which the vivid and logically
accurate imagination of the author so personally conducts them. And
there is a meaning and a moral in the stories of the Voyages to Lilliput
and Brobdingnag which is entirely apart from the political satire they
are intended to convey, a meaning and a moral which the youngest child
who can read it will not fail to seize, and upon which it is scarcely
necessary for the teacher to comment.

For young children the book combines in a measure the interest of
_Robinson Crusoe_ and that of the fairy tale; its style is objective,
the narrative is simple, and the matter appeals strongly to the childish
imagination. For more mature boys and girls and for adults the interest
is found chiefly in the keen satire which underlies the narrative. It
appeals, therefore, to a very wide range of intelligence and taste, and
can be read with profit by the child of ten and by the young man or
woman of mature years.

This edition is practically a reprint of the original (1726-27). The
punctuation and capitalization have been modernized, some archaisms
changed, and the paragraphs have been made more frequent. A few passages
have been omitted which would offend modern ears and are unsuitable for
children's reading, and some foot-notes have been added explaining
obsolete words and obscure expressions.

As a reading book in school which must be adapted to the average mind,
these stories will be found suitable for classes from the fifth or sixth
school year to the highest grade of the grammar school.





The Author gives some account of himself and family--His first
inducements to travel--He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life--Gets
safe on shore in the country of Lilliput--Is made a prisoner, and
carried up the country


The emperor of Lilliput, attended by several of the nobility, comes to
see the Author in his confinement--The emperor's person and habits
described--Learned men appointed to teach the Author their language--He
gains favor by his mild disposition--His pockets are searched, and his
sword and pistols taken from him


The Author diverts the emperor, and his nobility of both sexes, in a
very uncommon manner--The diversions of the court of Lilliput
described--The Author has his liberty granted him upon certain


Mildendo, the metropolis of Lilliput, described, together with the
emperor's palace--A conversation between the Author and a principal
secretary concerning the affairs of that empire--The Author's offers to
serve the emperor in his wars


The Author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion--A high
title of honor is conferred upon him--Ambassadors arrive from the
emperor of Blefuscu, and sue for peace


Of the inhabitants of Lilliput; their learning, laws, and customs; the
manner of educating their children--The Author's way of living in that
country--His vindication of a great lady


The Author, being informed of a design to accuse him of high treason,
makes his escape to Blefuscu--His reception there


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

       *       *       *       *       *


    "He commanded his generals to draw up the troops"
     Map of Lilliput and Blefuscu
    "I lay all this while ... in great uneasiness"
    "Producing his credentials"
    "These gentlemen made an exact inventory"
    "Her imperial majesty was pleased to smile very graciously upon me"
    "And created me a _nardac_ upon the spot"
    "Three hundred tailors were employed"
    "The happiness ... of dining with me"
    "He desired I would hear him with patience"
    "I set sail ... at six in the morning"





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


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


The Author sent for to court--The queen buys him of his master the
farmer, and presents him to the king--He disputes with his majesty's
great scholars--An apartment at court provided for the Author--He is in
high favor with the queen--He stands up for the honor of his own
country--He quarrels with the queen's dwarf


The country described--A proposal for correcting modern maps--The king's
palace, and some account of the metropolis--The Author's way of
travelling--The chief temple described


Several adventures that happened to the Author--The execution of a
criminal--The Author shows his skill in navigation


Several contrivances of the Author to please the king and queen--He
shows his skill in music--The king inquires into the state of Europe,
which the Author relates to him--The king's observations thereon


The Author's love of his country--He makes a proposal of much advantage
to the king, which is rejected--The king's great ignorance in
politics--The learning of that country very imperfect and
confined--Their laws, and military affairs, and in the state


The king and queen make a progress to the frontiers--The Author attends
them--The manner in which he leaves the country very particularly
related--He returns to England


       *       *       *       *       *


    "They concluded I was only Relplum Sealcath"
     Map of Brobdingnag
    "A huge creature walking ... on the sea"
    "Whereupon the huge creature trod short"
    "I drew my hanger to defend myself"
    "I called her my Glumdalclitch"
    "Flourished after the manner of fencers in England"
    "This gracious princess held out her little finger"
    "She carried me to the king"
    "I could only revenge myself by calling him brother"
    "The smaller birds did not appear to be at all afraid of me"
    "Gave me a gale with their fans"
    "The most violent exercise I ever underwent"
    "You have made an admirable panegyric"
    "She had some foreboding"
    "Somebody calling in the English tongue"
    "My daughter kneeled, but I could not see her"



The author of these travels, Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, is my ancient and
intimate friend; there is likewise some relation between us on the
mother's side. About three years ago, Mr. Gulliver, growing weary of the
concourse of curious people coming to him at his house in Redriff,[1]
made a small purchase of land, with a convenient house, near Newark, in
Nottinghamshire, his native county, where he now lives retired, yet in
good esteem among his neighbors.

Although Mr. Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, where his father
dwelt, yet I have heard him say his family came from Oxfordshire; to
confirm which, I have observed in the churchyard at Banbury, in that
county, several tombs and monuments of the Gullivers. Before he quitted
Redriff he left the custody of the following papers in my hands, with
the liberty to dispose of them as I should think fit. I have carefully
perused them three times. The style is very plain and simple, and the
only fault I find is, that the author, after the manner of travellers,
is a little too circumstantial. There is an air of truth apparent
through the whole; and, indeed, the author was so distinguished for his
veracity, that it became a sort of proverb among his neighbors at
Redriff, when any one affirmed a thing, to say it was as true as if Mr.
Gulliver had spoken it.

By the advice of several worthy persons, to whom, with the author's
permission, I communicated these papers, I now venture to send them into
the world, hoping they may be, at least for some time, a better
entertainment than the common scribbles about politics and party.

This volume would have been at least twice as large if I had not made
bold to strike out innumerable passages relating to the winds and tides,
as well as to the variations and bearings in the several voyages;
together with the minute description of the management of the ship in
the storms, in the style of sailors; likewise the account of longitudes
and latitudes; wherein I have reason to apprehend that Mr. Gulliver may
be a little dissatisfied; but I was resolved to fit the work as much as
possible to the general capacity of readers. However, if my own
ignorance in sea affairs shall have led me to commit some mistakes, I
alone am answerable for them, and if any traveller hath a curiosity to
see the whole work at large, as it came from the hand of the author, I
will be ready to gratify him.

As for any farther particulars relating to the author, the reader will
receive satisfaction from the first pages of the book.

                                        RICHARD SYMPSON.








My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the third of five
sons. He sent me to Emmanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old,
where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies;
but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a very scanty
allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice
to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued
four years; and my father now and then sending me small sums of money, I
laid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematics
useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be,
some time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates, I went down
to my father, where, by the assistance of him, and my uncle John and
some other relations, I got forty pounds,[2] and a promise of thirty
pounds a year, to maintain me at Leyden. There I studied physic two
years and seven months, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.

Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master,
Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the "Swallow," Captain Abraham Pannell,
commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage
or two into the Levant,[3] and some other parts. When I came back I
resolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged
me, and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took part of a
small house in the Old Jewry; and, being advised to alter my condition,
I married Mrs. Mary Burton,[4] second daughter to Mr. Edmund Burton,
hosier in Newgate Street, with whom I received four hundred pounds for a

But my good master, Bates, dying in two years after, and I having few
friends, my business began to fail; for my conscience would not suffer
me to imitate the bad practice of too many among my brethren. Having,
therefore, consulted with my wife, and some of my acquaintance, I
determined to go again to sea. I was surgeon successively in two ships,
and made several voyages, for six years, to the East and West Indies, by
which I got some addition to my fortune. My hours of leisure I spent in
reading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided with
a good number of books; and, when I was ashore, in observing the manners
and dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language,
wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of my memory.

The last of these voyages not proving very fortunate, I grew weary of
the sea, and intended to stay at home with my wife and family. I removed
from the Old Jewry to Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping to
get business among the sailors; but it would not turn to account. After
three years' expectation that things would mend, I accepted an
advantageous offer from Captain William Prichard, master of the
"Antelope," who was making a voyage to the South Sea.[5] We set sail
from Bristol, May 4, 1699; and our voyage at first was very prosperous.

It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the
particulars of our adventures in those seas. Let it suffice to inform
him, that, in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we were driven
by a violent storm, to the northwest of Van Diemen's Land.[6]

By an observation, we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees and
2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labor and
ill food; the rest were in a very weak condition.

On the fifth 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;[7] 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
remembered to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, about 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 arm-pits
to my thighs. I could only look upwards, the sun began to grow hot, and
the light offended my 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 my 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 afterwards 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 uneasiness. 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

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 jerkin,[8]
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 army they could bring against me, if they were all of the same
size with him that I saw.


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 debul san_ (these words, and
the former, were afterwards 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 my 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 to my mouth, to signify that I wanted food. The _hurgo_ (for
so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learned) understood me very
well. He descended from the stage, and commanded that several ladders
should be applied to my sides; on which above a hundred of the
inhabitants mounted, and walked towards 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 ate 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 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 towards 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[9] 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 nevola_; 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 backwards and
forwards 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 those 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.

[Illustration: "PRODUCING HIS CREDENTIALS." P. 14.]

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 forwards up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue: and,
producing his credentials under the signet-royal,[10] which he applied
close to my eyes, spoke about ten minutes, without any signs of anger,
but with a kind of determinate resolution, often pointing forwards,
which, as I afterwards found, was towards 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 pleased. 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 people on my left
side, relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able to turn upon
my right, and to get a little ease. 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 afterwards 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. The prince hath 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 to 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 packthread, 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 tied


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
towards 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 stopt a while, 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[11] a good way
up into my left 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 the day, 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.

At the place where the carriage stopt, 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 upon 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 feet high, and almost two feet
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 smith conveyed four score 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 six-and-thirty padlocks.


Over against this temple, on the other side of the great highway, at
twenty feet distance, there was a turret at least five feet 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 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 backwards and forwards in a semi-circle,
but, being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in,
and lie at my full length in the temple.




When I found myself on my feet, I looked about me, and must confess I
never beheld a more entertaining prospect. The country around, appeared
like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally
forty feet square, resembled so many beds of flowers. These fields were
intermingled with woods of half a stang,[12] and the tallest trees, as I
could judge, appeared to be seven feet high. I viewed the town on my
left hand, which looked like the painted scene of a city in a theatre.

The emperor was already descended from the tower, and advancing on
horseback towards 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 hind
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

When he alighted, he surveyed me round with great admiration, but kept
without 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 a sort 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; each afforded me two or three good mouthfuls. The
empress and young princes of the blood of both sexes, attended by many
ladies, sat at some distance in their chairs;[13] 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 alone is 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, 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


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 an the crest.[14] 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.

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 habits), 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;[15] but all to no purpose.

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 ring-leaders 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
forwards with the butt-ends of their pikes into my reach. I took them
all on 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 court.


Towards 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, which was of
smooth stone. By the same computation, they provided me with sheets,
blankets, and coverlets, which were tolerable enough for one who had
been so long inured to hardships as I.

As the news of my arrival spread through the kingdom, it brought
prodigious numbers of rich, idle, and curious people to see me; so that
the villages were almost emptied; and great neglect of tillage and
household affairs must have ensued, if his imperial majesty had not
provided, by several proclamations and orders of state, against this
inconvenience. He directed that those who had already beheld me should
return home, and not presume to come within fifty yards of my house
without license from court; whereby the secretaries of state got
considerable fees.

In the meantime, the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what
course should be taken with me; and I was afterwards assured by a
particular friend, a person of great quality, who was 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: but again they considered that the stench
of so large a carcase might produce a plague in the metropolis, and
probably spread through the whole kingdom.

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 due payment of
which his majesty gave assignments upon his treasury. For this prince
lives chiefly upon his own demesnes, seldom, except upon great
occasions, raising any subsidies upon his subjects, who are bound to
attend him in his wars at their own expense. 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 guards, 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 learnt were to express my desire that he
would please 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 _lumos kelmin pesso desmar lon emposo_; that is,
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 should 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 and another secret pocket, which 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

THEY SAW" P. 30.]

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

_Imprimis_,[16] 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 foot-cloth for your majesty's chief room of state. 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 number 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 so 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 and
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. 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.[17] 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 about
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.

                                        CLEFRIN FRELOC.
                                        MARSI FRELOC.

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
exceedingly 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 feet from the end
of my chain.

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 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 some
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 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[18] 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. He asked the opinions of his learned men about it,
which were various and remote, as the reader may well imagine without my
repeating; although, indeed, I could not very 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,[19] and some 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.




My gentleness and good behavior had gained so far on the emperor and his
court, and indeed upon the army and people in general, that I began to
conceive hopes of getting my liberty in a short time, I took all
possible methods to cultivate this favorable disposition. The natives
came by degrees to be less apprehensive of any 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 would venture to come and play at hide and seek
in my hair. I had now made a good progress in understanding and speaking
their language.

The emperor had a mind, one day, to entertain me with one of the country
shows, wherein they exceed all nations I have known, both for dexterity
and magnificence. I was diverted with none so much as that of the
rope-dancers, performed upon a slender white thread, extended about two
feet, and twelve inches from the ground. Upon which I shall desire
liberty, with the reader's patience, to enlarge a little.


This diversion is only practised by those persons who are candidates for
great employments and high favor at court. They are trained in this art
from their youth, and are not always of noble birth or liberal
education. When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace
(which often happens) five or six of those candidates petition the
emperor to entertain his majesty, and the court, with a dance on the
rope, and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the
office. Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show
their skill, and to convince the emperor that they have not lost their
faculty. Flimnap, the treasurer, is allowed to cut a caper on the
straight rope, at least an inch higher than any lord in the whole
empire. I have seen him do the summersault several times together upon a
trencher,[20] fixed on a rope, which is no thicker than a common
packthread in England. My friend Reldresal, principal secretary for
private affairs, is, in my opinion, if I am not partial, the second
after the treasurer; the rest of the great officers are much upon a par.

These diversions are often attended with fatal accidents, whereof great
numbers are on record. I myself have seen two or three candidates break
a limb. But the danger is much greater when the ministers themselves are
commanded to show their dexterity! for, by contending to excel
themselves and their fellows, they strain so far that there is hardly
one of them who hath not received a fall, and some of them two or three.
I was assured that a year or two before my arrival, Flimnap would have
infallibly broke his neck if one of the king's cushions, that
accidentally lay on the ground, had not weakened the force of his fall.

There is likewise another diversion, which is only shown before the
emperor and empress and first minister, upon particular occasions. The
emperor lays on the table three fine silken threads, of six inches long;
one is purple, the other yellow, and the third white. These threads are
proposed as prizes for those persons whom the emperor hath a mind to
distinguish by a peculiar mark of his favor. The ceremony is performed
in his majesty's great chamber of state, where the candidates are to
undergo a trial of dexterity very different from the former, and such as
I have not observed the least resemblance of in any other country of the
old or new world.

The emperor holds a stick in his hands, both ends parallel to the
horizon, while the candidates, advancing one by one, sometimes leap over
the stick, sometimes creep under it, backwards and forwards several
times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed. Sometimes the
emperor holds one end of the stick, and his first minister the other:
sometimes the minister has it entirely to himself. Whoever performs his
part with most agility, and holds out the longest in leaping and
creeping, is rewarded with the blue-colored silk; the yellow is given to
the next, and the green to the third, which they all wear girt twice
about the middle; and you see few great persons round about this court
who are not adorned with one of these girdles.

The horses of the army, and those of the royal stables, having been
daily led before me, were no longer shy, but would come up to my very
feet without starting. The riders would leap them over my hand as I held
it on the ground; and one of the emperor's huntsmen, upon a large
courser, took my foot, shoe and all, which was indeed a prodigious leap.

I had the good fortune to divert the emperor one day after a very
extraordinary manner. I desired he would order several sticks of two
feet high, and the thickness of an ordinary cane, to be brought me;
whereupon his majesty commanded the master of his woods to give
directions accordingly; and the next morning six wood-men arrived with
as many carriages, drawn by eight horses to each.

I took nine of these sticks, and fixing them firmly in the ground in a
quadrangular figure, two feet and a half square, I took four other
sticks and tied them parallel at each corner, about two feet from the
ground; then 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 the four parallel sticks, rising about five inches higher
than the handkerchief, served as ledges on each side.

When I had finished my work, 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 in
my hands, ready mounted and armed, with the proper officers to exercise
them. As soon as they got into order, they divided into two parties,
performed mock skirmishes, discharged blunt arrows, drew their swords,
fled and pursued, attacked and retired, and, in short, discovered the
best military discipline I ever beheld. The parallel sticks secured them
and their horses from falling over the stage: and the emperor was so
much delighted that he ordered this entertainment to be repeated several
days, and once was pleased to be lifted up and give the word of command;
and, with great difficulty, persuaded even the empress herself to let me
hold her in her close chair within two yards of the stage, from whence
she was able to take a full view of the whole performance.

It was my good fortune that no ill accident happened in these
entertainments; only once a fiery horse, that belonged to one of the
captains, pawing with his hoof, struck a hole in my handkerchief, and
his foot slipping, he 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, in the same manner as I took them up. The horse
that fell was strained in the left shoulder, but the rider got no 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.

