Travels of Lemuel Gulliver


Material Information

Travels of Lemuel Gulliver into several remote regions of the world
Physical Description:
383 p., 4 leaves of plates : col. ill. ; 17 cm.
Swift, Jonathan, 1667-1745
Gall & Inglis ( Publisher )
Gall & Inglis
Place of Publication:
London ;
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Imaginary places -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages, Imaginary -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Pride and vanity -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
War   ( lcsh )
Castaways -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Courts and courtiers -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Giants -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Treason -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Reason -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1878   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1878
Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh


Statement of Responsibility:
by Jonathan Swift ; four coloured engravings on steel.
General Note:
Date of publication from inscription.
Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002238258
notis - ALH8755
oclc - 61463296
System ID:

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The author gives some account of himself and family-His first induce-
ments 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. 11
The emperor of Lilliput, attended by several of the nobility, comes
to see the author in his confinement-The emperor's person and
habit described-Learned men appointed to teach the author their
language-He gains favour by his mild disposition-His pockets are
searched and his sword and pistols taken from him. 25
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
conditions. 38
Mildendo, the metropolis of Lilliput, described, together with the
emperor's palace-A conversation between the author and the prin-
cipal secretary, concerning the affairs of that empire-The author
offers to serve the emperor in his wars. 49
The author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion-A
high title of honour is conferred upon him-Ambassadors arrive
from the emperor of Blefuscu and sue for peace-The empress's
apartments on fire by accident ; the author instrumental in saving
the rest of the palace. 56
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. 65
The author, being informed of a design to accuse him of high treason,
makes his escape to Blefuscu-His reception there. 77
The author, by a lucky accident, finds means to leave Blefuscu; and,
after some difficulties, returns to his native country. 88



A great storm described ; the longboat 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 recep-
tion, with several accidents that happened there-A description of
the inhabitants. 99
A description of the farmer's daughter-The author carried to a
market town and then to the metropolis-The particulars of his
journey. 114
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 ma-
jesty's great scholars-An apartment at court provided for the
author-He is in high favour with the queen-He stands up for the
honour of his own country-His quarrels with the queen's dwarf. 122
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. 136
Several adventures that happened to the author-The author shows
his skill in navigation. 142
Several contrivances of the author to please the king and queen-He
shows his skill in music-The king inquires into the state of Eng-
land, which the author relates to him-The king's observations
thereon. .. 153
The author's love of his country-He makes a proposal of much ad-
vantage to the king, which is rejected-The king's great ignorance
in politics -The learning of that country very imperfect and con-
fined-The laws, and military affairs, and parties in the state. 165
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. 174


The author sets out on his third voyage-Is taken by pirates-The
malice of a Dutchman-His arrival at an island-He is received into
Laputa 193


The humours and dispositions of the Laputians described-An account
of their learning-Of the king and his court -The author's reception
there-The inhabitants subject to fear and disquietudes-An account
of the women. 200
A phenomenon solved by modern philosophy and astronomy-The
Laputians' great improvements in the latter-The king's method of
suppressing insurrections. .211
The author leaves Laputa; is conveyed to Balnibarbi; arrives at the
metropolis-A description of the metropolis and the country adjoin-
ing-The author hospitably received by a great lord-His con-ersa-
tion with that lord. .. .218
The author permitted to see the grand academy of Lagado-The
academy largely described-The arts wherein the professors employ
themselves. 226
A further account of the academy-The author proposes some im-
provements, which are honourably received. 235
The author leaves Lagado, arrives at Maldonada-No ship ready-He
takes a short voyage to Glubbdubdrib-His reception by the governor. 242
A further account of Glubbdubdrib-Ancient and modern history
corrected. 248
The author returns to Maldonada-Sails to the kingdom of Luggnagg
-The author confined-He is sent for to court-The manner of his
admittance-The king's great lenity to his subjects. . 256
The Luggnaggians commended-A particular description of the Struld-
brugs, with many conversations between the author and some
eminent persons upon that subject. 261
The author leaves Luggnagg and sails to Japan-From thence he
returns in a Dutch ship to Amsterdam, and from Amsterdam to
England. 273

The author sets out as captain of a ship-His men conspire against
him, confine him a long time to his cabin, and set him on shore in
an unknown land-He travels up into the country-The Yahoos, a
strange sort of animal, described-The author meets two Houy-
hnhnm-. 281
The author conducted by a Houyhnhnm to his house-The house
described-The author's reception-The food of the Houyhnhnms-
The author in distress for want of meat-Is at last relieved-His
manner of feeding in this country. 290


The author studies to learn the language-The Houyhnhnm, his master,
assists in teaching him-The language described-Several Houy-
hnhnms of quality come out of curiosity to see the author-He gives
his master a short account of his voyage. 298
The Houyhnhnm's notion of truth and falsehood-The author's
discourse disapproved by his master-The author gives a more
particular account of himself, and the accidents of his voyage. 306
The author, at his master's command, informs him of the state of
England-The causes of war among the princes of Europe-The
author begins to explain the English Constitution. .313
A continuation of the state of England under Queen Anne-The
character of a first minister of state in European courts. . 322
The author's great love of his native country-His master's observa-
tions upon the constitution and administration of England, as
described by the author, with parallel cases and comparisons-His
master's observations upon human nature. 330
The author relates several particulars of the Yahoos-The great virtues
of the Houyhnhnms -The education and exercise of their youth-
Their general assembly. CH X 338
A grand debate at the general assembly of the Houyhnhnms, and how
it was determined-The learning of the Houyhnhnms-Their build-
ings -Their manner of burials-The defectiveness of their language. 344
The author's economy, and happy life among the Houyhnhnms-His
great improvement in virtue by conversing with them- Their con-
versations-The author has notice given him by his master that he
must depart from the country-He falls into a swoon for grief, but
submits-He contrives and finishes a canoe by the help of a fellow
servant, and puts to sea at a venture. 352
The author's dangerous voyage-He arrives at New Holland, hoping
to settle there-Is wounded with an arrow by one of the natives-Is
seized and carried by force into a Portuguese ship-The great civili-
ties of the captain-The author arrives at England. 363
The author's veracity-His design in publishing this work- His censure
of those travellers wh6 swerve from the truth-The author clears
himself from any sinister ends in writing-An objection answered-
The method of planting colonies-His native country commended-
The right of the crown to those countries described by the author, is
justified- The difficulty of conquering them-The author takes his
last leave of the reader; proposes his manner of living for the
future; gives good advice, and concludes. 375





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.

