Gullivers travels into s.., p.12
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       Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Regions of the World, p.12

           Jonathan Swift
 
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  CHAPTER VIII.

  THE AUTHOR, BY A LUCKY ACCIDENT, FINDS MEANS TO LEAVE BLEFUSCU, AND AFTER SOME DIFFICULTIES, RETURNS SAFE TO HIS NATIVE COUNTRY.

  Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the northeastcoast 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 andstockings, and wading two or three hundred yards, I found the object toapproach nearer by force of the tide; and then plainly saw it to be areal boat, which I supposed might by some tempest have been driven froma ship: whereupon I returned immediately towards the city, and desiredhis imperial majesty to lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he hadleft after the loss of his fleet, and three thousand seamen under thecommand of his vice-admiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went backthe shortest way to the coast, where I first discovered the boat. Ifound the tide had driven it still nearer. The seamen were all providedwith cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a sufficient strength.When the ships came up, I stripped myself, and waded till I came withina hundred yards of the boat, after which I was forced to swim till I gotup to it. The seamen threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to ahole in the forepart of the boat, and the other end to a man-of-war. ButI found all my labor to little purpose; for, being out of my depth, Iwas not able to work. In this necessity, I was forced to swim behind,and push the boat forwards as often as I could with one of my hands,and, the tide favoring me, I advanced so far, that I could just hold upmy chin and feel the ground. I rested two or three minutes, and thengave the boat another shove, and so on till the sea was no higher thanmy arm-pits; and now, the most laborious part being over, I took out myother cables, which were stowed in one of the ships, and fastened themfirst to the boat, and then to nine of the vessels which attended me;the wind being favorable, the seamen towed, and I shoved, till wearrived within forty yards of the shore, and waiting till the tide wasout, I got dry to the boat, and, by the assistance of two thousand men,with ropes and engines, I made a shift to turn it on its bottom, andfound it was but little damaged.

  I shall not trouble the reader with the difficulties I was under, by thehelp of certain paddles, which cost me ten days making, to get my boatto the royal port of Blefuscu, where a mighty concourse of peopleappeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at the sight of so prodigious avessel. I told the emperor that my good fortune had thrown this boat inmy way, to carry me to some place from whence I might return into mynative country, and begged his majesty's orders for getting materials tofit it up, together with his license to depart, which, after some kindexpostulation, he was pleased to grant.

  I did very much wonder, in all this time, not to have heard of anyexpress relating to me from our emperor to the court of Blefuscu. But Iwas afterwards given privately to understand that his imperial majesty,never imagining I had the least notice of his designs, believed I wasonly gone to Blefuscu in performance of my promise according to thelicense he had given me, which was well known at our court, and wouldreturn in a few days when the ceremony was ended. But he was at last inpain at my long absence; and, after consulting with the treasurer andthe rest of that cabal,[35] a person of quality was despatched with thecopy of the articles against me. This envoy had instructions torepresent to the monarch of Blefuscu the great lenity of his master, whowas content to punish me no farther than the loss of mine eyes; that Ihad fled from justice, and, if I did not return in two hours, I shouldbe deprived of my title of _nardac_ and declared a traitor. The envoyfarther added that, in order to maintain the peace and amity betweenboth empires, his master expected that his brother of Blefuscu wouldgive orders to have me sent back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to bepunished as a traitor.

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

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

  These considerations moved me to hasten my departure somewhat soonerthan I intended; to which the court, impatient to have me gone, veryreadily contributed. Five hundred workmen were employed to make twosails to my boat, according to my directions, by quilting thirteen foldsof their strongest linen together. I was at the pains of making ropesand cables, by twisting ten, twenty, or thirty of the thickest andstrongest of theirs. A great stone, that I happened to find after a longsearch by the sea-shore, served me for an anchor. I had the tallow ofthree hundred cows for greasing my boat, and other uses. I was atincredible pains in cutting down some of the largest timber-trees foroars and masts, wherein I was, however, much assisted by his majesty'sship-carpenters, who helped me in smoothing them after I had done therough work.