About two or three days before I was set at liberty, as I was
entertaining the court with feats of this kind, 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 bed-chamber, and rising up in the middle as high as a man;
that it was no living creature, as they had 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 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 intreated his imperial majesty to give orders it might be
brought to me as soon as possible, describing to him the use and 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

Two days after this adventure, the emperor, having ordered that part of
the army which quarters in and about his metropolis to be in readiness,
took a fancy of diverting himself in a very singular manner. He desired
I would stand like a colossus, with my legs as far asunder as I
conveniently could. He then commanded his general (who was an old,
experienced leader and a great patron of mine) to draw up the troops in
close order and march under me; the foot by twenty-four abreast and the
horse by sixteen, with drums beating, colors flying, and pikes advanced.
This body consisted of three thousand foot and a thousand horse.

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 full council; where it was opposed by none, except Skyrris 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. 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

These articles were brought to me by Skyrris 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 afterwards 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 tip of my right ear.

But because the reader may be curious to have some idea of the style and
manner of expression peculiar to that people, as well as to know the
articles upon which I recovered my liberty, I have made a translation of
the whole instrument, word for word, as near as I was able, which I here
offer to the public.

_Golbasto Momaren Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue_, Most Mighty
Emperor of Lilliput, delight and terror of the universe, whose dominions
extend five thousand _blustrugs_ (about twelve miles in circumference) to
the extremities of the globe; monarch of all monarchs, taller than the
sons of men; whose feet press down to the centre, 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 our 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

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

Fifth. If an express requires extraordinary despatch, the man-mountain
shall be obliged to carry in his pocket the messenger and horse a
six-days' journey once in every moon, and return the said messenger back
(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.

Seventh. That the said man-mountain shall at his times of leisure be
aiding and assisting to our workmen, in helping to raise certain great
stones, towards covering the wall of the principal park, and other our
royal buildings.

Eighth. That the said man-mountain shall, in two moons time, deliver in
an exact survey of the circumference of our dominions, by a computation
of his own paces round the coast.

Lastly. That 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 1724 of our subjects, with free access to
our royal person, and other marks of our favor. Given at our palace at
Belfaborac, the twelfth day of the ninety-first moon of our reign.

I swore and subscribed to the 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 Skyrris 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.

The reader may please to observe, that, in the last article for the
recovery of my liberty, the emperor stipulates to allow me a quantity of
meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1724 Lilliputians. Some
time after, asking a friend at court, how they came to fix on that
determinate number, he told me, that his majesty's mathematicians having
taken the height of my body by the help of a quadrant,[22] and finding
it to exceed theirs in the proportion of twelve to one, they concluded,
from the similarity of their bodies, that mine must contain at least
1724 of theirs, and consequently would require as much food as was
necessary to support that number of Lilliputians. By which the reader
may conceive an idea of the ingenuity of that people, as well as the
prudent and exact economy of so great a prince.



The first request I made, after I had obtained my liberty, was, that I
might have license to see Milendo, the metropolis; which the emperor
easily granted me, but with a special charge to do no hurt, either to
the inhabitants or their houses. The people had notice, by proclamation,
of my design to visit the town.

The wall, which encompassed it, is two feet and a half high, and at
least eleven inches broad, so that a coach and horses may be driven very
safely round it; and it is flanked with strong towers at ten feet
distance. I stept over the great western gate, and passed very gently,
and sideling, through the two principal streets, only in my short
waistcoat, for fear of damaging the roofs and eaves of the houses with
the skirts[23] of my coat. I walked with the utmost circumspection, to
avoid treading on any stragglers who might remain in the streets;
although the orders were very strict, that all people should keep in
their houses at their own peril. The garret-windows and tops of houses
were so crowded with spectators, that I thought in all my travels I had
not seen a more populous place.

The city is an exact square, each side of the wall being five hundred
feet long. The two great streets, which run across and divide it into
four quarters, are five feet wide. The lanes and alleys, which I could
not enter, but only viewed them as I passed, are from twelve to eighteen
inches. The town is capable of holding five hundred thousand souls; the
houses are from three to five stories; the shops and markets well

The emperor's palace is in the centre of the city, where the two great
streets meet. It is enclosed by a wall of two foot high, and twenty foot
distant from the buildings. I had his majesty's permission to step over
this wall; and the space being so wide between that and the palace, I
could easily view it on every side.

The outward court is a square of forty feet, and includes two other
courts; in the inmost are the royal apartments, which I was very
desirous to see, but found it extremely difficult; for the great gates
from one square into another were but eighteen inches high, and seven
inches wide. Now the buildings of the outer court were at least five
feet high, and it was impossible for me to stride over them without
infinite damage to the pile, though the walls were strongly built of
hewn stone, and four inches thick.

At the same time, the emperor had a great desire that I should see the
magnificence of his palace; but this I was not able to do till three
days after, which I spent in cutting down, with my knife, some of the
largest trees in the royal park, about an hundred yards distance from
the city. Of these trees I made two stools, each about three feet high,
and strong enough to bear my weight.

UPON ME" P. 50.]

The people having received notice a second time, I went again through
the city to the palace, with my two stools in my hands. When I came to
the side of the outer court, I stood upon one stool, and took the other
in my hand; this I lifted over the roof, and gently set it down on the
space between the first and second court, which was eight feet wide. I
then stept over the building very conveniently, from one stool to the
other, and drew up the first after me with a hooked stick. By this
contrivance I got into the inmost court; and, lying down upon my side, I
applied my face to the windows of the middle stories, which were left
open on purpose, and discovered the most splendid apartments that can be
imagined. There I saw the empress and the young princes in their several
lodgings, with their chief attendants about them. Her imperial majesty
was pleased to smile very graciously upon me, and gave me out of the
window her hand to kiss.

But I shall not anticipate the reader with farther descriptions of this
kind, because I reserve them for a greater work, which is now almost
ready for the press, containing a general description of this empire,
from its first erection, through a long series of princes, with a
particular account of their wars and politics, laws, learning, and
religion, their plants and animals, their peculiar manners and customs,
with other matters very curious and useful; my chief design, at present,
being only to relate such events and transactions as happened to the
public, or to myself, during a residence of about nine months in that

One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained my liberty,
Reldresal, principal secretary (as they style him) for 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 past, there have been two struggling parties in this empire, under
the names of _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 may be, his majesty hath determined to
make use only of 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 towards the high
heels; at least, we can plainly discover that one of his heels is higher
than the other, which gives him a hobble in his gait. 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
six-and-thirty moons past. It began upon the following occasion: 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)[24] This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the
text; for the words are these: That all true believers 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 determine. 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
six-and-thirty 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, situate to the north northeast of
Lilliput, from whence 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 the pain of death, and an
embargo[25] laid by our emperor upon all vessels whatsoever.

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 feet of European measure; and the
rest of it fifty _glumgluffs_ at most. I walked towards the northeast
coast, over against Blefuscu; where, lying down behind a hillock, I took
out my small 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 orders (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
high-water. 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 were so frightened, 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, farther than a little to discompose them.[26] 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 boldest 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 above 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 as it is almost impossible to describe or conceive.
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 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 an 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[27] 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 his enemy's ships into his ports. And so immeasurable is the
ambition of princes, that he seemed to think of nothing less than
reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu into a province, and governing it
by 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

[Illustration: "AND CREATED ME A _NARDAC_ UPON THE SPOT." P. 58.]

This open, bold declaration of mine was so opposite to the schemes and
politics of his imperial majesty, that he could never forgive me; 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[28] 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 peace; which was soon concluded,
upon conditions very advantageous to our emperor, wherewith I shall not
trouble the reader. There were six ambassadors, with a train of about
five hundred persons; and their entry was very magnificent, suitable to
the grandeur of their master, and the importance of their business. When
their treaty was finished, wherein I did them several good offices, by
the credit I now had, or at least appeared to have at court, their
excellencies, who were privately told how much I had been their friend,
made me a visit in form. They began with many compliments upon my valor
and generosity, invited me to that kingdom, in the emperor their
master's name, and desired me to show some proofs of my prodigious
strength, of which they had heard so many wonders; wherein I readily
obliged them, but shall not trouble the reader with the particulars.


When I had for some time entertained their Excellencies, to their
infinite satisfaction and surprise, I desired they would do me the honor
to present my most humble respects to the emperor their master, the
renown of whose virtues had so justly filled the whole world with
admiration, and 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 license to wait on the
Blefuscudian monarch, which he was pleased to grant me, as I could
plainly perceive, in a very cold manner; but could not guess the reason,
till I had a whisper from a certain person, that Flimnap and Bolgolam
had represented my intercourse with those ambassadors as a mark of
disaffection, from which, I am sure, my heart was wholly free. And this
was the first time I began to conceive some imperfect idea of courts and

It is to be observed, that these ambassadors spoke to me by an
interpreter, the languages of both empires differing as much from each
other as any two in Europe, and each nation priding itself upon the
antiquity, beauty, and energy of its own tongue, with an avowed contempt
for that of its neighbor; yet our emperor, standing upon the advantage
he had got by the seizure of their fleet, obliged them to deliver their
credentials, and make their speech in the Lilliputian tongue.

And it must be confessed, that, from the great intercourse of trade and
commerce between both realms; from the continual reception of exiles,
which is mutual among them; and from the custom in each empire, to send
their young nobility, and richer gentry, to the other, in order to
polish themselves, by seeing the world, and understanding men and
manners; there are few persons of distinction, or merchants, or, seamen,
who dwell in the maritime parts, but what can hold conversation in both
tongues, as I found some weeks after, when I went to pay my respects to
the Emperor of Blefuscu, which, in the midst of great misfortunes,
through the malice of my enemies, proved a very happy adventure to me,
as I shall relate in its proper place.

The reader may remember, that when I signed those articles, upon which I
recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked, upon account of
their being too servile; neither could anything but an extreme necessity
have forced me to submit. But, being now a _nardac_ of the highest rank
in that empire, such offices were looked upon as below my dignity, and
the emperor, to do him justice, never once mentioned them to me.
However, it was not long before I had an opportunity of doing his
majesty, at least as I then thought, a most signal service. I was
alarmed at midnight with the cries of many hundred people at my door, by
which, being suddenly awaked, I was in some kind of terror. I heard the
word _burglum_ repeated incessantly.

Several of the emperor's court, making their way through the crowd,
entreated me to come immediately to the palace, where her imperial
majesty's apartment was on fire, by the carelessness of a maid of honor,
who fell asleep while she was reading a romance. I got up in an instant;
and orders being given to clear the way before me, and it being likewise
a moonshine night, I made a shift to get to the palace, without
trampling on any of the people. I found they had already applied ladders
to the walls of the apartment, and were well provided with buckets, but
the water was at some distance. These buckets were about the size of a
large thimble, and the poor people supplied me with them as fast as they
could; but the flame was so violent that they did little good. I might
easily have stifled it with my coat, which I unfortunately left behind
me for haste, and came away only in my leathern jerkin. The case seemed
wholly desperate and deplorable, and this magnificent palace would have
infallibly been burnt down to the ground, if, by a presence of mind
unusual to me, I had not suddenly thought of an expedient by which in
three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that
noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from


It was now daylight, and I returned to my house, without waiting to
congratulate with the emperor; because, although I had done a very
eminent piece of service, yet I could not tell how his majesty might
resent the manner by which I had performed it: for, by the fundamental
laws of the realm, it is capital in any man, of what quality soever, to
even touch the empress or the royal princesses without invitation. But I
was a little comforted by a message from his majesty, that he would give
orders to the grand justiciary for passing my pardon in form, which,
however, I could not obtain. And I was privately assured that the
empress, conceiving the greatest abhorrence of me, and, in the presence
of her chief confidants, could not forbear vowing revenge.



Although I intend to leave the description of this empire to a
particular treatise, yet, in the meantime, I am content to gratify the
curious reader with some general ideas. As the common size of the
natives is somewhat under six inches high, so there is an exact
proportion in all other animals, as well as plants and trees: for
instance, the tallest horses and oxen are between four and five inches
in height, the sheep an inch and a half, more or less; their geese about
the bigness of a sparrow, and so the several gradations downwards, till
you come to the smallest, which, to my sight, were almost invisible; but
nature hath adapted the eyes of the Lilliputians to all objects proper
for their view; they see with great exactness, but at no great distance.
And, to show the sharpness of their sight, towards objects that are
near, I have been much pleased with observing a cook pulling[29] a lark,
which was not so large as a common fly; and a young girl threading an
invisible needle with invisible silk.

Their tallest trees are about seven feet high; I mean some of those in
the great royal park, the tops whereof I could but just reach with my
fist clenched. The other vegetables are in the same proportion; but this
I leave to the reader's imagination.

I shall say but little at present of their learning, which, for many
ages, hath flourished in all its branches among them: but their manner
of writing is very peculiar, being neither from the left to the right
like the Europeans; nor from the right to the left, like the Arabians;
nor from up to down, like the Chinese, but aslant, from one corner of
the paper to the other, like ladies in England.

They bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they
hold an opinion, that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise
again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will
turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at the resurrection, be
found ready, standing on their feet. The learned among them confess the
absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues, in
compliance to the vulgar.

There are some laws and customs in this empire very peculiar; and, if
they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I
should be tempted to say a little in their justification. It is only to
be wished they were as well executed. The first I shall mention relates
to informers. All crimes against the state are punished here with the
utmost severity; but, if the person accused maketh his innocence plainly
to appear upon his trial, the accuser is immediately put to an
ignominious death; and, out of his goods, or lands, the innocent person
is quadruply recompensed for the loss of his time, for the danger he
underwent, for the hardship of his imprisonment, and for all the charges
he hath been at in making his defence, or, it that fund be deficient,
it is largely supplied by the crown. The emperor also confers on him
some public mark of his favor, and proclamation is made of his innocence
through the whole city.

They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft, and therefore seldom
fail to punish it with death; for they allege, that care and vigilance,
with a very common understanding, may preserve a man's goods from
thieves, but honesty has no fence against superior cunning; and, since
it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying
and selling, and dealing upon credit, where fraud is permitted and
connived at, or hath no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always
undone, and the knave gets the advantage. I remember, when I was once
interceding with the king for a criminal, who had wronged his master of
a great sum of money, which he had received by order, and run away with,
and happening to tell his majesty, by way of extenuation, that it was
only a breach of trust, the emperor thought it monstrous in me, to offer
as a defence the greatest aggravation of the crime; and, truly, I had
little to say in return, farther than the common answer, that different
nations had different customs; for, I confess, I was heartily ashamed.

Although we usually call reward and punishment the two hinges upon which
all government turns, yet I could never observe this maxim to be put in
practice by any nation except that of Lilliput. Whoever can there bring
sufficient proof that he hath strictly observed the laws of his country
for seventy-three moons, hath a claim to certain privileges, according
to his quality and condition of life, with a proportionable sum of out
of a fund appropriated for that use; he likewise acquires the title of
_snillpall_, or _legal_, which is added to his name, but doth not
descend to his posterity. And these people thought it a prodigious
defect of policy among us, when I told them that our laws were enforced
only by penalties, without any mention of reward. It is upon this
account that the image of Justice, in their courts of judicature, is
formed with six eyes, two before, as many behind, and on each side one,
to signify circumspection, with a bag of gold open in her right hand,
and a sword sheath in her left, to show she was more disposed to reward
than to punish.

In choosing persons for all employments, they have more regard to good
morals than to great abilities; for, since government is necessary to
mankind, they believe that the common size of human understanding is
fitted to some station or other, and that Providence never intended to
make the management of public affairs a mystery, to be comprehended only
by a few persons of sublime genius, of which there seldom are three born
in an age; but they suppose truth, justice, temperance, and the like, to
be in every man's power, the practice of which virtues, assisted by
experience, and a good intention, would qualify any man for the service
of his country, except where a course of study is required. But they
thought the want of moral virtues was so far from being supplied by
superior endowments of the mind, that employments could never be put
into such dangerous hands as those of persons so qualified; and at
least, that the mistakes committed by ignorance, in a virtuous
disposition, would never be of such fatal consequences to the public
weal as the practices of a man whose inclinations led him to be corrupt,
and who had great abilities to manage, to multiply, and defend his

In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Providence renders a man
incapable of holding any public station; for, since kings avow
themselves to be the deputies of Providence, the Lilliputians think
nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such men as
disown the authority under which he acts.

In relating these and the following laws, I would only be understood to
mean the original institutions, and not the most scandalous corruptions
into which these people are fallen, by the degenerate nature of man.
For, as to that infamous practice of acquiring great employments by
dancing on the ropes, or badges of favor and distinction by leaping over
sticks, and creeping under them, the reader is to observe, that they
were first introduced by the grandfather of the emperor, now reigning,
and grew to the present height by the gradual increase of party and

Ingratitude is, among them, a capital crime, as we read it to have been
in some other countries; for they reason thus, that whoever makes ill
returns to his benefactor, must needs be a common enemy to the rest of
mankind, from whom he hath received no obligation, and therefore such a
man is not fit to live.

Their notions relating to the duties of parents and children differ
extremely from ours. Their opinion is, that parents are the last of all
others to be trusted with the education of their own children; and,
therefore, they have, in every town, public nurseries, where all
parents, except cottagers and laborers, are obliged to send their
infants of both sexes to be reared and educated, when they come to the
age of twenty moons, at which time they are supposed to have some
rudiments of docility. These schools are of several kinds, suited to
different qualities, and to both sexes. They have certain professors,
well skilled in preparing children for such a condition of life as
befits the rank of their parents, and their own capacities as well as
inclinations. I shall first say something of the male nurseries, and
then of the female.