MY father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire;
I was the third of five sons. He sent me to Emanuel
College in Cambridge, at fourteen years old, where I
resided three year, and applied myself close to my
studies; but the charge of maint-aining 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 mathe-
matics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I
always believed it would be, sometime 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 relations, I got forty pounds,
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
Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recom-
mended by my good master, Mr Bates, to be surgeon
to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannell, comman-
der: with whom I continued three years and a-half,
making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some
other parts. When I came back I resolved to settle
in London; to which Mr Bates, my master, en-
couraged 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, second daughter to Mr
Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-Street, with
whom I received four hundred pounds for a portion.
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 imi-
tate 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, 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 ad-
ventures 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 north-
west of Van Diemen's Land. By an observation,
we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees
2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were dead by
immoderate labour and ill food; the rest were in a
very weak condition. On the 5th of November,
which was the beginning of summer in those parts,
the weather being very hazy, the seaman spied a
rock within half a cable's length of the ship; but
the wind was so strong, that we were driven directly
upon it, and 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 labour while we were in the ship. We there-

fore 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 of 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 for-
ward by the 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 felt my-
self 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 some-
thing 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 to my face, I discovered the methods
they had taken to bind me, and at the same time,
with a violent pull, which gave me excessive pain, I
a little loosened the strings that tied down my hair
on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my

head about two inches. But the creatures ran off
a second time, before I could seize them; whereupon
there was a great shout in a very shrill accent, and
after it ceased I heard one of them cry aloud, tolgo
phonac; when in an instant I felt above a 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 imme-
diately 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, 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 other-
wise 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 syllable. But I should have mentioned, that
before the principal person began his oration, he
cried out three times, Langro dehul san (these
words and the former were 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 eaeh side to support him.
He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe
many periods of threatening, 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 learnt)
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
I 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
fast as they could, showing a thousand marks of
wonder and astonishment at my bulk and appetite.
I then made another sign, that I wanted drink.
They found by my eating that a small quantity
would not suffice me; and being a most ingenious
people, they slung up, with great dexterity, one of
their largest hogsheads, then rolled it towards my
hand, and beat out the top; I drunk it off at a
draught, which I might well do, for it did not hold
half a pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy,
but much more delicious. They brought me a
second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner,
and made signs for more: but they had none to give
me. When I had performed these wonders, they
shouted for joy, and danced upon my breast, repeat-
ing 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
mevolah; and when they saw the vessels in the air,
there was a universal shout of Hekinah degul. I
confess I was often tempted, while they were pass-
ing 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 remem-
brance of what I had felt, which probably might
not be the worst they could do, and the promise of
honour I made them, for so I interpreted my sub-
missive behaviour, soon drove out these imaginations.
Besides, I now considered myself as bound by the
laws of hospitality, to a people who had treated me
with so much expense and magnificence. However,
in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at
the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who
durst venture to mount and walk upon my body,
while one of my hands was at liberty, without trem-
bling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature
as I must appear to them. After some time, when
they observed that I made no more demands for
meat, there appeared before me a person of high
rank from his imperial majesty. His excellency
having mounted on the small of my right leg,
advanced forwards up to my face, with about a
dozen of his retinue; and producing his credentials
under the signet royal, 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 dis-
tant; whither it was agreed by his majesty, in coun-
cil, 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. 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 after-
wards 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 dis-
covered 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 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 imi-
tated 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
endeavoured 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 en-
abled me to break the strings wherewith I was tied;
after which, as they were not able to make resist-
ance, so they could expect no mercy.
These people are most excellent mathematicians,
and arrived to a great perfection in mechanics by
the countenance and encouragement of the emperor,
who is a renowned patron of learning. This prince

has several machines fixed on wheels, for the car-
riage 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 hun-
dred yards to the sea. Five hundred carpenters
and engineers were immediately set at work to pre-
pare the greatest engine they had. It was a frame
of wood, raised three inches from the ground, about
seven feet long, and four wide, moving upon twenty-
two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival
of this engine, which it seems set out in four hours
after my landing. It was brought parallel to me as
I lay. But the principal difficulty was to raise and
place me in this vehicle. Eighty poles, each of one
foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very
strong cords, of the bigness of pack-thread, were
fastened by hooks to many bandages, which the
workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, my
body, and my legs. Nine hundred of the strongest
men were employed to draw up these cords, by many
pulleys fastened on the poles, and thus, in less than
three hours, I was raised and slung into the engine,
and there tied fast. All this I was told; for, while
the operation was performing, I lay in a profound
sleep, by the force of that soporiferous medicine in-
fused into my liquor. Fifteen hundred of the em-
peror'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 car-
riage being stopped awhile, to adjust something that
was out of order, two or three of the young natives
had the curiosity to see how I looked when I was
asleep: they climbed up into the engine, and ad-
vancing very softly to my face, one of them, an
officer in the guards, put the sharp end of his half-
pike a good way up into my 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 waking
so suddenly. We made a long march the remaining
part of the day, and rested at night with five hun-
dred 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
At the place where the carriage stopped there
stood an ancient temple, esteemed to be the largest
in the whole kingdom; which, having been polluted
some years before by an unnatural murder, was,
according to the zeal of those people, looked upon
as profane, and therefore had been applied to com-
mon 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 a hundred thou-
sand 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 seve-
ral times, who mounted my body, by the help of
ladders. But a proclamation was soon issued to for-
bid 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 ex-
pressed. The chain that held my left leg was about
two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty
of walking backwards and forwards in a semicircle;
but, being fixed within four inches of the gate,
allowed me to creep in, and lie at my full length in
the temple.