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

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

  I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred oxen, and three hundredsheep, with bread and drink proportionable, and as much meat readydressed as four hundred cooks could provide. I took with me six cows andtwo bulls alive, with as many ewes and lambs, intending to carry theminto 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 havetaken a dozen of the natives, but this was a thing the emperor would byno means permit; and, besides a diligent search into my pockets, hismajesty engaged my honor not to carry away any of his subjects, althoughwith their own consent and desire.

  Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able, I set sail on thetwenty-fourth day of September, 1701, at six in the morning; and, when Ihad gone about four leagues to the northward, the wind being atsoutheast, at six in the evening I descried a small island about half aleague to the northwest I advanced forward, and cast anchor on the leeside[36] of the island, which seemed to be uninhabited. I then took somerefreshment, and went to my rest. I slept well, and, as I conjecture, atleast six hours, for I found the day broke two hours after I awaked. Itwas a clear night. I ate my breakfast before the sun was up; and heavinganchor, the wind being favorable, I steered the same course that I haddone the day before, wherein I was directed by my pocket-compass. Myintention was to reach, if possible, one of those islands, which, I hadreason to believe, lay to the northeast of Van Diemen's Land. Idiscovered nothing all that day; but upon the next, about three o'clockin the afternoon, when I had, by my computation, made twenty-fourleagues from Blefuscu, I descried a sail steering to the southeast
: mycourse was due east. I hailed her, but could get no answer; yet I foundI gained upon her, for the wind slackened. I made all the sail I could,and in half-an-hour she spied me, then hung out her ancient,[37] anddischarged a gun.

  It is not easy to express the joy I was in, upon the unexpected hope ofonce 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 andsix in the evening, September twenty-sixth; but my heart leaped withinme to see her English colors. I put my cows and sheep into mycoat-pockets, and got on board with all my little cargo of provisions.The vessel was an English merchantman returning from Japan by the Northand South Seas; the captain, Mr. John Biddle, of Deptford, a very civilman and an excellent sailor. We were now in the latitude of 30 degreessouth. There were about fifty men in the ship; and here I met an oldcomrade of mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good character tothe captain. This gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired Iwould let him know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound;which I did in few words, but he thought I was raving, and that thedangers I had underwent had disturbed my head; whereupon I took my blackcattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after great astonishment,clearly convinced him of my veracity. I then showed him the gold givenme by the emperor of Blefuscu, together with his majesty's picture atfull length, and some other rareties of that country. I gave him twopurses of two hundred _sprugs_ each, and promised, when we arrived inEngland, to make him a present of a cow and a sheep.

  I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this voyage,which was very prosperous for the most part. We arrived in the Downs[38]on the thirteenth of April, 1702. I had only one misfortune, that therats on board carried away one of my sheep; I found her bones in a hole,picked clean from the flesh. I got the rest of my cattle safe ashore,and set them a-grazing in a bowling-green at Greenwich, where thefineness of the grass made them feed very heartily, though I had alwaysfeared the contrary: neither could I possibly have preserved them in solong a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me some of his bestbiscuits, which, rubbed to powder, and mingled with water, was theirconstant food. The short time I continued in England, I made aconsiderable profit by showing my cattle to many persons of quality andothers: and before I began my second voyage I sold them for six hundredpounds.

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

  I stayed but two months with my wife and family; for my insatiabledesire of seeing foreign countries would suffer me to continue nolonger. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife and fixed her in agood house at Redriff. My remaining stock I carried with me, part inmoney, and part in goods, in hopes to improve my fortune. My eldestuncle, John, had left me an estate in land, near Epping, of about thirtypounds a year; and I had a long lease of the "Black Bull[39]," inFetter Lane, which yielded me as much more: so that I was not in anydanger of leaving my family upon the parish. My son Johnny, named soafter his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a towardly[40] child. Mydaughter Betty (who is now well married, and has children), was then ather needlework. I took leave of my wife and boy and girl, with tears onboth sides, and went on board the "Adventure," a merchant ship of threehundred tons, bound for Surat, Captain John Nicholas, of Liverpool,commander. But my account of this voyage must be referred to the secondpart of my travels.

  THE END OF THE FIRST PART.

  "THEY CONCLUDED ... THAT I WAS ONLY _RelplumScalcath_," P. 37.]

  TRAVELS.

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