The nurseries for males of noble or eminent birth are provided with
grave and learned professors, and their several deputies. The clothes
and food of the children are plain and simple. They are bred up in the
principles of honor, justice, courage, modesty, clemency, religion, and
love of their country; they are always employed in some business, except
in the times of eating and sleeping, which are very short, and two hours
for diversions, consisting of bodily exercises. They are dressed by men
till four years of age, and then are obliged to dress themselves,
although their quality be ever so great; and the women attendants, who
are aged proportionably to ours at fifty, perform only the most menial
offices. They are never suffered to converse with servants, but go
together in smaller or greater numbers to take their diversions, and
always in the presence of a professor, or one of his deputies; whereby
they avoid those early bad impressions of folly and vice, to which our
children are subject. Their parents are suffered to see them only twice
a year; the visit to last but an hour; they are allowed to kiss the
child at meeting and parting; but a professor, who always stands by on
those occasions, will not suffer them to whisper, or use any fondling
expressions, or bring any presents of toys, sweetmeats, and the like.

The pension from each family, for the education and entertainment of a
child, upon failure of due payment, is levied by the emperor's officers.

The nurseries for children of ordinary gentlemen, merchants, traders,
and handicrafts, are managed proportionally after the same manner; only
those designed for trades are put out apprentices at eleven years old,
whereas those persons of quality continue in their exercises till
fifteen, which answers to twenty-one with us; but the confinement is
gradually lessened for the last three years.

In the female nurseries, the young girls of quality are educated much
like the males, only they are dressed by orderly servants of their own
sex; but always in the presence of a professor or deputy, till they come
to dress themselves, which is at five years old. And if it be found that
these nurses ever presume to entertain the girls with frightful or
foolish stories, or the common follies practised by the chambermaids
among us, they are publicly whipped thrice about the city, imprisoned
for a year, and banished for life to the most desolate part of the
country. Thus, the young ladies there are as much ashamed of being
cowards and fools as the men, and despise all personal ornaments beyond
decency and cleanliness: neither did I perceive any difference in their
education, made by their difference of sex, only that the exercises of
the women were not altogether so robust, and that some rules were given
them relating to domestic life, and a smaller compass of learning was
enjoined them: for their maxim is that, among people of quality, a wife
should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she
cannot always be young. When the girls are twelve years old, which
among them is the marriageable age, their parents or guardians take
them home, with great expressions of gratitude to the professors, and
seldom without tears of the young lady and her companions.

In the nurseries of females of the meaner sort, the children are
instructed in all kinds of works proper for their sex and their several
degrees; those intended for apprentices are dismissed at seven years
old, the rest are kept to eleven.

The meaner[30] families who have children at these nurseries are
obliged, besides their annual pension, which is as low as possible, to
return to the steward of the nursery a small monthly share of their
gettings, to be a portion[31] for the child; and, therefore, all parents
are limited in their expenses by the law. For the Lilliputians think
nothing can be more unjust than for people to leave the burden of
supporting their children on the public. As to persons of quality, they
give security to appropriate a certain sum for each child, suitable to
their condition; and these funds are always managed with good husbandry
and the most exact justice.

The cottagers and laborers keep their children at home, their business
being only to till and cultivate the earth, and therefore their
education is of little consequence to the public; but the old and
diseased among them are supported by hospitals; for begging is a trade
unknown in this empire.

And here it may perhaps divert the curious reader to give some account
of my domestic,[32] and my manner of living in this country, during a
residence of nine months and thirteen days. Having a head for
mechanics, and being likewise forced by necessity, I had made for myself
a table and chair, convenient enough, out of the largest trees in the
royal park. Two hundred sempstresses were employed to make me shirts,
and linen for my bed and table, all of the strongest and coarsest kind
they could get; which, however, they were forced to quilt together in
several folds, for the thickest was some degrees finer than lawn. Their
linen is usually three inches wide, and three feet make a piece.

The sempstresses took my measure as I lay on the ground, one standing at
my neck, and another at my mid-leg, with a strong cord extended that
each held by the end, while a third measured the length of the cord with
a rule of an inch long. Then they measured my right thumb, and desired
no more; for, by a mathematical computation, that twice round the thumb
is once round the wrist, and so on to the neck and the waist, and by the
help of my old shirt, which I displayed on the ground before them for a
pattern, they fitted me exactly. Three hundred tailors were employed in
the same manner to make me clothes; but they had another contrivance for
taking my measure. I kneeled down, and they raised a ladder from the
ground to my neck; upon this ladder one of them mounted, and let fall a
plumb-line from my collar to the floor, which just answered the length
of my coat; but my waist and arms I measured myself. When my clothes
were finished, which was done in my house (for the largest of theirs
would not have been able to hold them), they looked like the patchwork
made by the ladies in England, only that mine were all of a color.

P. 74.]

I had three hundred cooks to dress my victuals, in little convenient
huts built about my house, where they and their families lived, and
prepared me two dishes a-piece. I took up twenty waiters in my hand, and
placed them on the table; an hundred more attended below on the ground,
some with dishes of meat, and some with barrels of wine and other
liquors, flung on their shoulders; all of which the waiters above drew
up, as I wanted, in a very ingenious manner, by certain cords, as we
draw the bucket up a well in Europe. A dish of their meat was a good
mouthful, and a barrel of their liquor a reasonable draught. Their
mutton yields to ours, but their beef is excellent, I have had a sirloin
so large that I have been forced to make three bites of it; but this is
rare. My servants were astonished to see me eat it, bones and all, as in
our country we do the leg of a lark. Their geese and turkeys I usually
eat at a mouthful, and I must confess they far exceed ours. Of their
smaller fowl, I could take up twenty or thirty at the end of my knife.

One day his imperial majesty, being informed of my way of living,
desired that himself and his royal consort, with the young princes of
the blood of both sexes, might have the happiness, as he was pleased to
call it, of dining with me. They came accordingly, and I placed them in
chairs of state upon my table, just over against me, with their guards
about them. Flimnap, the lord high treasurer, attended there likewise,
with his white staff; and I observed he often looked on me with a sour
countenance, which I would not seem to regard, but eat more than usual,
in honor to my dear country, as well as to fill the court with
admiration. I have some private reasons to believe that this visit from
his majesty gave Flimnap an opportunity of doing me ill offices to his
master. That minister had always been my secret enemy, though he
outwardly caressed me more than was usual to the moroseness of his
nature. He represented to the emperor the low condition of his treasury;
that he was forced to take up money at a great discount; that exchequer
bills[33] would not circulate under nine per cent, below par; that I had
cost his majesty above a million and a half of _sprugs_ (their greatest
gold coin, about the bigness of a spangle); and, upon the whole, that it
would be advisable in the emperor to take the first fair occasion of
dismissing me.

[Illustration: "THE HAPPINESS ... OF DINING WITH ME." P. 76.]





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.

I had been hitherto all my life a stranger to courts, for which I was
unqualified by the meanness of my condition. I had indeed heard and read
enough of the dispositions of great princes and ministers, but never
expected to have found such terrible effects of them in so remote a
country, governed, as I thought, by very different maxims from those in

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,[34] 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 sat 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 Skyrris 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 increased since your great success
against Blefuscu, by which his glory, as admiral, is much obscured. This
lord, in conjunction with Flimnap the high treasurer, whose enmity
against you is notorious, Limtoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain,
and Balmuff the grand justiciary, have prepared articles of impeachment
against you, for treason, and other capital crimes.

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


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



     Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his Imperial Majesty
     Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted, That whoever shall lay hands
     upon the empress, or upon any of the royal children, shall be
     liable to the pains and penalties of high treason. Notwithstanding,
     the said Quinbus Flestrin, in open breach of the said law, under
     color of extinguishing the fire kindled in the apartment of his
     Majesty's most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, and
     traitorously, pull her by the arms, and lift her high in the air in
     both his hands, against the statute in that case provided, &c.,
     against the duty, &c.


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


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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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.

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

At last I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is probable I may incur
some censure, and not unjustly; for I confess I owe the preserving mine
eyes, and consequently my liberty, to my own great rashness and want of
experience; because if I had then known the nature of princes and
ministers, which I have since observed in many other courts, and their
methods of treating criminals less obnoxious than myself, I should with
great alacrity and readiness have submitted to so easy a punishment.
But, hurried on by the precipitancy of youth, and having his imperial
majesty's license to pay my attendance upon the emperor of Blefuscu, I
took this opportunity, before the three days were elapsed, to send a
letter to my friend the secretary, signifying my resolution of setting
out that morning for Blefuscu pursuant to the leave I had got; and,
without waiting for an answer, I went to that side of the island where
our fleet lay. I seized a large man-of-war, tied a cable to the prow,
and lifting up the anchors, I stript myself, put my clothes (together
with my coverlet, which I carried under my arm) into the vessel, and
drawing it after me, between wading and swimming arrived at the royal
port of Blefuscu, where the people had long expected me; they lent me
two guides to direct me to the capital city, which is of the same name.
I held them in my hands until I came within two hundred yards of the
gate, and desired them to signify my arrival to one of the secretaries,
and let him know I there waited his majesty's command. I had an answer
in about an hour, that his majesty, attended by the royal family and
great officers of the court, was coming out to receive me. I advanced a
hundred yards. The emperor and his train alighted from their horses, the
empress and ladies from their coaches, and I did not perceive they were
in any fright or concern. I lay on the ground to kiss his majesty's and
the empress's 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, wherein however it soon appeared I was deceived.

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




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 towards the city, and desired
his imperial majesty to lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he had
left after the loss of his fleet, and three thousand seamen under the
command of his vice-admiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went back
the shortest way to the coast, where I first discovered the boat. I
found the tide had driven it still nearer. The seamen were all provided
with cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a sufficient strength.
When the ships came up, I stripped myself, and waded till I came within
a hundred yards 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 forepart 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 forwards 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 arm-pits; and now, the most laborious part being over, I took out my
other cables, which were stowed in one of the ships, and fastened them
first to the boat, and then to nine of the vessels which attended me;
the wind being 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 to 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
expostulation, he was pleased to grant.

I did very much wonder, in all this time, not to have heard of any
express relating to me from our emperor to the court of Blefuscu. But I
was afterwards given privately to understand that his imperial majesty,
never imagining I had the least notice of his designs, believed I was
only gone to Blefuscu in performance of my promise according to the
license he had given me, which was well known at our court, and would
return in a few days when the ceremony was ended. But he was at last in
pain at my long absence; and, after consulting with the treasurer and
the rest of that cabal,[35] a person of quality was despatched with the
copy of the articles against me. This envoy had instructions to
represent to the monarch of Blefuscu the great lenity of his master, who
was content to punish me no farther than the loss of mine eyes; that I
had fled from justice, and, if I did not return in two hours, I should
be deprived of my title of _nardac_ and declared a traitor. The envoy
farther added that, in order to maintain the peace and amity between
both empires, his master expected that his brother of Blefuscu would
give orders to have me sent back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to be
punished as a traitor.

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

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

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

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

[Illustration: "I SET SAIL AT SIX IN THE MORNING" P. 98.]

I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred oxen, and three hundred
sheep, with bread and drink proportionable, and as much meat ready
dressed as four hundred cooks could provide. I took with me six cows and
two bulls alive, with as many ewes and lambs, intending to carry them
into my own country, and propagate the breed. And to feed them on board,
I had a good bundle of hay and a bag of corn. I would gladly have
taken a dozen of the natives, but this was a thing the emperor would by
no means permit; and, besides a diligent search into my pockets, his
majesty engaged my 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
twenty-fourth day of September, 1701, at six in the morning; and, when I
had gone about four leagues to the northward, the wind being at
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[36] of the island, which seemed to be uninhabited. I then took some
refreshment, and went to my rest. I slept well, and, as I conjecture, at
least six hours, for I found the day broke two hours after I awaked. It
was a clear night. I ate my breakfast before the sun was up; and heaving
anchor, the wind being 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. I
discovered nothing all that day; but upon the next, about three o'clock
in the afternoon, when I had, by my computation, made twenty-four
leagues from Blefuscu, I descried 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,[37] 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 twenty-sixth; 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.
The vessel was an English merchantman returning from Japan by the North
and South Seas; the captain, Mr. John Biddle, of Deptford, a very civil
man and an excellent sailor. We were now in the latitude of 30 degrees
south. There were about fifty men in the ship; and here I met an old
comrade of mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good character to
the captain. This gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I
would let him know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound;
which I did in few words, but he thought I was raving, and that the
dangers I had 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 rareties 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[38]
on the thirteenth 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. I got the rest of my cattle safe ashore,
and set them a-grazing in a bowling-green at Greenwich, where the
fineness of the grass made them feed very heartily, though I had always
feared the contrary: neither could I possibly have preserved them in so
long a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me some of his best
biscuits, 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

Since my last return, I find the breed is considerably increased,
especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to the advantage of
the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.


I stayed but two months with my wife and family; for my insatiable
desire of seeing foreign countries would suffer me to continue no
longer. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife and fixed her in a
good house at Redriff. My remaining stock I carried with me, part in
money, and part in goods, in hopes to improve my fortune. My eldest
uncle, John, had left me an estate in land, near Epping, of about thirty
pounds a year; and I had a long lease of the "Black Bull[39]," in
Fetter Lane, which yielded me as much more: so that I was not in any
danger of leaving my family upon the parish. My son Johnny, named so
after his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a towardly[40] child. My
daughter Betty (who is now well married, and has children), was then at
her needlework. I took leave of my wife and boy and girl, with tears on
both sides, and went on board the "Adventure," a merchant ship of three
hundred tons, bound for Surat, Captain John Nicholas, of Liverpool,
commander. But my account of this voyage must be referred to the second
part of my travels.


[Illustration: "THEY CONCLUDED ... THAT I WAS ONLY _Relplum
Scalcath_," P. 37.]



       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *



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 twentieth day of June, 1702, in the
"Adventure," Captain John Nicholas, a Cornish man, commander, bound for
Surat. We had a very prosperous gale till we arrived at the Cape of Good
Hope, where we landed for fresh water; but, discovering a leak, we
unshipped our goods and wintered there: for, the captain falling sick of
an ague, we could not leave the Cape till the end of March. We then set
sail, and had a good voyage till we passed the Straits of
Madagascar;[41] 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 nineteenth of
April began to blow with much greater violence and more westerly than
usual, continuing so for twenty days together, during which time we were
driven a little to the east of the Molucca Islands, and about three
degrees northward of the line,[42] as our captain found by an
observation he took the second of May, at which time the wind ceased and
it was a perfect calm; whereat I was not a little rejoiced. But, he,
being a man well experienced in the navigation of those seas, bid us all
prepare against a storm, which accordingly happened the day following:
for the southern wind, called the southern monsoon, began to set in, and
soon it was a fierce storm.

Finding it was like to overblow, we took in our sprit-sail, and stood by
to hand the foresail; but making foul weather, we looked the guns were
all fast, and handed the mizzen.


The ship lay very broad off, so we thought it better spooning before
the sea, than trying, or hulling. We reefed the foresail and set him, we
hauled aft the foresheet: the helm was hard-a-weather. The ship wore
bravely. We belayed the fore down-haul; but the sail was split, and we
hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and unbound all
the things clear of it. It was a very fierce storm; the sea broke
strange and dangerous. We hauled off the laniard of the whipstaff, and
helped the man at the helm. We could not get down our topmast, but let
all stand, because she scudded before the sea very well, and we knew
that the topmast being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made
better way through the sea, seeing we had sea-room. When the storm was
over, we set foresail and mainsail, and brought the ship to. Then we set
the mizzen, main-top-sail, and the fore-top-sail. Our course was east
north east, the wind was at southwest. We got the starboard tacks
aboard, we cast off our weather braces and lifts; we set in the lee
braces, and hauled forward by the weather bowlings, and hauled them
tight and belayed them, and hauled over the mizzen tack to wind-ward and
kept her full and by, as near as she could lie.

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 sixteenth day of June, 1703, a boy on the topmast discovered
land. On the seventeenth, we came in full view of a great island or
continent (for we knew not which), on the south side whereof was a small
neck of land, jutting out into the sea, and a creek too shallow to hold
a ship of above one hundred tons. We cast anchor within a league of this
creek, and our captain sent a dozen of his men well armed in the
long-boat, with vessels for water, if any could be found. I desired his
leave to go with them, that I might see the country, and make what
discoveries I could.

When we came to land, we saw no river or spring, nor any sign of
inhabitants. Our men therefore wandered on the shore to find out some
fresh water near the sea, and I walked alone about a mile on the other
side, where I observed the country all barren and rocky. I now began to
be weary, and seeing nothing to entertain my curiosity, I returned
gently down 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 holla after them, although it had been to little purpose,
when I observed a huge creature walking after them in the sea, as fast
as he could; he waded not much deeper than his knees, and took
prodigious strides; but our men had the start of him about half a
league, and the sea thereabouts being full of pointed rocks, the monster
was not able to overtake the boat. This I was afterwards told, for I
durst not stay to see the issue of the adventure; but ran as fast as I
could the way I first went, and then climbed up a steep hill, which gave
me some prospect of the country. I found it fully cultivated; but that
which first surprised me was the length of the grass, which, in those
grounds that seemed to be kept for hay, was about twenty feet high.