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

WHEN I found myself on my feet, I looked about
me, and must confess I never beheld a more enter-
taining 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,* 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 scenes of a city in a theatre.
By the time that I had walked a few paces 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 hinder feet: but that prince, who
is an excellent horseman, kept his seat till his atten-
A stang is a pole or perch; sixteen feet and a-half.


dants ran in, and held the bridle, while his majesty
had time to dismount. When he alighted, he sur-
veyed me round with great admiration; but kept
beyond the length of my chain. He ordered his
cooks and butlers, who were already prepared, to
give me victuals and drink, which they pushed for-
ward in a sort of vehicle upon wheels, till I could
reach them. I took these vehicles, and soon emptied
them all; twenty of them were filled with meat, and
ten with liquor; each of the former afforded me two
or three good mouthfuls; and I emptied the liquor
of ten vessels, which was contained in earthen vials,
into one vehicle, drinking it off at a draught; and
so I did with the rest. The empress, and young
princes of the blood of both sexes, attended by many
ladies, sat at some distance in their chairs; but upon
the accident that happened to the emperor's horse
they alighted, and came near his person, which I am
now going to describe. He is taller, by almost the
breadth of my nail, than any of his court; which
alone is enough to strike an awe into the beholders.
His features are strong and masculine, with an Aus-
trian lip and arched nose, his complexion olive, his
countenance erect, his body and limbs well propor-
tioned, 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 description. His
dress was very plain and simple, and the fashion of
it between the Asiatic and the European: but he
had on his head a light helmet of gold, adorned with
jewels, and a plume on the crest. He held his sword
drawn in his hand to defend himself, if I should
happen to break loose; it was almost three inches
long; the hilt and scabbard were gold enriched with
diamonds. His voice was shrill, but very clear and
articulate; and I could distinctly hear it when I
stood up. 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, 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 ringleaders to be
seized, and thought no punishment so proper as to
deliver them bound into my hands; which some of
his soldiers accordingly did, pushing them forward
with the butt-ends of their pikes into my reach. I
took them all in my right hand, put five of them
into my coat-pocket, and as to the sixth, I made a
countenance as if I would eat him alive. The poor
man squalled terribly, and the colonel and his officers
were in much pain, especially when they saw me
take out my penknife; but I soon put them out of
fear; for, looking mildly, and immediately cutting
the strings he was bound with, I set him gently on
the ground, and away he ran. I treated the rest in
the same manner, taking them one by one out of my
pocket; and I observed both the soldiers and the
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;
a hundred and fifty of their beds, sewn together,
make up the breadth and length; and these were
four double ; which, however, kept me but very in-
differently from the hardness of the floor, that was
"* Gulliver has observed great exactness in the just proportion
and appearance of the objects thus lessened.

of smooth stone. By the same computation, they
provided me with sheets, blankets, and coverlets,
tolerable enough for one who had been so long
inured to hardships.
As the news of my arrival spread through the
kingdom, it brought prodigious numbers, 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 im-
perial majesty had not provided, by several procla-
mations and orders of state, against this inconveni-
ency. He directed that those who had already
beheld me should return home, and not presume to
come within fifty yards of my house, without licence
from the court; whereby the secretary of state got
considerable fees.
In the meantime the emperor held frequent coun-
cils, 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 were under many diffi-
culties concerning me. They apprehended my break-
ing loose; that my diet would be very expensive,
and might cause a famine. Sometimes they deter-
mined to starve me, or at least to shoot me in the
face and hands with poisonous arrows, which would
soon despatch me. In the midst of these consulta-
tions, 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 behaviour to the
six criminals above-mentioned; which made so fav-

ourable 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 villagers,
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 assign-
ments 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 lan-
guage; during which time the emperor frequently
honoured 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 be pleased to give me my liberty;" which
I every day repeated on my knees. His answer, as
I could apprehend it, was, that this must be a work
of time, not to be thought on without the advice of
his council, and that first I must lumos kelmin pesso
desmar lon emposa;" 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 behaviour 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 out 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; and he had so good an opinion of my
generosity and justice as to trust their persons in
my hands; that whatever they took from me should
be returned when I left the country, or paid for, at
the rate which I would set upon them." I took up
the two officers in my hands, put them first into my
coat-pockets, and then into every other pocket about
me, except my two fobs, and another secret pocket,
which I had no mind should be searched, wherein
I had some little necessaries that were of no conse-

quence to any but myself. In one of my fobs there
was a silver watch, and in the other a small quantity
of gold in a purse. These gentlemen, having pens,
ink, and paper about them, made an exact inventory
of every thing they saw; and when they had done,
desired I would set them down, that they might
deliver it to the emperor. This inventory I after-
wards translated into English, and is word for word
as follows :-
"Imprimis, 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 bundle of white thin substance,
folded one over another, about the bigness of three
men, tied with a strong cable, and marked with black
figures; which we humbly conceive to be writings,
every letter almost half as large as the palm of our
hands. In the left there was a sort of engine, from
the back of which were extended twenty long poles,
resembling the palisadoes before your majesty's
court: wherewith we conjecture the man-mountain
combs his head; for we did not always trouble him-

with questions, because we found it a great difficulty
to make him understand us. In the large pocket on
the right side of his middle cover (so I translate the
word ranfu-lo, by which they meant my breeches),
we saw a hollow pillar of iron, about the length of a
man, fastened to a strong piece of timber larger than
the pillar; and upon one side of the pillar were huge
pieces of iron sticking out, cut into strange figures,
which we know not what to make of. In the left
pocket, another engine of the same kind. In the
smaller pocket on the right side, were several round
flat pieces of white and red metal, of different bulk;
some of the white, which seemed to be silver, were
so large and heavy, that my comrade and I could
hardly lift them. In the left pocket were two black
pillars irregularly shaped: we could not, without
difficulty, reach the top of them, as we stood at the
bottom of his pocket. One of them was covered,
and seemed all of a piece: but at the upper end of
the other there appeared a white round substance,
about twice the bigness of our heads. Within each
of these was enclosed a prodigious plate of steel;
which, by our orders, we obliged him to show us,
because we apprehended they might be dangerous
engines. He took them out of their cases, and told
us, that in his own country his practice was to shave
his beard with one of these, and cut his meat with
the other. There were two pockets which we could
not enter: these he called his fobs; they were two
large slits cut into the tops of his middle cover, but
squeezed close by the pressure of his body. Out of

the right fob hung a great silver chain, with a won-
derful 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 trans-
parent side we saw certain strange figures circularly
drawn, and thought we could touch them, till we
found our fingers stopped by that lucid substance.
He put this engine to our ears, which made an inces-
sant noise, like that of a water-mill: and we conjec-
ture 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 under-
stand him right, for he expressed himself very imper-
fectly), that he seldom did anything without consult-
ing 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,
The author seems to intend to show the probable fallacy of
opinions derived from the reports of travellers, by showing how
little truth need be represented to make falsehoods specious.

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 big-
ness of our heads, and required a strong hand to lift
them: the other cell contained a heap of certain
black grains, but of no great bulk or weight, for we
could hold above fifty of them in the palms of our
"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 aus
vicious reign.

When this inventory was read over to the em-
peror, 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 tie meantime, he ordered three thousand of the
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 sur-
prise; 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 mag-
nanimous prince, was less daunted than I could
expect; he ordered me to return it into the scab-
bard, 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 incon-
venience against which all prudent mariners take
special care to provide), I first cautioned the em-
peror not to be afraid, and then I let it off in the
air. The astonishment here was much greater than
at the sight of the scimitar. Hundreds fell down as
if they had been struck dead ; and even the emperor,
although he stood his ground, could not recover
himself for some time. I delivered up both my
pistols in the same manner as I had done my scimi-
tar, 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 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 under-
stand 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 snuff-box, my handkerchief and journal-
book. My scimitar, pistols, and pouch, were con-
veyed in carriages to his majesty's stores; but the
rest of my goods were returned 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 weak-
ness of mine eyes), a pocket perspective, and some
other little conveniences; which, being of no con-
sequence to the emperor, I did not think myself
bound in honour to discover, and I apprehended they
might be lost or spoiled, if I ventured them out of
my possession.




The author diverts the emperor, and his nobility of both sexes, in
a very uncommon manner-The diversions of the court of Lilli-
put described-The author has his liberty granted him upon
certain conditions.

MY gentleness and good behaviour 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 favour-
able 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 head; 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
several of the country shows, wherein they exceeded
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 employment and high
favour 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 other lord in the whole
empire. I have seen him do the summerset* several
times together, upon a trencher 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

Summersct or summersault, a gambol of a tumbler, in which
he springs up, turns heels over head in the air, and comes down
upon his feet.-ORIGINAL.

hardly one of them who has not received a fall, and
some of them two or three. I was assured that, a
year or two before my arrival, Flimnap would in-
fallibly have broken 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 blue, the other red, and the third
green. These threads are proposed as prizes for
those persons whom the emperor has a mind to dis-
tinguish by a peculiar mark of his favour. The
ceremony is performed in his majesty's great cham-
ber 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 resem-
blance of in any other country of the new or old
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, backward and forward,
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; some-
times the minister has it entirely to himself. Who-
ever performs his part with most agility and holds
out the longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded
with the blue-coloured silk; the red is given to the
next, and the green to the third, which they all wear

girt twice round about the middle; and you see few
great persons 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 with-
out 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 de-
sired he would order several sticks of two feet high,
and t th 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 woodmen 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 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 horses, 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,
when 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 cap-
tains, 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: how-
ever, I would not trust 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 this kind of
feats, there arrived an express to inform his majesty,

that some of his subjects, riding near the place where
I was first taken up, had seen a great black substance
lying on the ground, very oddly shaped, extending
its edges round, as wide as his majesty's bedchamber,
and rising up in the middle as high as a man: that
it was no living creature, as they at first apprehended,
for it lay on the grass without motion; and some of
them had walked round it several times; that, by
mounting upon each other's shoulders, they had got
to the top, which was flat and even, and stamping
upon it, they found that is was hollow within; that
they humbly conceived it might be something be-
longing 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 reaching the shore after our ship-
wreck, 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 swim-
muing, fell off after I came to land; the string, as I
conjecture, breaking by some accident, which I never
observed, but thought my hat had been lost at sea.
I entreated his imperial majesty to give orders it
might be brought to me as soon as possible, describ-
ing 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, hav-
ing ordered that part of his 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 expe-
rienced leader and a great patron of mine), to draw
up the troops in close order, and march them under
me; the foot by twenty-four abreast, and the horse
by sixteen, with drums beating, colours flying, and
pikes advanced. This body consisted of three thou-
sand 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 a full council;
where it was opposed by none, except Skyresh Bol-
golam, 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 em-
peror. 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 per-
suaded 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 him-
self. These articles were brought to me by Skyresh
Bolgolam in person, attended by two under-secre-
taries, and several persons of distinction. After they
were read, I was demanded to swear to the perform-
ance 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 Momarem 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 the winter. His most sublime majesty
proposes to the man-mountain, lately arrived at our
celestial dominions, the following articles, which, by
a solemn oath, he shall be obliged to perform:


I. The man-mountain shall not depart from our
dominions without our license under our great seal.
"II. He shall not presume to come into our me-
tropolis, without our express order; at which time,
the inhabitants shall have two hours' warning to
keep within doors.
"III. The said man-mountain shall confine his
walks to our principal high roads, and not offer to
walk, or lie down, in a meadow or field of corn.
IV. 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 their carriages,
nor take any of our subjects into his hands, without
their own consent.
V. 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.
VI. 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.
"VII. That the said man-mountain shall, at his
time of leisure, be aiding and assisting to our work-
men, in helping to raise certain great stones, towards
covering the wall of the principal park, and other
our royal buildings.
VIII. That the said man-mountain shall, in two
In his description of Lilliput, he seems to have had England
more immediately to view. In his description of Blefuscu, he
seems to intend the people and kingdom of France.-- Orrery.

moons' time, deliver in an exact survey of the circum-
ference 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 1728 of our subjects, with free
access to our royal person, and other marks of our
favour. Given at our palace at Belfaborac, the
twelfth day of the ninety-first moon of our reign."
I swore and subscribed to these articles with great
cheerfulness and content, although some of them were
not so honourable as I could have wished; which
proceeded wholly from the malice of Skyresh Bol-
golam, the high-admiral; whereupon my chains
were immediately unlocked, and I was at full liberty.
The emperor himself, in person, did me the honour
to be by at the whole ceremony. I made my ac-
knowledgments 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 favours he had already conferred upon me, or
might do for the future."
The reader may please to observe, that in the last
article of the recovery of my liberty, the emperor
stipulates to allow me a quantity of meat and drink
sufficient for the support of 1728 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, and finding
it to exceed theirs in proportion of twelve to one,
they concluded, from the similarity of their bodies,
that mine must contain at least 1728 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 this people, as well as the prudent and
exact economy of so great a prince.