[Illustration: "A HUGE CREATURE WALKING ... IN THE SEA." P. 6.]

I fell into a high road, 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 feet. I was an hour walking
to the end of this field, which was fenced in with a hedge of at least
one hundred and twenty feet high, and the trees so lofty that I could
make no computation of their altitude. There was a stile to pass from
this field into the next. It had four steps, and a stone to cross over
when you came to the uppermost. It was impossible for me to climb this
stile because every step was six feet high, and the upper stone above

I was endeavoring to find some gap in the hedge, when I discovered one
of the inhabitants in the next field, advancing towards the stile, of
the same size with him whom I saw in the sea pursuing our boat. He
appeared as tall as an ordinary spire steeple, and took about ten yards
at every stride, as near as I could guess. I was struck with the utmost
fear and astonishment, and ran to hide myself in the corn, 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 towards him with reaping-hooks in their hands, each hook
about the largeness of six scythes. These people were not so well clad
as the first, whose servants or laborers they seemed to be; for, upon
some words he spoke, they went to reap the corn in the field where I
lay. I kept from them at as great a distance as I could, but was forced
to move, with extreme difficulty, for the stalks of the corn were
sometimes not above a foot distance, 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 a 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 wilfulness in attempting a second voyage
against the advice of all my friends and relations. In this terrible
agitation of mind, I could not forbear thinking of Lilliput, whose
inhabitants looked upon me as the greatest prodigy that ever appeared in
the world; where I was able to draw an imperial fleet in my hand, and
perform those other actions which will be recorded 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 among 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 shall 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 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 feet from the ground, although he
grievously pinched my sides, for fear I should slip through his fingers.
All I ventured was to raise my eyes towards 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 towards my sides; letting him know, as well
as I could, how cruelly I was hurt by the pressure of his thumb and
finger. He seemed to apprehend my meaning; for, lifting up the lappet of
his coat, he put me gently into it, and immediately ran along with me to
his master, who was a substantial farmer, and the same person I had
first seen in the field.

The farmer, having (as I suppose by their talk) received such an account
of me as his servant could give him, took a piece of a small straw,
about the size of a walking-staff, and therewith lifted up the lappets
of my coat, which it seems he thought to be some kind of covering that
nature had given me. He blew my hair aside, to take a better view of my
face. He called his hinds[43] about him, and asked them (as I afterwards
learned) whether they had ever seen in the fields any little creature
that resembled me. He then placed me softly on the ground upon all
fours, but I got immediately up, and walked slowly backwards and
forwards to let those people see that I had no intent to run away.

They all sat down in a circle about me, the better to observe my
motions. I pulled off my hat, and made a low bow towards the farmer. I
fell on my knees, and lifted up my hands and eyes, and spoke several
words as loud as I could: I took a purse of gold out of my pocket, and
humbly presented it to him. He received it on the palm of his hand, then
applied it close to his eye to see what it was, and afterwards turned it
several times with the point of a pin (which he took out of his sleeve),
but could make nothing of it. Whereupon I made a sign that he should
place his hand on the ground. I then took the purse, and opening it,
poured all the gold into his palm. There were six Spanish pieces, of
four pistoles[44] 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 it to him several
times, I thought it best to do.

The farmer by this time was convinced I must be a rational creature. He
spoke often to me, but the sound of his voice pierced my ears like that
of a water-mill, yet his words were articulate enough. I answered as
loud as I could in several languages, and he often laid his ear within
two yards of me; but all in vain, for we were wholly unintelligible to
each other. He then sent his servants to their work, and taking his
handkerchief out of his pocket, he doubled and spread it on his left
hand, which he placed flat on the ground, with the palm upwards, making
me a sign to step into it, as I could easily do, for it was not above a
foot in thickness.

I thought it my part to obey, and, for fear of falling, laid myself at
full length upon the handkerchief, with the remainder of which he lapped
me up to the head for farther security, and in this manner carried me
home to his house. There he called his wife, and showed me to her; but
she screamed and ran back, as women in England do at the sight of a toad
or a spider. However, when she had awhile seen my behavior, and how well
I observed the signs her husband made, she was soon reconciled, and by
degrees grew extremely tender of me.

It was about twelve at noon, and a servant brought in dinner. It was
only one substantial dish of meat (fit for the plain condition of an
husbandman) in a dish of about four-and-twenty feet diameter. The
company were the farmer and his wife, three children, and an old
grandmother. When they were sat down, the farmer placed me at some
distance from him on the table, which was thirty feet high from the
floor. I was in a terrible fright, and kept as far as I could from the
edge for fear of falling. The wife minced a bit of meat, then crumbled
some bread on a trencher,[45] and placed it before me. I made her a low
bow, took out my knife and fork, and fell to eat, which gave them
exceeding delight.

The mistress sent her maid for a small dram cup, which held about three
gallons, and filled it with drink: I took up the vessel with much
difficulty in both hands, and in a most respectful manner drank to her
ladyship's health, expressing the words as loud as I could in English,
which made the company laugh so heartily that I was almost deafened by
the noise. This liquor tasted like a small cider, and was not
unpleasant. Then the master made me a sign to come to his trencher-side;
but as I walked on the table, being in great surprise all the time, as
the indulgent reader will easily conceive and excuse, I happened to
stumble against a crust, and fell flat on my face, but received no hurt.
I got up immediately, and observing the good people to be in much
concern, I took my hat (which I held under my arm out of good manners),
and, waving it over my head, made three huzzas, to show that I had got
no mischief by my fall.

But advancing forwards towards my master (as I shall henceforth call
him), his youngest son, who sat next him, an arch boy of about ten years
old, took me up by the legs, and held me so high in the air, that I
trembled in every limb; but his father snatched me from him, and at the
same time gave him such a box in the left ear as would have felled an
European troop of horse to the earth, ordering him to be taken from the
table. But being afraid the boy might owe me a spite, and well
remembering how mischievous all children among us naturally are to
sparrows, rabbits, young kittens, and puppy dogs, I fell on my knees,
and, pointing to the boy, made my master to understand as well as I
could, that I desired his son might be pardoned. The father complied,
and the lad took his seat again; whereupon I went to him and kissed his
hand, which my master took, and made him stroke me gently with it.

In the midst of dinner, my mistress's favorite cat leapt into her lap. I
heard a noise behind me like that of a dozen stocking-weavers at work;
and, turning my head, I found it proceeded from the purring of that
animal, who seemed to be three times larger than an ox, as I computed by
the view of her head and one of her paws, while her mistress was feeding
and stroking her. The fierceness of this creature's countenance
altogether discomposed me, though I stood at the further end of the
table, above fifty feet off, and although my mistress held her fast, for
fear she might give a spring and seize me in her talons.

But it happened there was no danger; for the cat took not the least
notice of me, when my master placed me within three yards of her. And as
I have been always told, and found true by experience in my travels,
that flying or discovering[46] fear before a fierce animal is a certain
way to make it pursue or attack you, so I resolved in this dangerous
juncture to show no manner of concern. I walked with intrepidity five or
six times before the very head of the cat, and came within half a yard
of her; whereupon she drew herself back, as if she were more afraid of
me. I had less apprehension concerning the dogs, whereof three or four
came into the room, as it is usual in farmers' houses; one of which was
a mastiff equal in bulk to four elephants, and 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,[47] after the usual
oratory of infants, to get me for a plaything. The mother out of pure
indulgence took me up, and put me towards the child, who presently
seized me by the middle and got my head in its 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. As she sat down close to the table on which
I stood, her appearance astonished me not a little. This made me reflect
upon the fair skins of our English ladies, who appear so beautiful to
us, only because they are of our own size, and their defects not to be
seen but through a magnifying glass, where we find by experiment that
the smoothest and whitest skins look rough, and coarse and ill-colored.

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

When dinner was done my master went out to his labors, and, as I could
discover by his voice and gestures, 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 feet wide, and above
two hundred high, lying in a bed twenty yards wide. My mistress was gone
about her household affairs, and had locked me in. The bed was eight
yards from the floor.

[Illustration: "I ... DREW MY HANGER TO DEFEND MYSELF." P. 18.]

Presently two rats crept up the curtains, and ran smelling backwards and
forwards on my bed. One of them came almost up to my face; whereupon I
rose in a fright, and drew out my hanger to defend myself. The horrible
animals had the boldness to attack me both sides, and one of them held
his forefeet at my collar; but I killed him 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 infallibly have 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 draw the carcase off the bed, where it still lay bleeding. I
observed it had yet some life; but, with a strong slash across the neck,
I thoroughly despatched it.

I hope the gentle reader will excuse me for dwelling on these and the
like particulars, which, however insignificant they may appear to
grovelling 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 teaming or
style. But the whole scene of this voyage made so strong an impression
on my mind, and is so deeply memory, that in committing it to paper I
did not omit one material circumstance. However, upon a strict review, I
blotted out several passages of less moment which were in my first copy,
for fear of being censured as tedious and trifling, whereof travellers
are often, perhaps not without justice, accused.



My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of toward parts
for her age, very dexterous at her needle, and skilful in dressing her
baby. Her mother and she contrived to fit up the baby's cradle for me
against night. The cradle was put into a small drawer cabinet, and the
drawer placed upon a hanging shelf for fear of the rats. This was my bed
all the time I stayed with these 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
school-mistress, 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 feet high, being little for her age.
She gave me the name of Grildrig, which the family took up, and
afterwards the whole kingdom. The word imports what the Latins call
_nanunculus_, the Italians _homunceletino_, and the English _mannikin_.
To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that country. We never parted
while I was there; I called her my Glumdalclitch, or little nurse; and
should be guilty of great ingratitude if I omitted this honorable
mention of her care and affection towards me, which I heartily wish it
lay in my power to requite as she deserves.

It now began to be known and talked of in the neighborhood, that my
master had found a strange animal in the field, about the bigness of a
_splacnuck_, but exactly shaped in every part like a human creature;
which it likewise imitated in all its actions, seemed to speak in a
little language of its own, had already learned several words of theirs,
went erect upon two legs, was tame and gentle, would come when it was
called, do whatever it was bid, had the finest limbs in the world, and a
complexion fairer than a nobleman's daughter of three years old. Another
farmer, who lived hard by, and was a particular friend of my master,
came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth of this story. I
was immediately produced and placed upon a table, where I walked as I
was commanded, drew my hanger, put it up again, made my reverence to my
master's guest, asked him in his own language how he did, and told him
_he was welcome_, just as my little nurse had instructed me. This man,
who was old and dim-sighted, put on his spectacles to behold me better,
at which I could not forbear laughing very heartily, for his eyes
appeared like the full moon shining into a chamber at two windows. Our
people, who discovered the cause of my mirth, bore me company in
laughing, at which the old fellow was fool enough to be angry and out of
countenance. He had the character of a great miser; and, to my
misfortune, he well deserved it by the cursed advice he gave my
master, to show me as a sight upon a market-day in the next town, which
was half an hour's riding, about two-and-twenty miles from our house. I
guessed there was some mischief contriving, when I observed my master
and his friend whispering long together, sometimes pointing at me; and
my fears made me fancy that I overheard and understood some of their

[Illustration: "I CALLED HER MY GLUMDALCLITCH." P. 22.]

But the next morning, Glumdalclitch, my little nurse, told me the whole
matter, which she had cunningly picked out from her mother. The poor
girl laid me on her bosom, and fell a-weeping with shame and grief. She
apprehended some mischief would happen to me from rude vulgar folks, who
might squeeze me to death, or break one of my limbs by taking me in
their hands. She had also observed how modest I was in my nature, how
nicely I regarded my honor, and what an indignity conceive it to be
exposed for money, as a public spectacle, to the meanest of the people.
She said her papa and mamma had promised that Grildrig should be hers,
but now she found they meant to serve her as they did last year when
they pretended to give her a lamb, and yet as soon as it was fat sold it
to a butcher. For my own part I may truly affirm that I was less
concerned than my nurse. I had a strong hope, which left me, that I
should one day recover my liberty; to the ignominy of being carried
about for a monster, I considered myself to be a perfect stranger in the
country, and that such a misfortune could never be charged upon me as a
reproach if ever I should return to England; since the king of Great
Britain himself, in my condition, must have undergone the same distress.

My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a box
the next market-day, to the neighboring town, and took along with him
his little daughter, my nurse, upon a pillion[48] behind him. The box
was close on every side, with a little door for me to go in and out, and
a few gimlet holes to let in air. The girl had been so careful as to put
the quilt of her baby's bed into it, for me to lie down on. However, I
was terribly shaken and discomposed in this journey, though it were but
of half an hour. For the horse went about forty feet at every step, and
trotted so high that the agitation was equal to the rising and falling
of a ship in a great storm, but much more frequent; our journey was
somewhat farther than from London to St. Alban's. My master alighted at
an inn which he used to frequent; and after consulting a while with the
innkeeper and making some necessary preparations, he hired the
_grultrud_, or crier, to give notice through the town, of a strange
creature to be seen at the sign of the Green Eagle, not so big as a
_splacnuck_ (an animal in that country, very finely shaped, about six
feet long), and in every part of the body resembling a human creature,
could speak several words, and perform a hundred diverting tricks.

I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which might be
near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood on a low stool
close to the table, to take care of me, and direct what I should do. My
master, to avoid a crowd, would suffer only thirty people at a time to
see me. I walked about on the table as the girl commanded. She asked me
questions, as far as she knew my understanding of the language reached,
and I answered them as loud as I could. I turned about several times to
the company, paid my humble respects, said they were welcome, and used
some other speeches I had been taught. I took a thimble filled with
liquor, which Glumdalclitch had given me for a cup, and drank their
health. I drew out my hanger, and flourished with it, after the manner
of fencers in England. My nurse gave me part of a straw, which I
exercised as a pike, having learnt the art in my youth. I was that day
shown to twelve sets of company, and as often forced to act over again
the same fopperies, till I was half dead with weariness and vexation.
For those who had seen me made such wonderful reports, that the people
were ready to break down the doors to come in.

My master, for his own interest, would not suffer any one to touch me
except my nurse, and, to prevent danger, benches were set round the
table at such a distance as to put me out of everybody's reach. However,
an unlucky school-boy aimed a hazel-nut directly at my head, which very
narrowly missed me: otherwise, it came with so much violence, that it
would have infallibly knocked out my brains, for it was almost as large
as a small pumpion,[49] but I had the satisfaction to see the young
rogue well beaten, and turned out of the room.

P. 26.]

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

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

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


On the twenty-sixth of October we arrived at the metropolis, called in
their language, _Lorbrulgrud_, or Pride of the Universe. My master took
a lodging in the principal street of the city, not far from the royal
palace, and put out bills in the usual form, containing an exact
description of my person and parts.[50] He hired a large room between
three and four hundred feet wide. He provided a table sixty feet in
diameter, upon which I was to act my part, and palisadoed it round three
feet from the edge, and as many high, to prevent my falling over. I was
shown ten times a day, to the wonder and satisfaction of all people. I
could now speak the language tolerably well, and perfectly understood
every word that was spoken to me. Besides, I had learned their alphabet,
and could make a shift to explain a sentence here and there; for
Glumdalclitch had been my instructor while we were at home, and at
leisure hours during our journey. She carried a little book in her
pocket, not much larger than a Sanson's Atlas;[51] it was a common
treatise for the use of young girls, giving a short account of their
religion; out of this she taught me my letters, and interpreted the



The frequent labors I underwent every day, made in a few weeks a very
considerable change in my health; the more my master got by me, the more
insatiable he grew. I had quite lost my stomach, and was almost reduced
to a skeleton. The farmer observed it, and, concluding I must soon die,
resolved to make as good a hand of me[52] as he could. While he was thus
reasoning and resolving with himself, a _slardral_, or gentleman-usher,
came from court, commanding my master to carry me immediately thither,
for the diversion of the queen and her ladies. Some of the latter had
already been to see me, and reported strange things of my beauty,
behavior, and good sense. Her majesty, and those who attended her, were
beyond measure delighted with my demeanor. I fell on my knees and begged
the honor of kissing her imperial foot; but this gracious princess held
out her little finger towards me, after I was set on a table, which I
embraced in both my arms, and put the tip of it with the utmost respect
to my lip.

She made me some general questions about my country, and my travels,
which I answered as distinctly, and in as few words, as I could. She
asked whether I would be content to live at court. I bowed down to the
board of the table, and humbly answered that I was my master's slave;
but if I were at my own disposal, I should be proud to devote my life to
her majesty's service. She then asked my master whether he were willing
to sell me at a good price. He, who apprehended I could not live a
month, was ready enough to part with me, and demanded a thousand pieces
of gold, which were ordered him on the spot, each piece being the
bigness of eight hundred moidores[53]; but, for the proportion of all
things between that country and Europe, and the high price of gold among
them, was hardly so great a sum as a thousand guineas[54] would be in
England. I then said to the queen, since I was now her majesty's most
humble creature and vassal, I must beg the favor, that Glumdalclitch,
who had always attended me with so much care and kindness, and
understood to do it so well, might be admitted into her service, and
continue to be my nurse and instructor.