T2' X,-


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

THE first request I made, after I had obtained my
liberty, was, that I might have license to see Mil-
dendo, 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 stepped 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 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 storeys: 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 feet high, and twenty feet distant from
the building. 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 in-
cludes 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 build-
ings 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 a

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. The people
having received notice a second time, I went again
through the city to the palace, with my 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 stepped
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
inner court; .and lying down upon my side, I applied
my face to the windows of the middle storeys, which
were left open on purpose, and discovered the most
splendid apartments that could 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 further
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 em-
pire, 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 empire.
One morning, about a fortnight after I had ob-
tained 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 compli-
ments 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 labour 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 name Trameck-
san and Slameckcsan, from the high and low heels
of their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves.
It is alleged, indeed, that the high heels are most
agreeable to our ancient constitution; but, however

this be, his majesty has determined to make use
only of low heels in the administration of the govern-
ment, and all offices in the gift of the crown, as you
cannot but observe; and particularly that his majes-
ty's imperial heels are lower by at least 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 com-
pute 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 a
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 fol-
lowing 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 majesty's grand-
father, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and
breaking it according to the ancient practice, hap-
pened to cut one of his fingers; whereupon the em-
peror, 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 con-
troversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been
long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incap-
able by law of holding employment. 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. 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 con-
venient 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 em-
peror of Blefuscu's court, and so much private assist-
ance and encouragement from their private party
here at home, that a bloody war has been carried on
between the two empires for six-and-thirty moons,
with varied 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 valour and strength, has
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 author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion
-A high title of honour is conferred upon him-Ambassadors
arrive from the emperor Blefuscu, and sue for peace-The
empress's apartments on fire by accident; the author instru-
mental in saving the rest of the palace.

THE empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the
north-east of Lilliput, from which it is parted only
by a channel of eight hundred yards wide. I had
not yet seen it, and upon this notice of an intended
invasion, I avoided appearing on that side of the
coast, for fear of being discovered by some of the
enemy's ships, who had received no intelligence of
me; all intercourse between the two empires having
been strictly forbidden during the war, upon pain of
death, and an embargo 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 harbour, 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 glum-
gluffs at most. I walked towards the north-east

coast, over against Blefuscu; where, lying down be-
hind 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 trans-
ports: 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 north-
east coast, and putting off my coat, shoes, and stock-
ings, walked into the sea, in my leather 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 appre-
hension was for mine eyes, which I should have in-
fallibly 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 than a little to discom-
pose them. I had now fastened all the hooks, and
taking the knot in my hand, began to pull; but not
a ship would stir, for they were all too fast held by
their anchors; so that the boldest part of my enter-
prise remained. I therefore let go the cord, and
leaving the hooks fixed to the ships, I resolutely cut
with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors,
receiving about two hundred shots in my face and
hands; then I took up the knotted end of the cables,
to which my hooks were tied, and with the greatest
ease drew fifty of the enemy's largest men of war
after me.
The Blefuscudians, who had not the least imagi-
nation 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 of 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 on my first arrival, as I


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have formerly mentioned. I then took off my spec-
tacles, 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 in pain, because I was
under water to my neck. The emperor concluded
me to be drowned, and that the enemy's fleet was
approaching in a hostile manner: but he was soon
eased of his fears; for the channel growing shallower
every step I made, I came in a short time within
hearing, and holding up the end of the cable, by
which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a loud voice,
"Long live the puissant king 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 honour among
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 a vice-
roy; of destroying the Big-endian exiles, and com-
pelling that people to break the smaller end of their
eggs, by which be would remain the sole monarch of

the whole world. But I endeavoured to divert him
from this design, by many arguments drawn from
the topics of policy as well as from justice; and I
plainly protested, "that I would never be an instru-
ment of bringing a free and brave people into sla-
very ;" and, when the matter was debated in council,
the wisest part of the ministry were of my opinion.
This open bold declaration of mine was so oppo-
site to the schemes and politics of his imperial
majesty, that he could never forgive me. He men-
tioned 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 enemies, could not forbear some expressions
which by a side wind reflected on me ; and from this
time began an intrigue between his majesty and a
junto of ministers, maliciously bent against me,
which broke out in less than two months, and had
like to have ended in my utter destruction. Of so
little weight are the greatest services to princes, when
put into the balance with a refusal to gratify their
About three weeks after this exploit, there arrived
a solemn embassy from Blefuscu, with humble offers
of a peace; which was soon concluded upon condi-
tions very advantageous to our emperor, wherewith
I shall not trouble the reader. There were six am-
bassadors, with a train of about five hundred per-
sons: 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 valour
and generosity, invited me to that kingdom, in the
emperor their master's name, and desired me to
show them 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 ex-
cellencies, to their infinite satisfaction and surprise,
I desired they would do me the honour to present
my most humble respects to the emperor their mas-
ter, 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
honour to see the emperor, I desired his general
license to wait on the Blefuscudian monarch, which
he was pleased to grant me, as I could 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 inter-
course with those ambassadors as a mark of disaffec-
tion;" from which I am sure my heart was wholly
free. And this was the first time I began to con-
ceive some imperfect idea of courts and ministers.
It is to be observed, that these ambassadors spoke
to me by an interpreter, the languages of both em-

pires differing as much from each other as any two
in Europe, and each nation priding itself upon the
antiquity, beauty, and energy of their own tongue,
with an avowed contempt of that of their neighbour:
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 com-
merce 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 per-
sons of distinction, or merchants, or seamen, who
dwell in the maritime parts, but what can hold con-
versation in both tongues; as I found some weeks
after, when I went to pay my respects to the empe-
ror of Blefuscu, which, in the midst of great misfor-
tunes 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 by the cries of many
hundred people at the door; by which, being sud-
denly awaked, I was in some kind of terror. I
heard the word burglum repeated incessantly: seve-
ral 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 honour, who
fell asleep while she was reading a romance. I got
up in an instant; and orders were given to clear the
way before me, and it being likewise a moonlight
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 apart-
ment, 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 leather jerkin. The case seemed
wholly desperate and deplorable; and this magnifi-
cent palace would have infallibly been burned down
to the ground, if, by a presence of mind unusual to
me, I had not suddenly thought of an expedient.
I knew that in the adjoining palace there was a
reservoir of water kept for the especial use ,,f the

empress, and which, by the fundamental laws of the
realm, it was capital in any person, of what quality
soever, to make use of. But necessity, I thought,
had no law; so reaching over, I lifted the whole
tank, which might contain about four gallons of
water, and applied it so well to the proper places,
that in three minutes the fire was wholly extin-
guished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had
cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from de-
It was now daylight, and I returned to my house
without waiting to congratulate the emperor; be-
cause, 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.
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 what I had done, in the presence of her
chief confidants, could not forbear vowing revenge."

^ C^-~CL^ IC^, -^



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.

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 has 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 ob-
serving a cook pulling a lark which was not. as large
as the 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, has 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 their 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 con-
trary 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 makes his inno-
cence 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 quad-

ruply recompensed for the loss of his time, for the
danger he underwent, for the hardship of his im-
prisonment, and for all the charges he has been at
in making his defence; or, if that fund be insuffi-
cient, it is largely supplied by the crown. The em-
peror also confers on him some public mark of his
favour, and proclamation of his innocence is made
throughout 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 has 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 ran away with; and
happened 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, further than the common an-
swer, that different nations had different customs;
for, I confess, I was heartily ashamed.*
"* An Act of Parliament has been since passed, by which some
breaches of trust have been made capital. -ORIGINAL.

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 has
strictly observed the laws of his country for seventy-
three moons, has a claim to certain privileges, ac-
cording to his quality or condition in life, with a
proportionate sum of money out of a fund appro-
priated for that use: he likewise acquires the title
of snilpall, or legal, which is added to his name,
but does 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 be-
fore, as many behind, and on each side one, to signify
circumspection; with a bag of gold open in her right
hand, and a sword sheathed in her left, to show she
is more disposed to reward than to punish.
In choosing persons for all employment, 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 understand-
ing is fitted to some station or other; and that Pro-
vidence 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 are
seldom 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 ex-
perience 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 employ-
ments 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 vir-
tuous disposition, would never be of such fatal con-
sequence 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 corruptions.
In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Provi-
dence 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 employment by dancing on the ropes, or badges
of favour 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 faction.

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 return to
his benefactor, must needs be a common enemy to
the rest of mankind, from whom he has received no
obligation, and therefore such a man is not fit to live.
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 labourers, 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 both sexes. They have certain pro-
fessors well skilled in preparing children for such a
condition of life as befits the ranks of their parents,
and their own caprices 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 honour, 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
is 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
proportionably after the same manner; only those
designed for trades are put out apprentices at eleven
years old: whereas, those of persons of quality con-
tinue in their exercises till fifteen, which answers to
twenty-one with us; but the confinement is gradu-
ally 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 pre-
sume to entertain the girls with frightful or foolish
stories, or the common follies practised by chamber-
maids 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 cleanli-
ness: neither did I perceive any difference in their
education made by their difference of sex, only that
the exercises of the females were not altogether so
robust: and that some rules were given them relat-
ing to domestic life, and a smaller compass of learn-
ing was enjoined them: for their maxim is, that
among people of quality, a wife should always be 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 the 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 pro-
per 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 families who have children at these
nurseries, are obliged, beside their annual pension,

which is as low as possible, to return to the steward
of the nursery a small monthly share of their get-
tings, to be a portion for the child; and therefore all
parents are limited in their expenses by the law.
For the Lilliputians think nothing can be more un-
just than for people to leave the burden of support-
ing 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 hus-
bandry and the most exact justice.
The cottagers and labourers keep their children
at home, their business being only to till and culti-
vate 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 domestics, and
my manner of living in this country, during a resi-
dence of nine months and thirteen days. Having a
head mechanically turned, 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
middle, with a strong cord extended, that each held
by the end, while a third measured the length of
the cord with the 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 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 patch-work made by ladies in England, only
that mine were all of a colour.
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
two dishes a-piece. I took up twenty waiters in my
hand and placed them on the table: a hundred more
attended below on the ground, some with dishes of
meat, and some with barrels of wine and other
liquors slung on their shoulders: all which the




waiters above drew up, as I wanted, in a very inge-
nious 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
ate at a mouthful, and I 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 trea-
surer, 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
ate more than usual in honour 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 ex-
chequer bills would not circulate under nine per
cent. below par; that I had cost his majesty above
a million and-a-half of sprigs (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."
I had many visitors, and on those occasions, when
a servant had given me notice, my custom was to
go immediately to the door, and, after paying my
respects, to take up the coach and two horses very
carefully in my hands, and place them on a table,
where I had fixed a moveable rim quite round, of
five inches high, to prevent accidents. I have often
had four coaches and horses at once on my table,
full of company, while I sat in my chair, leaning my
face towards them; and when I was engaged with
one set, the coachman would gently drive the others
round my table. I have passed many an afternoon
very agreeably in these conversations.

5- 2.Fi~r -,^



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

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 Europe.
While I was just preparing to pay my attendance
on the emperor of Blefuscu, a considerable person at
court (to whom I had been very serviceable, at a
time when he lay under the highest displeasure of
his imperial majesty) came to my house very privately
at night, in a close chair; and, without sending in
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 honour and my life." His
speech was to the following effect, for I took note of
it as soon as he left me:-
"You are to know," said he, "that several com-
mittees of council have lately been called in the most
private manner, on your account; and it is but two
days since his majesty came to a full resolution.
You are very sensible that Skyresh Bolgolam
(galbet or high admiral) has been your mortal
enemy, almost ever since your arrival. His original
reasons I know not; but his hatred is increased
since your great success against Blefuscu, by which
his glory as admiral is much obscured. This lord,
in conjunction with Flimnap, the high-treasurer,
whose enmity against you is notorious; Limtoc, the
general; Lalcon, the chamberlain; and Balmuff, the
grand justiciary, have prepared articles of impeach-
ment against you, for treason and other capital
This preface made me so impatient, being con-
scious of my own merits and innocence, that I was
going to interrupt him; when he entreated me to be
silent, and thus proceeded :-
"Out of gratitude for the favours you have done
me, I procured information of the whole proceedings,