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

P. 32.]

The queen observed my coldness, and, when the farmer was gone out of
the apartment, asked me the reason. I made bold to tell her majesty
that I owed no other obligation to my late master, than his not
dashing out the brains of a poor harmless creature, found by chance in
his field; which obligation was amply recompensed by the gain he had
made in showing me through half the kingdom, and the price he had now
sold me for. That the life I had since led was laborious enough to
kill an animal of ten times my strength. That my health was much
impaired by the continual drudgery of entertaining the rabble every
hour of the day, and that, if my master had not thought my life in
danger, her majesty would not have got so cheap a bargain. But as I
was out of all fear of being ill-treated under the protection of so
great and good an empress, the ornament of nature, the darling of the
world, the delight of her subjects, the phoenix[55] of the creation;
so, I hoped my late master's apprehensions would appear to be
groundless, for I already found my spirits to revive, by the influence
of her most august presence.

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

The queen, giving great allowance for my defectiveness in speaking, was,
however, surprised at so much wit and good sense in so diminutive an

[Illustration: "SHE ... CARRIED ME TO THE KING." P. 36.]

She took me in her own hand, and carried me to the king, who was then
retired to his cabinet.[56] His majesty, a prince of much gravity and
austere countenance, not well observing my shape at first view, asked
the queen, after a cold manner, how long it was since she grew fond of a
_splacnuck_; for such it seems he took me to be, as I lay upon my breast
in her majesty's right hand. But this princess, who hath an infinite
deal of wit and humor, set me gently on my feet upon the scrutoire,[57]
and commanded me to give his majesty an account of myself, which I did
in a very few words; and Glumdalclitch, who attended at the
cabinet-door, and could not endure I should be out of her sight, being
admitted, confirmed all that had passed from my arrival at her father's

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

His majesty sent for three great scholars, who were then in their weekly
waiting[58] according to the custom in that country. These gentlemen,
after they had a while examined my shape with much nicety, were of
different opinions concerning me. They all agreed that I could not be
produced according to the regular laws of nature, because I was not
framed with a capacity of preserving my life, either by swiftness or
climbing of trees, or digging holes in the earth. They observed by my
teeth, which they viewed with great exactness, that I was a carnivorous
animal; yet most quadrupeds being an overmatch for me, and field-mice,
with some others, too nimble, they could not imagine how I should be
able to support myself, unless I fed upon snails and other insects,
which they offered, by many learned arguments, to evince that I could
not possibly do. They would not allow me to be a dwarf, because my
littleness was beyond all degrees of comparison; for the queen's
favorite dwarf, the smallest ever known in that kingdom, was nearly
thirty feet high. After much debate, they concluded unanimously that I
was only _relplum scalcath_, which is interpreted literally, _lusus
naturae_;[59] a determination exactly agreeable to the modern philosophy
of Europe: whose professors, disdaining the old evasion of occult
causes, whereby the followers of Aristotle endeavored in vain to
disguise their ignorance, have invented this wonderful solution of all
difficulties, to the unspeakable advancement of human knowledge.

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

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

It is the custom that every Wednesday (which, as I have before observed,
is their Sabbath) the king and queen, with the royal issue of both sexes
dine together in the apartment of his majesty, to whom I was now become
a great favorite; and, at these times, my little chair and table were
placed at his left hand, before one of the salt-cellars. This prince
took a pleasure in conversing with me, inquiring into the manners,
religion, taws, government, and learning of Europe; wherein I gave him
the best account I was able. His apprehension was so clear, and his
judgment so exact, that he made very wise reflections and observations
upon all I said. But I confess that after I had been a little too
copious in talking of my own beloved country, of our trade, and wars by
sea and land, of our schisms in religion, and parties in the state; the
prejudices of his education prevailed so far that he could not forbear
taking me up in his right hand, and, stroking me gently with the other,
after a hearty fit of laughing, asked me, whether I was a whig or a
tory? Then turning to his first minister, who waited behind him with a
white staff, near as tall as the mainmast of the "Royal Sovereign[60],"
he observed how contemptible a thing was human grandeur, which could be
mimicked by such diminutive insects as I: and yet, says he, I dare
engage these creatures have their titles and distinctions of honor; they
contrive little nests and burrows, that they call houses and cities;
they make a figure in dress and equipage; they love, they fight, they
dispute, they cheat, they betray. And thus he continued on, while my
color came and went several times with indignation, to hear our noble
country, the mistress of arts and arms, the scourge of France, the
arbitress of Europe, the seat of virtue, piety, honor, and truth, the
pride and envy of the world, so contemptuously treated.

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

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

P. 42.]

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

I was frequently rallied by the queen upon account of my fearfulness;
and she used to ask me, whether the people of my country were as great
cowards as myself? The occasion was this; the kingdom is much pestered
with flies in summer; and these odious insects, each of them as big as a
Dunstable lark,[61] hardly gave me any rest, while I sat at dinner, with
their continual humming and buzzing about my ears. They would sometimes
alight upon my victuals. Sometimes they would fix upon my nose or
forehead, where they stung me to the quick, and I had much ado to defend
myself against these detestable animals, and could not forbear starting
when they came on my face. It was the common practice of the dwarf, to
catch a number of these insects in his hand, as school-boys do among us,
and let them out suddenly under my nose, on purpose to frighten me, and
divert the queen. My remedy was, to cut them in pieces with my knife, as
they flew in the air, wherein my dexterity was much admired.


I remember, one morning, when Glumdalclitch had set me in my box upon a
window, as she usually did in fair days, to give me air (for I durst not
venture to let the box be hung on a nail out of the window, as we do
with cages in England) after I had lifted up one of my sashes, and sat
down at my table to eat a piece of sweet-cake for my breakfast, above
twenty wasps, allured by the smell, came flying into the room, humming
louder than the drones[62] of as many bag-pipes. Some of them seized my
cake, and carried it piece-meal away; others flew about my head and
face, confounding me with the noise, and putting me in the utmost
terror of their stings. However, I had the courage to rise and draw my
hanger, and attack them in the air. I despatched four of them, but the
rest got away, and I presently shut my window. These creatures were as
large as partridges; I took out their stings, found them an inch and a
half long, and as sharp as needles. I carefully preserved them all, and
having since shown them, with some other curiosities, in several parts
of Europe, upon my return to England, I gave three of them to Gresham
College,[63] and kept the fourth for myself.




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

The kingdom is a peninsula, terminated to the northeast by a ridge of
mountains, thirty miles high, which are altogether impassable, by reason
of the volcanoes upon the tops: neither do the most learned know what
sort of mortals inhabit beyond those mountains, or whether they be
inhabited at all. On the three other sides it is bounded by the ocean.
There is not one sea-port in the whole kingdom, and those parts of the
coasts into which the rivers issue, are so full of pointed rocks, and
the sea generally so rough, that there is no venturing with the smallest
of their boats; so that these people are wholly excluded from any
commerce with the rest of the world.

But the large rivers are full of vessels, and abound with excellent
fish, for they seldom get any from the sea, because the sea-fish are of
the same size with those in Europe, and consequently not worth catching,
whereby it is manifest, that nature, in the production of plants and
animals of so extraordinary a bulk, is wholly confined to this
continent, of which I leave the reasons to be determined by
philosophers. However, now and then, they take a whale, that happens to
be dashed against the rocks, which the common people feed on heartily.
These whales I have known so large, that a man could hardly carry one
upon his shoulders; and sometimes, for curiosity, they are brought in
hampers to Lorbrulgrud: I saw one of them in a dish at the king's table,
which passed for a rarity, but I did not observe he was fond of it; for
I think indeed the bigness disgusted him, although I have seen one
somewhat larger in Greenland.

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

The king's palace is no regular edifice, but a heap of buildings, about
seven miles round: the chief rooms are generally two hundred and forty
feet high, and broad and long in proportion. A coach was allowed to
Glumdalclitch and me, wherein her governess frequently took her out to
see the town, or go among the shops; and I was always of the party,
carried in my box; although the girl, at my own desire, would often take
me out, and hold me in her hand, that I might more conveniently view the
houses and the people as we passed along the streets, I reckoned our
coach to be about the square of Westminster-hall, but not altogether so
high: however, I cannot be very exact.

Besides the large box in which I was usually carried, the queen ordered
a smaller one to be made for me, of about twelve feet square and ten
high, for the convenience of travelling, because the other was somewhat
too large for Glumdalclitch's lap, and cumbersome in the coach. It was
made by the same artist, whom I directed in the whole contrivance. This
travelling closet was an exact square,[64] with a window in the middle
of three of the squares, and each window was latticed with iron wire on
the outside, to prevent accidents in long journeys. On the fourth side,
which had no window, two strong staples were fixed, through which the
person who carried me, when I had a mind to be on horseback, put a
leathern belt, and buckled it about his waist. This was always the
office of some grave, trusty servant, in whom I could confide, whether I
attended the king and queen in their progresses, or were disposed to see
the gardens, or pay a visit to some great lady or minister of state in
the court; for I soon began to be known and esteemed among the greatest
officers, I suppose more on account of their majesties' favor than any
merit of my own.

In journeys, when I was weary of the coach, a servant on horseback would
buckle on my box, and place it upon a cushion before him; and there I
had a full prospect of the country on three sides from my three windows.
I had in this closet a field-bed, and a hammock hung from the ceiling,
two chairs and a table, neatly screwed to the floor, to prevent being
tossed about by the agitation of the horse or the coach. And having been
long used to sea voyages, those motions, although sometimes very
violent, did not much discompose me.

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

I was very desirous to see the chief temple, and particularly the tower
belonging to it, which is reckoned the highest in the kingdom.
Accordingly, one day my nurse carried me thither, but I must truly say
I came back disappointed; for the height is not above three thousand
feet, reckoning from the ground to the highest pinnacle top; which,
allowing for the difference between the size of those people and us in
Europe, is no great matter for admiration, nor at all equal in
proportion (if I rightly remember) to Salisbury steeple.[65] But, not to
detract from a nation, to which during my life I shall acknowledge
myself extremely obliged, it must be allowed that whatever this famous
tower wants in height is amply made up in beauty and strength. For the
walls are nearly a hundred feet thick, built of hewn stone, whereof each
is about forty feet square, and adorned on all sides with statues of
gods and emperors, cut in marble larger than life, placed in their
several niches. I measured a little finger which had fallen down from
one of these statues, and lay unperceived among some rubbish, and found
it exactly four feet and an inch in length. Glumdalclitch wrapped it up
in her handkerchief and carried it home in her pocket, to keep among
other trinkets, of which the girl was very fond, as children at her age
usually are.

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

His majesty seldom keeps above six hundred horses in his stables: they
are generally from fifty-four to sixty feet high. But when he goes
abroad on solemn days, he is attended for state by a militia guard of
five hundred horse, which indeed I thought was the most splendid sight
that could be ever beheld, till I saw part of his army in battalia,[66]
whereof I shall find another occasion to speak.




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 my smaller box, and would sometimes take me out
of it, and hold me in her hand, or set me down to walk. I remember,
before the dwarf left the queen, he followed us one day into those
gardens, and my nurse having set me down, he and I being close together,
near some dwarf apple-trees, I must needs show my wit by a silly
allusion between him and the trees, which happens to hold in their
language, as it doth in ours. Whereupon the malicious rogue, watching
his opportunity, when I was walking under one of them, shook it directly
over my head; by which a dozen apples, each of them near as large as a
Bristol barrel, came tumbling about my ears; one of them hit me on the
back as I chanced to stoop, and knocked me down flat on my face; but I
received no other hurt; and the dwarf was pardoned at my desire, because
I had given the provocation.


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

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

This accident absolutely determined Glumdalclitch never to trust me
abroad for the future out of her sight. I had been long afraid of this
resolution, and therefore concealed from her some little unlucky
adventures that happened in those times when I was left by myself. Once
a kite, hovering over the garden, made a stoop at me; and if I had not
resolutely drawn my hanger, and run under a thick espalier,[67] he would
have certainly carried me away in his talons. Another time, walking to
the top of a fresh mole-hill, I fell to my neck in the hole through
which that animal had cast up the earth. I likewise broke my right shin
against the shell of a snail, which I happened to stumble over as I was
walking alone and thinking on poor England.

I cannot tell whether I were more pleased or mortified to observe in
those solitary walks that the smaller birds did not appear to be at all
afraid of me, but would hop about within a yard's distance, looking for
worms and other food, with as much indifference and security as if no
creature at all were near them. I remember a thrush had the confidence
to snatch out of my hand with his bill a 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 pick my fingers, which I durst not venture
within their reach; and then they would hop back unconcerned to hunt for
worms and 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 of letting him
go. But I was soon relieved by one of our servants, who wrung off the
bird's neck, and I had him next day for dinner by the queen's command.
This linnet, as near as I can remember, seemed to be somewhat larger
than an English swan.

The queen, who often used to hear me talk of my sea-voyages, and took
all occasions to divert me when I was melancholy, asked me, whether I
understood how to handle a sail or an oar, and whether a little exercise
of rowing might not be convenient for my health. I answered, that I
understood both very well; for, although nay proper employment had been
to be surgeon or doctor to the ship, yet often, upon a pinch, I was
forced to work like a common mariner. But I could not see how this could
be done in their country, where the smallest wherry was equal to a
first-rate man-of-war among us, and such a boat as I could manage would
never live in any of their rivers.

ME." P. 57.]

Her majesty said, if I could contrive a boat, her own joiner should make
it, and she would provide a place for me to sail in. The fellow was an
ingenious workman, and, by my instructions, in ten days finished a
pleasure-boat, with all its tackling, able conveniently to hold eight
Europeans. When it was finished, the queen was so delighted that she
ran with it in her lap to the king, who ordered it to be put in a
cistern full of water, with me in it, by way of trial; where I could not
manage my two sculls,[68] or little oars, for want of room.

But the queen had before contrived another project. She ordered the
joiner to make a wooden trough of three hundred feet long, fifty broad,
and eight deep; which, being well pitched, to prevent leaking, was
placed on the floor along the wall in an outer room of the palace. It
had a cock near the bottom to let out the water, when it began to grow
stale; and two servants could easily fill it in half-an-hour. Here I
often used to row for my own diversion, as well as that of the queen and
her ladies, who thought themselves well entertained with my skill and
agility. Sometimes I would put up my sail, and then my business was only
to steer, while the ladies gave me a gale with their fans; and when they
were weary, some of their pages would blow my sail forward with their
breath, while I showed my art by steering starboard[69] or larboard, as
I pleased. When I had done, Glumdalclitch always carried back my boat,
into her closet, and hung it oh a nail to dry.

In this exercise I once met an accident, which had like to have cost me
my life; for one of the pages having put my boat into the trough, the
governess, who attended Glumdalclitch, very officiously lifted me up to
place me in the boat, but I happened to slip through her fingers, and
should infallibly have fallen down forty feet upon the floor, if, by the
luckiest chance in the world, I had not been stopped by a
corking-pin[70] that stuck in the good gentlewoman's stomacher;[71] the
head of the pin passed between my shirt and the waistband of my
breeches, and thus I held by the middle in the air, till Glumdalclitch
ran to my relief.

[Illustration: "GAVE ME A GALE WITH THEIR FANS." P. 60.]

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

But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom was from a
monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen. Glumdalclitch
had locked the up in her closet, while she went somewhere upon business
or a visit. The weather being very warm the closet window was left open,
as well as the windows and the door of my bigger box, in which I usually
lived, because of its largeness and conveniency. As I sat quietly
meditating at my table, I heard something bounce in at the closet
window, and skip about from one side to the other; whereat, although I
was much alarmed, yet I ventured to look out, but not stirring from my
seat; and then I saw this frolicsome animal frisking and leaping up and
down, till at last he came to my box, which he seemed to view with
great pleasure and curiosity, peeping in at the door and every window.


I retreated to the farther corner of my room or box; but the monkey
looking in at every side, put me into such a fright that I wanted
presence of mind to conceal myself under the bed, as I might easily have
done. After some time spent in peeping, grinning, and chattering, he at
last espied me, and reaching one of his paws in at the door, as a cat
does when she plays with a mouse, although I often shifted place to
avoid him, he at length seized the lappet of my coat (which, being made
of that country silk, was very thick and strong), and dragged me out. He
took me out in his right fore-foot, and held me as a nurse does a child,
just as I have seen the same sort of creature do with a kitten in
Europe: and, when I offered to struggle, he squeezed me so hard that I
thought it more prudent to submit. I have good reason to believe that he
took me for a young one of his own species, by his often stroking my
face very gently with his other paw.

In these diversions he was interrupted by a noise at the closet door, as
if somebody were opening it; whereupon he suddenly leaped up to the
window, at which he had come in, and thence upon the leads and gutters
walking upon three legs, and holding me in the fourth, till he clambered
up to a roof that was next to ours. I heard Glumdalclitch give a shriek
at the moment he was carrying me out. The poor girl was almost
distracted. That quarter of the palace was all in an uproar; the
servants ran for ladders; the monkey was seen by hundreds in the court,
sitting upon the ridge of a building, holding me like a baby in one of
his fore-paws: whereat many of the rabble below could not forbear
laughing; neither do I think they justly ought to be blamed, for without
question, the sight was ridiculous enough to everybody but myself. Some
of the people threw up stones, hoping to drive the monkey down; but this
was strictly forbidden, or else very probably my brains had been dashed

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

I was so weak and bruised in the sides with the squeezes given me by
this odious animal, that I was forced to keep my bed a fortnight. The
king, queen, and all the court, sent every day to inquire after my
health, and her majesty made me several visits during my sickness. The
monkey was killed, and an order made that no such animal should be kept
about the palace.