and a copy of the articles; wherein I ventured my
head for your service."
Article I.
"Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his
imperial majesty, Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted,
that, whoever shall make use of the water within
the precincts of the royal palace, shall be liable to
the pains and penalties of high treason; notwith-
standing, the same Quinbus Flestrin, in open breach
of the said law, under colour of extinguishing the
fire kindled in the apartment of his majesty's most
dear imperial consort, did maliciously and traitor-
ously put out the said fire kindled in the said apart-
ment, lying and being within the precincts of the
said royal palace, against the statute in that case
provided, &c., against the duty, &c.
Article II.
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 em-
pire of Blefuscu, and reduce that empire to a pro-
vince, 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.
Article III.
"That whereas certain ambassadors arrived from
the court of Blefuscu, to sue for peace in his ma-
jesty's court; he, the said Flestrin, did, like a false
traitor, aid, abet, comfort, and divert, the said am-
bassadors, although he knew them to be servants to
a prince who was lately an open enemy to his im-
perial majesty, and in an open war against his said
Article IV.
"That the said Quinbus Flestrin, contrary to the
duty of a faithful subject, is now preparing to make
a voyage to the court and empire of Blefuscu, for
which he has received only verbal licence from his
imperial majesty; and, under colour of the said
licence, does falsely and traitorously intend to take
the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and
abet the emperor of Blefuscu, so lately an enemy,
and in open war with his imperial majesty afore-
"There are some other articles; but these are
the most important, of which I have read you an
"In the several debates upon this impeachment,
it must be confessed that his majesty gave maiiny

marks of his great lenity; often urging the services
you had done him, and endeavouring to extenuate
your crimes. The treasurer and admiral insisted
that you should be put to the most painful and
ignominious death, by setting fire to your house at
night; and the general was to attend with twenty
thousand men, armed with poisoned arrows, to shoot
you on the face and hands. Some of your servants
were to have private orders to strew a poisonous
juice on your shirts and sheets, which would soon
make you tear your own flesh, and die in the utmost
torture. The general came into the same opinion;
so that, for a long time, there was a majority against
you; but his majesty resolving, if possible, to spare
your life, at last bought off the chamberlain.
Upon this incident, Reldresal, principal secretary
for private affairs, who always approved himself
your true friend, was commanded by the emperor
to deliver his opinion, which he accordingly did;
and therein justified the good thoughts you have of
him. He allowed your crimes to be great, but that
there was still room for mercy, the most commend-
able virtue in a prince, and for which his majesty
was so justly celebrated. He said, the friendship
between you and him was so well known to the
world, that perhaps the most honourable board
might think him partial: however, in obedience to
the command he had received, he would freely offer
his sentiments. That if his majesty, in considera-
tion of your services, and pursuant to his own
merciful disposition, would please to spare your life,

and only give orders to put out both your eyes, he
humbly conceived that by this expedient justice
might in some measure be satisfied, and all the
world would applaud the lenity of the emperor, as
well as the fair and generous proceedings of those
who have the honour to be his counsellors. That
the loss of your eyes would be no impediment to
your bodily strength, by which you might still be
useful to his majesty: that blindness is an addition
to courage, by concealing dangers from us: that
the fear you had for your eyes, was the greatest
difficulty in bringing over the enemy's fleet; and it
would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of
the ministers, since the greatest princes do no
"This proposal was received with the utmost dis-
approbation by the whole board. Bolgolam, the
admiral, could not preserve his temper; but rising
up in a 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 aggrava-
tion of your crimes; that you, who were able to ex-
tinguish the flames, might, at another time, raise an
inundation by the same means, to drown the whole
palace; and the same strength, which enabled you
to bring over the enemy's fleet, might serve, upon
the first discontent, to carry it back : that he had
good reasons to think that you were a Bigendian 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 pro-
bably increase it, as is manifest from the common
practice of blinding some kind of fowls, after which
they fed the faster, and grew sooner fat; that his
sacred majesty and the council, who are your judges,
were, in their own consciences, fully convinced of
your guilt, which was a sufficient argument to con-
demn you to death, without the formal proofs
required by the strict letter of the law.
"But his imperial majesty, fully determined against
capital punishment, was graciously pleased to say,
that since the council thought the loss of your eyes
too easy a censure, some other way may be inflicted
hereafter. And your friend the secretary, humbly
desiring to be heard again, in answer to what the
treasurer had objected, concerning the great charge
his majesty was at in maintaining you, said, that his
excellency, who had the sole disposal of the em-
peror's revenue, might easily provide against that
evil, by gradually lessening your establishment; by
which, for want of sufficient food, you will grow
weak and faint, and lose your appetite, and consume
in a few months; and upon your death, the skeleton
would be left asamonumentof admiration to posterity.

Thus, upon 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 dis-
senting except Bolgolam the admiral, who, being a
creature of the empress, was perpetually instigated
by her majesty to insist upon your death, she having
borne perpetual malice against you, on account of that
infamous and illegal method you took to extinguish
the fire in her apartment.
In three days your friend, the secretary, will be
directed to come to your house, and read before you
the articles of impeachment; and then to signify the
great lenity and favour of his majesty and council,
whereby you are only condemned to the loss of your
eyes, which his majesty does not question you will
gratefully and humbly submit to; and twenty of his
majesty's surgeons will attend, in order to see the
operation well performed, by discharging very sharp-
pointed arrows into the balls of your eyes, as you lie
on the 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 practice of former times), that after the court had
decreed any cruel execution, either to gratify the

monarch's resentment, or the malice of a favourite,
the emperor always made a speech to his whole
council, expressing his great lenity and tenderness,
as qualities known and confessed by all the world.
This speech was immediately published throughout
the kingdom; nor did 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 more innocent the
sufferer. Yet as to myself, I must confess, having
never been designed for a courtier, either by my
birth or education, I was so ill a judge of things,
that I could not discover the lenity and favour of
this sentence, but conceived it (perhaps erroneously)
to be rather 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 deci-
sion, 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 remem-
bering the oath I had made to the emperor, the
favours I received from him, and the high title of
nardac he conferred upon me. Neither had I so

soon learned the gratitude of courtiers, to persuade
myself that his majesty's present severities acquitted
me of all past obligations.
At last, I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is
probable I may incur some censure, and not unjustly;
for I confess I owe the preserving of mine eyes, and
consequently my liberty, to mine 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 licence 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, and tied the
cable to the prow; and, lifting up the anchors, I
stripped myself, put my clothes (together with my
coverlet, which I carried under my arm) into the
vessel, and drawing it after me, between wading
and swimming arrived at the royal port of Ble-
fuscu, where the people had long expected me.
They lent me two guides to direct me to the
capital city, which is of the same name: I held
them in my hands till I came within two hundred

yards of the gate, and desired them to signify
my arrival to one of the secretaries, and let him
know I there waited his majesty's commands." 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 and the empress's hands. I told his majesty,
" that I was come according to my promise, and with
the licence of the emperor my master, to have the
honour of seeing so mighty a monarch, and to offer
him any service in my power, consistent with my
duty to my own prince;" not mentioning a word of
my disgrace, because I had hitherto no regular infor-
mation of it, and might suppose myself wholly
ignorant of any such design; neither could I reason-
ably conceive that the emperor would discover the
secret, while I was out of his power; wherein, how-
ever, 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
m my coverlet.


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

THREE days after my arrival, walking, out of curio-
sity, to the north-east coast of the island, I observed,
about half a league off in the sea somewhat that
looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my
shoes and stockings, and, 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 impe-
rial 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 vicc-
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 labour to little purpose; for, being out
of my depth, I was not able to work. In this neces-
sity I was forced to swim behind, and push the boat
forward, as often as I could with one of my hands;
and the tide favouring me, I advanced so far that I
could just hold up my chin and feel the ground. I
rested two or three minutes, and then gave the boat
another shove, and so on, till the sea was no higher
than my arm-pits; and now the most laborious part
being over, I took out my other cables, which were
stowed in one of the ships, and fastened them first
to the boat, and then to nine of the vessels which
attended me; the wind being favourable, the seamen
towed, and I shoved, until we arrived within forty
yards of the shore, and waiting till the tide was out,
I got dry to the boat; and by the assistance of two
thousand men, with ropes and engines, made a shift
to turn it on its bottom, and found it was but little
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 into the
royal port of Blefuscu, where a mighty concourse of
people appeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at
the sight of so prodigious a vessel. I told the
emperor, "that my good fortune had thrown this
boat in my way, to carry me to some place whence
I might return to my native country; and begged
his majesty's orders for getting materials to fit it up;

together with his licence to depart ;" which, after
some kind expostulations, he was pleased to grant.
I did very much wonder, in all this time, not to
have heard of any express relating to me from our
emperor to the court of Blefuscu. But was after-
wards given privately to understand that his im-
perial 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 licence he had given me, which was well
known at our court, and would return in a few days,
when the ceremony was ended. But he was at last
in pain at my long absence, and after consulting
with the treasurer and the rest of that cabal, a per-
son 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 further 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 further added,
"that in order to maintain the peace and amity
between both empires, his master expected that his
brother of Blefuscu would give orders to have me
sent back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to be
punished as a traitor."
The emperor of Blefuscu, having taken three days
to consult, returned an answer consisting of many
civilities and excuses. He said, "that, as for send-
ing me bound, his brother knew that it was im-

possible; 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 incum-
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
acknowledgment of his favourable intentions, I
humbly begged to be excused. I told him, "that
since fortune, whether good or evil, had thrown a
vessel in my way, I was resolved to venture myself
on the ocean, rather than be an occasion of difference
between two such mighty monarchs." Neither did
I find the emperor at all displeased; and I dis-
covered, 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
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 the young princes of the blood. His
majesty presented me with fifty purses of two hun-
dred 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 cere-
monies at my departure were too many to trouble
the reader with at this time.
I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred
oxen and three hundred sheep, with bread and
drink proportionable, and as much meat ready
dressed as four hundred cooks could provide. I
took with me six cows and two bulls alive, with as

many ewes and rams, intending to carry them into
my own country, and propagate the breed; and to
feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay,
and a bag of corn. I would gladly have taken a
dozen of the natives, but this was a thing the em-
peror would by no means permit; and, besides a
diligent search into my pockets, his majesty engaged
my honour not to carry away any of his subjects,
although with their own consent and desire."
Having thus prepared all things as well as I was
able, I set sail on the twenty-fourth day of Septem-
ber, 1701, at six in the morning; and when I had
gone about four leagues to the northward, the wind
being at the south-east, at six in the evening, I
described a small island, about half-a-league to the
north-west. I advanced forward, and cast anchor
on the lee-side of the island, which seemed to be
uninhabited. I then took some refreshment, and
went to my rest. I slept well, as I conjecture at
least six hours, for I found the day broke in two
hours, after I awoke. It was a clear night. I ate
my breakfast before the sun was up; and heaving
anchor, the wind being favourable, I steered the
same course that I had done the day before, wherein
I was directed by my pocket-compass. My inten-
tion was to reach, if possible, one of those islands
which I had reason to believe lay to the north-east
of Van Diemen's Land. I discovered nothing all
that day; but upon the next, about three in the
afternoon, when I had by my computation made
twenty-four leagues from Blefuscu, I described a

sail steering to the south-east. My course was due
east. I hailed her, but could get no answer; yet I
found that I gained upon her, for the wind slackened.
I made all the sail I could, and in half-an-hour she
spied me, then hung out her ancient and discharged
a gun. It is not easy to express the joy I was in,
upon the unexpected hope of once more seeing my
beloved country, and the dear pledges I left in it.
The ship slackened her sails, and I came up with
her between five and six in the evening, September
26th; but my. heart leapt within me to see her
English colours. I put my cows and sheep into my
coat-pocket, 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 30 degrees south;
there were about fifty men in the ship; and here I
met an old comrade of mine, one Peter Williams,
who gave me a good character to the captain. This
gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I
would let him know what place I came from last,
and whither I was bound; which I did in a few
words. But he thought I was raving, and that the
dangers I 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 rarities of that country. I gave him
two purses of two hundred sprugs each, and pro-
mised, when we arrived in England, to make him a
present of a cow and a sheep.
I shall not trouble the reader with a particular
account of this voyage, which was very prosperous
for the most part. We arrived in the Downs on
the 13th of April, 1702. I had only one misfortune,
that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep.
I found her bones in a hole picked clean from the
flesh. The rest of my cattle I got safe ashore, and
set them a-grazing in a bowling-green at Greenwich,
where the fineness of the grass made them feed very
heartily, though I had always feared the contrary:
neither could I possibly have preserved them in so
long a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me
some of his best biscuit, which, rubbed to powder
and mingled with water, was their constant food.
The short time I continued in England, I made a
considerable profit by showing my cattle to many
persons of quality and others, and before I began
my second voyage I sold them for six hundred
pound. 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 their 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 car-