When I attended the king, after my recovery, to return him thanks for
his favors, he was pleased to rally me a good deal upon this adventure.
He asked me what my thoughts and speculations were while I lay in the
monkey's paw. He desired to know what I would have done upon such an
occasion in my own country. I told his majesty that in Europe we had no
monkeys, except such as were brought for curiosities from other places,
and so small, that I could deal with a dozen of them together if they
presumed to attack me. And as for that monstrous animal with whom I was
so lately engaged (it was, indeed, as large as an elephant) if my fears
had suffered me to think so far as to make use of my hanger (looking
fiercely, and clapping my hand upon the hilt, as I spoke) when he poked
his paw into my chamber, perhaps I should have given him such a wound as
would have made him glad to withdraw it with more haste than he put it
in. This I delivered in a firm tone, like a person who was jealous lest
his courage should be called in question.

However, my speech produced nothing else besides a loud laughter, which
all the respect due to his majesty from those about him could not make
them contain. This made me reflect how vain an attempt it is for a man
to endeavor to do himself honor among those who are out of all degree of
equality or comparison with him. And yet I have seen the moral of my own
behavior very frequent in England since my return, where a little
contemptible varlet,[72] without the least title to birth, person, wit,
or common-sense, shall presume to look with importance, and put himself
upon a foot with the greatest persons of the kingdom.

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



I used to attend the king's levee[73] once or twice a week, and had
often seen him under the barber's hand, which indeed was at first very
terrible to behold; for the razor was almost twice as long as an
ordinary scythe. His majesty, according to the custom of the country,
was only shaved twice a week. I once prevailed on the barber to give me
some of the suds or lather, out of which I picked forty or fifty of the
strongest stumps of hair, I then took a piece of fine wood and cut it
like the back of a comb, making several holes in it at equal distance
with as small a needle as I could get from Glumdalclitch. I fixed in the
stumps so artificially, scraping and sloping them with my knife towards
the points, that I made a very tolerable comb; which was a seasonable
supply, my own being so much broken in the teeth that it was almost
useless: neither did I know any artist in that country so nice and exact
as would undertake to make me another.

And this puts me in mind of an amusement wherein I spent many of my
leisure hours. I desired the queen's woman to save for me the combings
of her majesty's hair, whereof in time I got a good quantity; and
consulting with my friend the cabinet-maker, who had received general
orders to do little jobs for me, I directed him to make two
chair-frames, no larger than those I had in my box, and then to bore
little holes with a fine awl round those parts where I designed the
backs and seats; through these holes I wove the strongest hairs I could
pick out, just after the manner of cane chairs in England. When they
were finished I made a present of them to her majesty, who kept them in
her cabinet, and used to shew them for curiosities, as indeed they were
the wonder of every one that beheld them. Of these hairs (as I had
always a mechanical genius) I likewise made a neat little purse, about
five feet long, with her majesty's name deciphered in gold letters,
which I gave to Glumdalclitch, by the queen's consent. To say the truth,
it was more for show than use, being not of strength to bear the weight
of the larger coins, and therefore she kept nothing in it, but some
little coins that girls are fond of.

The king, who delighted in music, had frequent concerts at court, to
which I was sometimes carried, and set in my box on a table to hear
them; but the noise was so great that I could hardly distinguish the
tunes. I am confident that all the drums and trumpets of a royal army
beating and sounding together just at your ears, could not equal it. My
practice was to have my box removed from the place where the performers
sat, as far as I could, then to shut the doors and windows of it, and
draw the window-curtains, after which I found their music not


I had learnt in my youth to play a little upon the spinet.[74]
Glumdalclitch kept one in her chamber, and a master attended twice a
week to teach her. I called it a spinet, because it somewhat resembled
that instrument, and was played upon in the same manner.

A fancy came into my head that I would entertain the king and queen
with an English tune upon this instrument. But this appeared extremely
difficult; for the spinet was nearly sixty feet long, each key being
almost a foot wide, so that with my arms extended I could not reach to
above five keys, and to press them down required a good smart stroke
with my fist, which would be too great a labor, and to no purpose. The
method I contrived was this: I prepared two round sticks, about the
bigness of common cudgels; they were thicker at one end than the other,
and I covered the thicker ends with a piece of mouse's skin, that by
rapping on them I might neither damage the tops of the keys nor
interrupt the sound. Before the spinet a bench was placed about four
feet below the keys, and I was put upon the bench. I ran sideling upon
it that way and this as fast as I could, banging the proper keys with my
two sticks, and made a shift to play a jig to the great satisfaction of
both their majesties; but it was the most violent exercise I ever
underwent, and yet I could not strike above sixteen keys, nor
consequently play the bass and treble together as other artists do,
which was a great disadvantage to my performance.

The king, who, as I before observed, was a prince of excellent
understanding, would frequently order that I should be brought in my
box, and set upon the table in his closet.[75] He would then command me
to bring one of my chairs out of the box, and sit down within three
yards distance upon the top of the cabinet, which brought me almost to a
level with his face. In this manner I had several conversations with
him. I one day took the freedom to tell his majesty that the contempt
he discovered towards Europe and the rest of the world did not seem
answerable to those excellent qualities of mind that he was master of;
that reason did not extend itself with the bulk of the body; on the
contrary, we observed in our country that the tallest persons were
usually least provided with it. That, among other animals, bees and ants
had the reputation of more industry, art, and sagacity than many of the
larger kinds; and that, as inconsiderable as he took me to be, I hoped I
might live to do his majesty some signal[76] service. The king heard me
with attention, and began to conceive a much better opinion of me than
he had ever before. He desired I would give him as exact an account of
the government of England as I possibly could because, as fond as
princes commonly are of their own customs (for he conjectured of other
monarchs by my former discourses), he should be glad to hear of anything
that might deserve imitation.

Imagine with thyself, courteous reader, how often I then wished for the
tongue of Demosthenes or Cicero, that might have enabled me to celebrate
the praise of my own dear native country, in a style equal to its merits
and felicity.


I began my discourse by informing his majesty that our dominions
consisted of two islands, which composed three mighty kingdoms, under
one sovereign, besides our plantations in America. I dwelt long upon the
fertility of our soil and the temperature of our climate. I then spoke
at large upon the constitution of an English parliament, partly made up
of an illustrious body, called the House of Peers, persons of the
noblest blood and of the most ancient and ample patrimonies. I
described that extraordinary care always taken of their education in
arts and arms, to qualify them for being counsellors both to the king
and kingdom; to have a share in the legislature; to be members of the
highest court of judicature, from whence there could be no appeal; and
to be champions always ready for the defence of their prince and
country, by their valor, conduct, and fidelity. That these were the
ornament and bulwark of the kingdom, worthy followers of their most
renowned ancestors, whose honor had been the reward of their virtue,
from which their posterity were never once known to degenerate. To these
were joined several holy persons, as part of that assembly, under the
title of bishops, whose peculiar business it is to take care of
religion, and those who instruct the people therein. These were searched
and sought out through the whole nation, by the prince and his wisest
counsellors, among such of the priesthood as were most deservedly
distinguished by the sanctity of their lives and the depth of their
erudition, who were indeed the spiritual fathers of the clergy and the

That the other part of the parliament consisted of an assembly, called
the House of Commons, who were all principal gentlemen, _freely_ picked
and culled out by the people themselves, for their great abilities and
love of their country, to represent the wisdom of the whole nation. And
that these two bodies made up the most august assembly in Europe, to
whom, in conjunction with the prince, the whole legislature is

I then descended to the courts of justice, over which the judges, those
venerable sages and interpreters of the law, presided, for determining
the disputed rights and properties of men, as well as for the punishment
of vice and protection of innocence. I mentioned the prudent management
of our treasury, the valor and achievements of our forces by sea and
land. I computed the number of our people, by reckoning how many
millions there might be of each religious sect or political party among
us. I did not omit even our sports and pastimes, or any other
particular, which I thought might redound to the honor of my country.
And I finished all with a brief historical account of affairs and events
in England for about a hundred years past.

This conversation was not ended under five audiences, each of several
hours; and the king heard the whole with great attention, frequently
taking notes of what I spoke, as well as memorandums of what questions
he intended to ask me.

When I had put an end to these long discourses, his majesty, in a sixth
audience, consulting his notes, proposed many doubts, queries, and
objections, upon every article. He asked what methods were used to
cultivate the minds and bodies of our young nobility, and in what kind
of business they commonly spent the first and teachable part of their
lives? What course was taken to supply that assembly when any noble
family became extinct? What qualifications were necessary in those who
are to be created new lords; whether the humor of the prince, a sum of
money to a court lady as a prime minister, or a design of strengthening
a party opposite to the public interest, ever happened to be motives in
those advancements? What share of knowledge these lords had in the laws
of their country, and how they came by it, so as to enable them to
decide the properties of their fellow-subjects in the last resort?
Whether they were always so free from avarice, partialities, or want,
that a bribe or some other sinister view could have no place among them?
Whether those holy lords I spoke of were always promoted to that rank
upon account of their knowledge in religious matters and the sanctity of
their lives; had never been compilers with the times while they were
common priests, or slavish prostitute chaplains to some noblemen, whose
opinions they continued servilely to follow, after they were admitted
into that assembly?

He then desired to know what arts were practised in electing those whom
I called commoners; whether a stranger, with a strong purse, might not
influence the vulgar voters to choose him before their own landlord, or
the most considerable gentleman in the neighborhood? How it came to pass
that people were so violently bent upon getting into this assembly,
which I allowed to be a great trouble and expense, often to the ruin of
their families, without any salary or pension: because this appeared
such an exalted strain of virtue and public spirit, that his majesty
seemed to doubt it might possibly not be always sincere; and he desired
to know whether such zealous gentlemen could have any views of refunding
themselves for the charges and trouble they were at, by sacrificing the
public good to the designs of a weak and vicious prince, in conjunction
with a corrupted ministry? He multiplied his questions, and sifted me
thoroughly upon every part of this head, proposing numberless inquiries
and objections, which I think it not prudent or convenient to repeat.

Upon what I said in relation to our courts of justice, his majesty
desired to be satisfied in several points; and this I was the better
able to do, having been formerly almost ruined by a long suit in
chancery,[77] which was decreed for me with costs. He asked what time
was usually spent in determining between right and wrong, and what
degree of expense? Whether advocates and orators had liberty to plead in
causes, manifestly known to be unjust, vexatious, or oppressive? Whether
party in religion or politics was observed to be of any weight in the
scale of justice? Whether those pleading orators were persons educated
in the general knowledge of equity, or only in provincial, national, and
other local customs? Whether they, or their judges, had any part in
penning those laws which they assumed the liberty of interpreting and
glossing[78] upon at their pleasure? Whether they had ever, at different
times, pleaded for or against the same cause, and cited precedents to
prove contrary opinions? Whether they were a rich or a poor corporation?
Whether they received any pecuniary reward for pleading or delivering
their opinions? And, particularly, whether they were admitted as members
in the lower senate?

He fell next upon the management of our treasury, and said he thought my
memory had failed me, because I computed our taxes at about five or six
millions a year, and, when I came to mention the issues, he found they
sometimes amounted to more than double; for the notes he had taken were
very particular in this point, because he hoped, as he told me, that the
knowledge of our conduct might be useful to him, and he could not be
deceived in his calculations. But if what I told him were true, he was
still at a loss how a kingdom could run out of its estate like a private
person. He asked me who were our creditors, and where we found to pay
them. He wondered to hear me talk of such chargeable and expensive wars;
that certainly we must be a quarrelsome people, or live among very bad
neighbors and that our generals must needs be richer than our kings. He
asked what business we had out of our own islands, unless upon the score
of trade or treaty, or to defend the coasts with our fleet. Above all,
he was amazed to hear me talk of a mercenary standing army in the midst
of peace and among a free people. He said if we were governed by our own
consent, in the persons of our representatives, he could not imagine of
whom we were afraid, or against whom we were to fight; and would hear my
opinion, whether a private man's house might not better be defended by
himself, his children, and family, than by half-a-dozen rascals, picked
up at a venture in the streets for small wages, who might get a hundred
times more by cutting their throats?

He laughed at my odd kind of arithmetic (as he was pleased to call it),
in reckoning the numbers of our people by a computation drawn from the
several sects among us, in religion and politics. He said, he knew no
reason why those who entertain opinions prejudicial to the public should
be obliged to change, or should not be obliged to conceal them. And as
it was tyranny in any government to require the first, so it was
weakness not to enforce the second: for a man may be allowed to keep
poisons in his closet, but not to vend them about for cordials.

He observed, that among the diversions of our nobility and gentry, I had
mentioned gaming: he desired to know at what age this entertainment was
usually taken up, and when it was laid down; how much of their time it
employed: whether it ever went so high as to affect their fortunes:
whether mean, vicious people, by their dexterity in that art, might not
arrive at great riches, and sometimes keep our very nobles in
dependence, as well as habituate them to vile companions, wholly take
them from the improvement of their minds, and force them, by the losses
they received, to learn and practise that infamous dexterity upon

He was perfectly astonished with the historical account I gave him of
our affairs during the last century, protesting it was only a heap of
conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments,
the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness,
cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, and ambition, could

His majesty, in another audience, was at the pains to recapitulate the
sum of all I had spoken; compared the questions he made with the answers
I had given; then taking me into his hands, and stroking me gently,
delivered himself in these words which I shall never forget, nor the
manner he spoke them in: "My little friend Grildrig, you have made a
most admirable panegyric upon your country; you have clearly proved that
ignorance, idleness, and vice are the proper ingredients for qualifying
a legislator; that laws are best explained, interpreted, and applied by
those whose interest and abilities lie in perverting, confounding, and
eluding them. I observe among you some lines of an institution, which in
its original might have been tolerable, but these half erased, and the
rest wholly blurred and blotted by corruptions. It doth not appear, from
all you have said, how any one perfection is required towards the
procurement of any one station among you; much less that men are
ennobled on account of their virtue, that priests are advanced for their
piety or learning, soldiers for their conduct or valor, judges for their
integrity, senators for the love of their country, or counsellors for
their wisdom. As for yourself, continued the king, who have spent the
greatest part of your life in travelling, I am well disposed to hope you
may hitherto have escaped many vices of your country. But by what I have
gathered from your own relation, and the answers I have with much pains
wrung and extorted from you, I cannot but conclude the bulk of your
natives to be the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that
nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth."




Nothing but an extreme love of truth could have hindered me from
concealing this part of my story. It was in vain to discover my
resentments, which were always turned into ridicule; and I was forced to
rest with patience, while my noble and beloved country was so
injuriously treated. I am as heartily sorry as any of my readers can
possibly be, that such an occasion was given: but this prince happened
to be so curious and inquisitive upon every particular, that it could
not consist either with gratitude or good manners, to refuse giving him
what satisfaction I was able. Yet this much I may be allowed to say, in
my own vindication, that I artfully eluded many of his questions, and
gave to every point a more favorable turn, by many degrees, than the
strictness of truth would allow. For I have always borne that laudable
partiality to my own country, which Dionysius Halicarnassensis[79] with
so much justice, recommends to an historian: I would hide the frailties
and deformities of my political mother, and place her virtues and
beauties in the most advantageous light. This was my sincere endeavor,
in those many discourses I had with that monarch, although it
unfortunately failed of success.

But great allowances should be given to a king who lives wholly secluded
from the rest of the world, and must therefore be altogether
unacquainted with the manners and customs that most prevail in other
nations: the want of which knowledge will ever produce many prejudices,
and a certain narrowness of thinking, from which we and the politer
countries of Europe are wholly exempted. And it would be hard indeed, if
so remote a prince's notions of virtue and vice were to be offered as a
standard for all mankind.

To confirm what I have now said, and farther to show the miserable
effects of a confined education, I shall here insert a passage which
will hardly obtain belief. In hopes to ingratiate myself farther into
his majesty's favor, I told him of an invention discovered between three
and four hundred years ago, to make a certain powder into a heap, on
which the smallest spark of fire falling would kindle the whole in a
moment, although it were as big as a mountain, and make it all fly up in
the air together with a noise and agitation greater than thunder. That a
proper quantity of this powder rammed into a hollow tube of brass or
iron, according to its bigness, would drive a ball of iron or lead with
such violence and speed as nothing was able to sustain its force. That
the largest balls thus discharged would not only destroy whole ranks of
an army at once, but batter the strongest walls to the ground, sink
down ships with a thousand men in each to the bottom of the sea; and,
when linked together by a chain, would cut through masts and rigging,
divide hundreds of bodies in the middle, and lay all waste before them.
That we often put this powder into large hollow balls of iron, and
discharged them by an engine into some city we were besieging, which
would rip up the pavements, tear the houses to pieces, burst and throw
splinters on every side, dashing out the brains of all who came near.
That I knew the ingredients very well, which were cheap and common; I
understood the manner of compounding them, and could direct his workman
how to make those tubes of a size proportionable to all other things in
his majesty's kingdom, and the largest need not to be above a hundred
feet long; twenty or thirty of which tubes, charged with the proper
quantity of powder and balls, would batter down the walls of the
strongest town in his dominions in a few hours, or destroy the whole
metropolis if ever it should pretend to dispute his absolute commands.
This I humbly offered to his majesty as a small tribute of
acknowledgment, in return for so many marks that I had received of his
royal favor and protection.

The king was struck with horror at the description I had given him of
those terrible engines, and the proposal I had made. He was amazed, how
so impotent and grovelling an insect as I (these were his expressions),
could entertain such inhuman ideas, and in so familiar a manner, as to
appear wholly unmoved at all the scenes of blood and desolation, which I
had painted, as the common effects of those destructive machines,
whereof, he said, some evil genius, enemy to mankind, must have been the
first contriver. As for himself, he protested, that although few things
delighted him so much as new discoveries in art or in nature, yet he
would rather lose half his kingdom than be privy to such a secret, which
he commanded me, as I valued my life, never to mention any more.

A strange effect of narrow principles and short views! that a prince
possessed of every quality which procures veneration, love, and esteem;
of strong parts, great wisdom, and profound learning, endowed with
admirable talents for government, and almost adored by his subjects,
should, from a nice unnecessary scruple, whereof in Europe we can have
no conception, let slip an opportunity put into his hands, that would
have made him absolute master of the lives, the liberties, and the
fortunes of his people. Neither do I say this with the least intention
to detract from the many virtues of that excellent king, whose character
I am sensible will on this account be very much lessened in the opinion
of an English reader; but I take this defect among them to have arisen
from their ignorance, by not having hitherto reduced politics into a
science, as the more acute wits of Europe have done. For I remember very
well, in a discourse one day with the king, when I happened to say there
were several thousand books among us, written upon the art of
government, it gave him (directly contrary to my intention) a very mean
opinion of our understandings. He professed both to abominate and
despise all mystery, refinement, and intrigue, either in a prince or a
minister. He could not tell what I meant by secrets of state, where an
enemy or some rival nation were not in the case. He confined the
knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds, to common sense and
reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and
criminal causes, with some other obvious topics, which are not worth
considering. And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two
ears of corn, or two blades of grass to grow upon a spot of ground,
where only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more
essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put

The learning of this people is very defective, consisting only in
morality, history, poetry, and mathematics, wherein they must be allowed
to excel. But the last of these is wholly applied to what may be useful
in life, to the improvement of agriculture, and all mechanical arts; so
that among us it would be little esteemed. And as to ideas, entities,
abstractions, and transcendentals,[80] I could never drive the least
conception into their heads.

No law of that country must exceed in words the number of letters in
their alphabet, which consists only in two-and-twenty. But indeed few of
them extend even to that length. They are expressed in the most plain
and simple terms, wherein those people are not mercurial[81] enough to
discover above one interpretation; and to write a comment upon any law
is a capital crime. As to the decision of civil causes, or proceedings
against criminals, their precedents are so few, that they have little
reason to boast of any extraordinary skill in either.

They have had the art of printing, as well as the Chinese, time out of
mind: but their libraries are not very large; for that of the king,
which is reckoned the largest, doth not amount to above a thousand
volumes, placed in a gallery of twelve hundred feet long, from whence I
had liberty to borrow what books I pleased. The queen's joiner had
contrived in one of Glumdalclitch's rooms, a kind of wooden machine,
five-and-twenty feet high, formed like a standing ladder; the steps were
each fifty feet long: it was indeed a movable pair of stairs, the lowest
end placed at ten feet distance from the wall of the chamber. The book I
had a mind to read was put up leaning against the wall: I first mounted
to the upper step of the ladder, and turning my face towards the book
began at the top of the page, and so walking to the right and left about
eight or ten paces, according to the length of the lines, till I had
gotten a little below the level of mine eyes, and then descending
gradually, till I came to the bottom: after which I mounted again, and
began the other page in the same manner, and so turned over the leaf,
which I could easily do with both my hands, for it was as thick and
stiff as a paste-board, and in the largest folios not above eighteen or
twenty feet long.

Their style is clear, masculine, and smooth, but not florid; for they
avoid nothing more than multiplying unnecessary words, or using various
expressions. I have perused many of their books, especially those in
history and morality. Among the rest, I was much diverted with a little
old treatise, which always lay in Glumdalclitch's bed-chamber, and
belonged to her governess, a grave elderly gentlewoman, who dealt in
writings of morality and devotion. The book treats of the weakness of
human kind, and is in little esteem, except among the women and the
vulgar. However, I was curious to see what an author of that country
could say upon such a subject.


This writer went through all the usual topics of European moralists,
showing how diminutive, contemptible, and helpless an animal was man in
his own nature; how unable to defend himself from inclemencies of the
air, or the fury of wild beasts; how much he was excelled by one
creature in strength, by another in speed, by a third in foresight, by a
fourth in industry. He added, that nature was degenerated in these
latter declining ages of the world, and could now produce only small
births, in comparison to those in ancient times. He said, it was very
reasonable to think, not only that the species of men were originally
much larger, but also, that there must have been giants in former ages;
which as it is asserted by history and tradition, so it hath been
confirmed by huge bones and skulls, casually dug up in several parts of
the kingdom, far exceeding the common dwindled race of man in our days.
He argued, that the very laws of nature absolutely required we should
have been made in the beginning of a size more large and robust, not so
liable to destruction, from every little accident, of a tile falling
from a house, or a stone cast from the hand of a boy, or being drowned
in a little brook. From this way of reasoning the author drew several
moral applications, useful in the conduct of life, but needless here to
repeat. For my own part, I could not avoid reflecting, how universally
this talent was spread, of drawing lectures in morality, or, indeed,
rather matter of discontent and repining, from the quarrels we raise
with nature. And I believe, upon a strict inquiry, those quarrels might
be shown as ill-grounded among us as they are among that people.

As to their military affairs, they boast that the king's army consists
of a hundred and seventy-six thousand foot, and thirty-two thousand
horse: if that may be called an army which is made up of tradesmen in
the several cities, and farmers in the country, whose commanders are
only the nobility and gentry, without pay or reward. They are indeed
perfect enough in their exercises, and under very good discipline,
wherein I saw no great merit; for how should it be otherwise, where
every farmer is under the command of his own landlord, and every citizen
under that of the principal men in his own city, chosen after the manner
of Venice, by ballot?

I have often seen the militia of Lorbrulgrud drawn out to exercise in a
great field, near the city, of twenty miles square. They were in all not
above twenty-five thousand foot, and six thousand horse: but it was
impossible for me to compute their number, considering the space of
ground they took up. A cavalier, mounted on a large steed, might be
about ninety feet high. I have seen this whole body of horse, upon a
word of command, draw their swords at once, and brandish them in the
air. Imagination can figure nothing so grand, so surprising, and so
astonishing! it looked as if ten thousand flashes of lightning were
darting at the same time from every quarter of the sky.

I was curious to know how this prince, to whose dominions there is no
access from any other country, came to think of armies, or to teach his
people the practice of military discipline. But I was soon informed,
both by conversation and reading their histories: for in the course of
many ages, they have been troubled with the same disease to which the
whole race of mankind is subject; the nobility often contending for
power, the people for liberty, and the king for absolute dominion. All
which, however, happily tempered by the laws of that kingdom, have been
sometimes violated by each of the three parties, and have more than once
occasioned civil wars, the last whereof was happily put an end to by
this prince's grandfather, in a general composition;[82] and the
militia, then settled with common consent, hath been ever since kept in
the strictest duty.




I had always a strong impulse that I should sometime recover my liberty,
though it was impossible to conjecture by what means, or to form any
project with the least hope of succeeding. The ship in which I sailed
was the first ever known to be driven within sight of the coast; and the
king had given strict orders, that if at any time another appeared, it
should be taken ashore, and with all its crew and passengers brought in
a tumbrel[84] to Lorbrulgrud. I was treated with much kindness: I was
the favorite of a great king and queen, and the delight of the whole
court; but it was upon such a footing as ill became the dignity of human
kind. I could never forget those domestic pledges I had left behind me.
I wanted to be among people with whom I could converse upon even terms,
and walk about the streets and fields, without being afraid of being
trod to death like a frog or a young puppy. But my deliverance came
sooner than I expected, and in a manner not very common: the whole story
and circumstances of which I shall faithfully relate.

[Illustration: "SHE HAD SOME FOREBODING." P. 94.]

I had now been two years in this country; and about the beginning of
the third, Glumdalclitch and I attended the king and queen in a progress
to the south coast of the kingdom. I was carried, as usual, in my
travelling-box, which, as I have already described, was a very
convenient closet of twelve feet wide. And I had ordered a hammock to be
fixed by silken ropes from the four corners at the top, to break the
jolts, when a servant carried me before him on horseback, as I sometimes
desired, and would often sleep in my hammock while we were upon the
road. On the roof of my closet, not directly over the middle of the
hammock, I ordered the joiner to cut out a hole of a foot square, to
give me air in hot weather as I slept, which hole I shut at pleasure
with a board that drew backwards and forwards through a groove.

When we came to our journey's end, the king thought proper to pass a few
days at a palace he hath near Flanflasnic, a city within eighteen
English of the sea-side Glumdalclitch and I were much fatigued, I had
gotten a small cold, but the poor girl was so ill as to be confined to
her chamber. I longed to see the ocean, which must be the only scene of
my escape, if ever it should happen I pretended to be worse than I
really was, and desired leave to take the fresh air of the sea with a
page, whom I was very fond of, and who had sometimes been trusted with
me. I shall never forget with what unwillingness Glumdalclitch
consented, nor the strict charge she gave the page[85] to be careful of
me, bursting at the same time into a flood of tears, as if she had some
foreboding of what was to happen.

The boy took me out in my box about half-an-hour's walk from the palace
towards the rocks on the sea-shore. I ordered him to set me down, and
lifting up one of my sashes, cast many a wistful melancholy look towards
the sea. I found myself not very well, and told the page that I had a
mind to take a nap in my hammock, which I hoped would do me good. I got
in, and the boy shut the window close down to keep out the cold. I soon
fell asleep, and all I can conjecture is, that while I slept, the page,
thinking no danger could happen, went among the rocks to look for birds'
eggs, having before observed him from my windows searching about, and
picking up one or two in the clefts. Be that as it will, I found myself
suddenly awaked with a violent pull upon the ring, which was fastened at
the top of my box for the conveniency of carriage. I felt my box raised
very high in the air, and then borne forward with prodigious speed. The
first jolt had like to have shaken me out of my hammock, but afterwards
the motion was easy enough. I called out several times, as loud as I
could raise my voice, but all to no purpose. I looked towards my
windows, and could see nothing but the clouds and sky. I heard a noise
just over my head like the clapping of wings, and then began to perceive
the woful condition I was in, that some eagle had got the ring of my box
in his beak, with an intent to let it fall on a rock like a tortoise in
a shell, and then pick out my body and devour it; for the sagacity and
smell of this bird enabled him to discover his quarry[86] at a great
distance, though better concealed than I could be within a two-inch


In a little time I observed the noise and flutter of wings to increase
very fast, and my box was tossed up and down like a sign in a windy day.
I heard several bangs or buffets, as I thought, given to the eagle (for
such I am certain it must have been, that held the ring of my box in his
beak), and then all on a sudden felt myself falling perpendicularly down
for above a minute, but with such incredible swiftness, that I almost
lost my breath. My fall was stopped by a terrible squash,[87] that
sounded louder to my ears than the cataract of Niagara; after which I
was quite in the dark for another minute, and then my box began to rise
so high that I could see light from the tops of the windows. I now
perceived I was fallen into the sea. My box, by the weight of my body,
the goods that were in, and the broad plates of iron fixed for strength
at the four corners of the top and bottom, floated about five feet deep
in the water. I did then, and do now suppose, that the eagle which flew
away with my box was pursued by two or three others, and forced to let
me drop while he defended himself against the rest, who hoped to share
in the prey. The plates of iron fastened at the bottom of the box (for
those were the strongest) preserved the balance while it fell, and
hindered it from being broken on the surface of the water. Every joint
of it was well grooved, and the door did not move on hinges, but up and
down like a sash, which kept my closet so tight that very little water
came in. I got with much difficulty out of my hammock, having first
ventured to draw back my slip-board on the roof already mentioned,
contrived on purpose to let in air, for want of which I found myself
almost stifled.

How often did I then wish myself with my dear Glumdalclitch, from whom
one single hour had so far divided me. And I may say with truth that in
the midst of my own misfortunes I could not forbear lamenting my poor
nurse, the grief she would suffer for my loss, the displeasure of the
queen, and the ruin of her fortune. Perhaps many travellers have not
been under greater difficulties and distress than I was at juncture,
expecting every moment to see my box dashed to pieces, or at least
overset by the first violent blast or rising wave. A breach in one
single pane of glass would have been immediate death; nor could anything
have preserved the windows but the strong lattice-wires placed on the
outside against accidents in travelling. I saw the water ooze in at
several crannies, although the leaks were not considerable, and I
endeavored to stop them as well as I could, I was not able to lift up
the roof of my closet, which otherwise I certainly should have done, and
sat on the top of it, where I might at least preserve myself some hours
longer, than by being shut up (as I may call it) in the hold. Or, if I
escaped these dangers for a day or two, what could I expect but a
miserable death of cold and hunger? I was four hours under these
circumstances, expecting, and indeed wishing, every moment to be my

I have already told the reader that there were two strong staples fixed
upon that side of my box which had no window, and into which the servant
who used to carry me on horseback would put a leathern belt, and buckle
it about his waist. Being in this disconsolate state, I heard, or at
least thought I heard, some kind of grating noise on that side of my box
where the staples were fixed, and soon after I began to fancy that the
box was pulled or towed along in the sea, for I now and then felt a sort
of tugging which made the waves rise near the tops of my windows,
leaving me almost in the dark. This gave me some faint hopes of relief,
although I was not able to imagine how it could be brought about. I
ventured to unscrew one of my chairs, which were always fastened to the
floor, and having made a hard shift to screw it down again directly
under the slipping board that I had lately opened, I mounted on the
chair, and putting my mouth as near as I could to the hole, I called for
help in a loud voice and in all the languages I understood. I then
fastened my handkerchief to a stick I usually carried, and thrusting it
up the hole, waved it several times in the air, that if any boat or ship
were near, the seamen might conjecture some unhappy mortal to be shut up
in the box.

I found no effect from all I could do, but plainly perceived my closet
to be moved along; and in the space of an hour or better, that side of
the box where the staples were and had no window struck against
something that was hard. I apprehended it to be a rock, and found myself
tossed more than ever. I plainly heard a noise upon the cover of my
closet like that of a cable, and the grating of it as it passed through
the ring. I then found myself hoisted up by degrees, at least three feet
higher than I was before. Whereupon I again thrust up my stick and
handkerchief, calling for help till I was almost hoarse. In return to
which I heard a great shout repeated three times, giving me such
transports of joy as are not to be conceived but by those who feel them.
I now heard a trampling over my head, and somebody calling through the
hole with a loud voice in the English tongue. "If there be anybody
below, let them speak." I answered I was an Englishman, drawn by ill
fortune into the greatest calamity that ever any creature underwent, and
begged by all that was moving to be delivered out of the dungeon I was
in. The voice replied I was safe, for my box was fastened to their ship;
and the carpenter should immediately come and saw a hole in the cover,
large enough to pull me out. I answered that was needless, and would
take up too much time, for there was no more to be done, but let one of
the crew put his finger into the ring, and take the box out of the sea
into the ship, and so into the captain's cabin. Some of them upon
hearing me talk so wildly thought I was mad; others laughed; for indeed
it never came into my head that I was now got among people of my own
stature and strength. The carpenter came, and in a few minutes sawed a
passage about four feet square, then let down a small ladder upon which
I mounted, and from thence was taken into the ship in a very weak


The sailors were all in amazement, and asked me a thousand questions,
which I had no inclination to answer. I was equally confounded at the
sight of so many pygmies, for such I took them to be, after having so
long accustomed mine eyes to the monstrous objects I had left. But the
captain, Mr. Thomas Wilcocks, an honest, worthy Shropshire man,
observing I was ready to faint, took me into his cabin, gave me a
cordial to comfort me, and made me turn in upon his own bed, advising me
to take a little rest, of which I had great need. Before I went to
sleep, I gave him to understand that I had some valuable furniture in my
box, too good to be lost; a fine hammock, a handsome two chairs, a
table, and a cabinet. That my closet was hung on all sides, or rather
quilted, with silk and cotton: that if he would let one of the crew
bring my closet into his cabin, I would open it there before him, and
show him my goods. The captain, hearing me utter these absurdities,
concluded I was raving: however (I suppose to pacify me), he promised
to give orders as I desired, and going upon deck, sent some of his men
down into my closet, from whence (as I afterwards found) they drew up
all my goods, and stripped off the quilting; but the chairs, cabinet,
and bedstead, being screwed to the floor, were much damaged by the
ignorance of the seamen, who tore them up by force. Then they knocked
off some of the boards for the use of the ship, and when they had got
all they had a mind for, let the hull drop into the sea, which, by
reason of so many breaches made in the bottom and sides, sunk to
rights.[88] And indeed I was glad not to have been a spectator of the
havoc they made; because I am confident it would have sensibly
touched me, by bringing former passages into my mind, which I had rather

I slept some hours, but was perpetually disturbed with dreams of the
place I had left, and the dangers I had escaped. However, upon waking, I
found myself much recovered. It was now about eight o'clock at night,
and the captain ordered supper immediately, thinking I had already
fasted too long. He entertained me with great kindness, observing me not
to look wildly, or talk inconsistently; and when we were left alone,
desired I would give him a relation of my travels, and by what accident
I came to be set adrift in that monstrous wooden chest.

He said that about twelve o'clock at noon, as he was looking through his
glass, he spied it at a distance, and thought it was a sail, which he
had a mind to make[89], being not much out of his course, in hopes of
buying some biscuit, his own beginning to fall short. That upon coming
nearer and finding his error, he sent out his long-boat to discover what
it was; that his men came back in a fright, swearing they had seen a
swimming-house. That he laughed at their folly, and went himself in the
boat, ordering his men to take a strong cable along with them. That the
weather being calm, he rowed round me several times, observed my windows
and wire-lattices that defenced them. That he discovered two staples
upon one side, which was all of boards, without any passage for light.
He then commanded his men to row up to that side, and fastening a cable
to one of the staples, ordered them to tow my chest (as they called it)
towards the ship. When it was there, he gave directions to fasten
another cable to the ring fixed in the cover, and to raise up my chest
with pulleys, which all the sailors were not able to do above two or
three feet. He said they saw my stick and handkerchief thrust out of the
hole, and concluded that some unhappy man must be shut up in the cavity.
I asked whether he or the crew had seen any prodigious birds in the air
about the time he first discovered me? to which he answered, that,
discoursing this matter with the sailors while I was asleep, one of them
said he had observed three eagles flying towards the north, but remarked
nothing of their being larger than the usual size, which I suppose must
be imputed to the great height they were at; and he could not guess the
reason of my question. I then asked the captain how far he reckoned we
might be from land?

He said, by the best computation he could make, we were at least a
hundred leagues. I assured him that he must be mistaken by almost half,
for I had not left the country from whence I came above two hours before
I dropt into the sea. Whereupon he began again to think that my brain
was disturbed, of which he gave me a hint, and advised me to go to bed
in a cabin he had provided. I assured him I was well refreshed with his
good entertainment and company, and as much in my senses as ever I was
in my life.

He then grew serious, and desired to ask me freely whether I were not
troubled in mind by the consciousness of some enormous crime, for which
I was punished by the command of some prince, by exposing me in that
chest, as great criminals in other countries have been forced to sea in
a leaky vessel without provisions; for although he should be sorry to
have taken so ill a man into his ship, yet he would engage his word to
set me safe ashore in the first port where we arrived. He added that his
suspicions were much increased by some very absurd speeches I had
delivered, at first to his sailors, and afterwards to himself, in
relation to my closet chest, as well as by my odd looks and behavior
while I was at supper.

I begged his patience to hear me tell my story, which I faithfully did,
from the last time I left England to the moment he first discovered me.
And as truth always forceth its way into rational minds, so this honest
worthy gentleman, who had some tincture of learning and very good sense,
was immediately convinced of my candor and veracity. But, farther to
confirm all I had said, I entreated him to give order that my cabinet
should be brought, of which I had the key in my pocket (for he had
already informed me how seamen disposed of my closet). I opened it in
his own presence, and showed him the small collection of rarities I made
in the country from whence I had been so strangely delivered. There was
the comb I had contrived out of the stumps of the king's beard. There
was a collection of needles and pins, from a foot to half a yard long;
four wasps' stings, like joiners' tacks; some combings of the queen's
hair; a gold ring, which one day she made me a present of in a most
obliging manner, taking it from her little finger and throwing it over
my head like a collar. I desired the captain would please to accept this
ring in return of his civilities, which he absolutely refused. Lastly I
desired him to see the breeches I had then on, which were made of a
mouse's skin.

I could force nothing upon him but a footman's tooth, which I observed
him to examine with great curiosity, and found he had a fancy for it. He
received it with abundance of thanks, more than such a trifle could
deserve. It was drawn by an unskilful surgeon, in a mistake, from one of
Glumdalclitch's men, who was affected with the toothache, but it was as
sound as any in his head. I got it cleaned, and put it in my cabinet. It
was about a foot long, and four inches in diameter.

The captain was very well satisfied with this plain relation I had given
him, and said he hoped when we returned to England I would oblige the
world by putting it on paper, and making it public. My answer was, that
I thought we were already overstocked with books of travels; that
nothing could now pass which was not extraordinary; wherein I doubted
some authors less consulted truth than their own vanity, or interest, or
the diversion of ignorant readers, that my story could contain little
besides common events, without those ornamental descriptions of strange
plants, trees, birds, and other animals; or of the barbarous customs and
idolatry of savage people, with which most writers abound. However, I
thanked him for his good opinion, and promised to take the matter into
my thoughts.

He said he wondered at one thing very much, which was, to hear me speak
so loud, asking me whether the king or queen of that country were thick
of hearing. I told him it was what I had been used to for above two
years past, and that I wondered as much at the voices of him and his
men, who seemed to me only to whisper, and yet I could hear them well
enough. But when I spoke in that country, it was like a man talking in
the street to another looking out from the top of a steeple, unless when
I was placed on a table, or held in any person's hand. I told him I had
likewise observed another thing, that when I first got into the ship,
and the sailors stood all about me, I thought they were the most
contemptible little creatures I had ever beheld. For indeed, while I was
in that prince's country, I could never endure to look in a glass, after
my eyes had been accustomed to such prodigious objects, because the
comparison gave me so despicable a conceit of myself. The captain said
that while we were at supper he observed me to look at everything with a
sort of wonder, and that I often seemed hardly able to contain my
laughter, which he knew not well how to take, but imputed it to some
disorder in my brain. I answered, it was very true, and I wondered how I
could forbear, when I saw his dishes of the size of a silver threepence,
a leg of pork hardly a mouthful, a cup not so big as a nut-shell, and so
I went on, describing the rest of his household stuff and provisions
after the same manner. For although the queen had ordered a little
equipage of all things necessary for me, while I was in her service,
yet my ideas were wholly taken up with what I saw on every side of me,
and I winked at my own littleness, as people do at their own faults. The
captain understood my raillery very well, and merrily replied that he
did not observe my stomach so good, although I had fasted all day; and,
continuing in his mirth, protested he would have gladly given a hundred
pounds to have seen my closet in the eagle's bill, and afterwards in its
fall from so great a height into the sea; which would certainly have
been a most astonishing object, worthy to have the description of it
transmitted to future ages: and the comparison of Phaeton[90] was so
obvious, that he could not forbear applying it, although I did not much
admire the conceit.


The captain having been at Tonquin, was, in his return to England,
driven northeastward, to the latitude of 44 degrees, and of longitude
143. But meeting a trade-wind two days after I came on board him, we
sailed southward a long time, and, coasting New Holland, kept our course
west-south-west, and then south-south-west, till we doubled the Cape of
Good Hope. Our voyage was very prosperous, but I shall not trouble the
reader with a journal of it. The captain called in at one or two ports,
and sent in his long-boat for provisions and fresh water, but I never
went out of the ship till we came into the Downs, which was on the third
day of June, 1706, about nine months after my escape. I offered to leave
pay goods in security for payment of my freight, but the captain
protested he would not receive one farthing. We took a kind leave of
each other, and I made him promise he would come to see me at my house
in Redriff. I hired a horse and guide for five shillings, which I
borrowed of the captain.

As I was on the road, observing the littleness of the houses--the trees,
the cattle, and the people, I began to think myself in Lilliput. I was
afraid of trampling on every traveller I met, and often called aloud to
have them stand out of the way, so that I had like to have gotten one or
two broken heads for my impertinence.

When I came to my own house, for which I was forced to inquire, one of
the servants opened the door, I bent down to go in (like a goose under a
gate), for fear of striking my head. My wife ran out to embrace me, but
I stooped lower than her knees, thinking she could otherwise never be
able to reach my mouth. My daughter kneeled to ask my blessing, but I
could not see her till she arose, having been so long used to stand with
my head and eyes erect to above sixty feet; and then I went to take her
up with one hand by the waist. I looked down upon the servants, and one
or two friends who were in the house, as if they had been pygmies, and I
a giant. I told my wife she had been too thrifty, for I found she had
starved herself and her daughter to nothing. In short, I behaved myself
so unaccountably, that they were all of the captain's opinion when he
first saw me, and concluded I had lost my wits. This I mention as an
instance of the great power of habit and prejudice.

In a little time, I and my family and friends came to a right
understanding: but my wife protested I should never go to sea any more;
although my evil destiny so ordered, that she had not power to hinder
me, as the reader may know hereafter. In the meantime I here conclude
the second part of my unfortunate voyages.



Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1667, and died in 1745.
His parents were English. His father died before he was born, and his
mother was supported on a slender pittance by his father's brother. He
was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and all through his early life
was dependent on the generosity of others. His college career was not
highly creditable, either from the point of view of manners, morals, or
learning. After leaving college, he travelled through England on foot,
and found employment with a relative of his mother's, Sir William
Temple, in whose house was a noble library; and for two years Swift made
up for some of his shortcomings by studying diligently therein. He went
to Oxford in 1692, took a degree and was ordained in 1694. He was given
a parish in Ireland, which he soon resigned, returning to the home of
Sir William Temple, where he remained until the death of the latter in

Temple left Swift a legacy, and confided to him the editing and
publishing of his works. This task completed, Swift went again to
Ireland to another parish, and threw himself into political
pamphleteering with great effect, one of the results of his exertions
being the securing of freedom from taxation for the Irish clergy. He
subsequently became Dean of St. Patrick's in Dublin, and for a period
achieved great popularity owing to his powerful political writings.

While in what he called his "exile" he wrote _Gulliver's Travels_, which
was at first published anonymously, the secret of the authorship being
so closely guarded that the publisher did not know who was the author.
Dr. Johnson characterized it as "A production so new and strange that it
filled the reader with admiration and amazement. It was read by the high
and low, the learned and the illiterate." In this work, Jonathan Swift
appears as one of the greatest masters of English we have ever had; as
endowed with an imaginative genius inferior to few; as a keen and
pitiless critic of the world, and a bitter misanthropic accounter of
humanity at large. Dean Swift was indeed a misanthrope by theory,
however he may have made exception to private life. His hero, Gulliver,
discovers race after race of beings who typify the genera in his
classification of mankind. Extremely diverting are Gulliver's adventures
among the tiny Lilliputians; only less so are his more perilous
encounters with the giants of Brobdingnag.... By a singular dispensation
of Providence, we usually read the _Travels_ while we are children; we
are delighted with the marvellous story, we are not at all injured by
the poison. Poor Swift! he was conscious of insanity's approach; he
repeated annually Job's curse upon the day of his birth; he died a

There are numerous biographies of Swift; but probably the best
characterization of the man and his life, rather than of his books, is
to be found in Thackeray's _English Humorists_, and a closer study of
the man and his works in Leslie Stevenson's "Swift," in Morley's
_English Men of Letters_. The other biographies of him are: Lord Orrery
_Remarks on the Life and Writings of Dr. Jonathan Swift_, 1751; Hawkes,
on his life, 1765; Sheridan's life, 1785; Forster's life, 1875
(unfinished); Henry Craik's life (1882). The best edition of Swift's
writings and correspondence is that edited by Scott, 1824.


[1] _Redriff  Rotherhithe_: then a Thames side village, now part of

[2] _Pound_: nearly five dollars.

[3] _Levant_: the point where the sun rises. The countries about the
eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea and its adjoining waters.

[4] _Mrs._: it was formerly the custom to call unmarried women Mrs.

[5] _The South Sea_: the Pacific Ocean.

[6] _Van Diemen's Land_: N.W. from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) and in
latitude 30 degrees 2 minutes would be in Australia or off the West

[7] _Cable's length_: about six hundred or seven hundred feet.

[8] _Buff jerkin_ a leather jacket or waistcoat.

[9] _Small_: weak, thin.

[10] _Signet-royal_: the king's seal.

[11] _Half-pike_ a short wooden staff, upon one end of which was a
steel head.

[12] _Stang_: an old word for a perch, sixteen feet and a half, also
for a rood of ground.

[13] _Chairs_: a sedan chair is here meant. It held one person, and
was carried by two men by means of projecting poles.

[14] _Crest_: a decoration to denote rank.

[15] _Lingua Franca_: a language--Italian mixed with Arabic, Greek,
and Turkish--used by Frenchmen, Spaniards, and Italians trading with
Arabs, Turks, and Greeks. It is the commercial language of

[16] _Imprimis_: in the first place, (pr.) im pri' mis.

[17] _Lucid_: shining, transparent.

[18] _Yeomen of the guards_: freemen forming the bodyguard of the

[19] _Pocket perspective_: a small spy-glass or telescope.

[20] _Trencher_: a wooden plate or platter.

[21] _Corn_: such grains as wheat, rye, barley, oats.

[22] _Quadrant_: an instrument long used for measuring altitudes.

[23] _Skirt_: coat-tail.

[24] _Alcoran_ the Koran or Mohammedan Bible.

[25] _Embargo_: an order not to sail.

[26] _Discompose them_: displace them.

[27] _Puissant_: powerful.

[28] _Junto_: a body of men secretly united to gain some political

[29] _Pulling_: plucking and drawing, preparatory to cooking,

[30] _Meaner_: of lower rank.

[31] _Portion_: the part of an estate given to a child.

[32] _Domestic_: the household and all pertaining thereto.

[33] _Exchequer bills_: bills of credit issued from the exchequer by
authority of parliament.

[34] _Close chair_: sedan chair.

[35] _Cabal_: a body of men united for some sinister purpose.

[36] _Lee side_: side sheltered from the wind.

[37] _Ancient_: flag, corrupted from ensign.

[38] _Downs_: A famous natural roadstead off the southeast coast of
Kent, between Goodwin Sands and the mainland, south of the Thames

[39] _Black Bull_: inns in England are often named after animals with
an adjective descriptive of the color of the sign; as, _The Golden
Lion, The White Horse_.

[40] _Towardly_: apt, docile.

[41] _Straits of Madagascar_: Mozambique Channel.

[42] _The line_: the equator.

[43] _Hinds_: peasants; rustics.

[44] _Pistoles_: about three dollars and sixty cents.

[45] _Trencher-side_: up to his trencher or wooden plate.

[46] _Discovering_: Showing.

[47] _From London Bridge to Chelsea_: about three miles as the birds

[48] _Pillion_: a cushion for a woman to ride on behind a person on
horseback. _From London to St. Alban's_: about twenty miles.

[49] _Pumpion_: pumpkin.

[50] _Parts_: accomplishments.

[51] _Sanson's Atlas_: a very large atlas by a French geographer in
use in Swift's time.

[52] _As good a hand of me_: as much money of me.

[53] _Moidore_: a Portuguese gold piece worth about six dollars.

[54] _Guineas_: an obsolete English gold coin, of the value of five

[55] _Phoenix_: a bird of fable said to live for a long time and rise
anew from its own ashes.

[56] _Cabinet_: a private room.

[57] _Scrutoire_: a writing-desk.

[58] _Waiting_: attendance on the king.

[59] _Lusus naturae_: a freak of nature.

[60] _Royal Sovereign_: one of the great ships of Swift's time.

[61] _Dunstable lark_: large larks are caught on the downs near
Dunstable between September and February, and sent to London for
luxurious tables.

[62] _Drone_: the largest tube of a bag-pipe, giving forth a dull
heavy tone.

[63] _Gresham College_, in London, is named after the founder, an
English merchant, who died in 1579.

[64] _The square of_: as large as the square of.

[65] _Salisbury Steeple_: this is about four hundred feet high.

[66] _Battalia_: the order of battle.

[67] _Espalier_: a lattice upon which fruit-trees or shrubs are

[68] _Scull_: a short oar.

[69] _Starboard or larboard_: right or left.

[70] _Corking-pin_: a larger-sized pin.

[71] _Stomacher_: a broad belt.

[72] _Varlet_: knave.

[73] _Levee_: a ceremonious visit received by a distinguished person
in the morning.

[74] _Spinet_: a stringed instrument, a forerunner of out piano.

[75] _Closet_: private room.

[76] _Signal_: memorable.

[77] _Chancery_: a high court of equity.

[78] _Glossing_: commenting.

[79] _Dionysius of Halicarnassus_ was born about the middle of the
first century, B.C.; he endeavored in his history to relieve his Greek
countrymen from the mortification they had felt in their subjection to
the Romans, and patched up an old legend about Rome being of Greek
origin and therefore their "political mother."

[80] _Ideas, entities, abstractions, transcendentals_, words used in
that philosophy which deals with thinking, existence, and things
beyond the senses.

[81] _Mercurial_: active, spirited.

[82] _Composition_: compact, agreement.

[83] _Progress_: an old term for the travelling of the sovereign to
different parts of his country.

[84] _Tumbrel_: a rough cart.

[85] _Page_: a serving-boy, and especially one who waits on a person
of rank.

[86] _Quarry_: prey.

[87] _Squash_: shock, concussion.

[88] _To rights_ speedily.

[89] _To make_ To get alongside.

[90] _Phaeton_ a son of Apollo who was dashed into the river Endanus
for his foolhardiness in attempting to drive the steeds of the sun for
one day.


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