Gullivers travels into s.., p.5
Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Regions of the World, p.5Jonathan Swift
THE AUTHOR GIVES SOME ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF AND FAMILY: HIS FIRST INDUCEMENTS TO TRAVEL. HE IS SHIPWRECKED, AND SWIMS FOR HIS LIFE; GETS SAFE ASHORE 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 fivesons. He sent me to Emmanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old,where I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies;but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a very scantyallowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprenticeto Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continuedfour years; and my father now and then sending me small sums of money, Ilaid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematicsuseful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be,some time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates, I went downto my father, where, by the assistance of him, and my uncle John andsome other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirtypounds a year, to maintain me at Leyden. There I studied physic twoyears and seven months, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.
Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master,Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the "Swallow," Captain Abraham Pannell,commander; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyageor two into the Levant, and some other parts. When I came back Iresolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouragedme, and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took part of asmall 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 aportion.
But my good master, Bates, dying in two years after, and I having fewfriends, my business began to fail; for my conscience would not sufferme to imitate the bad practice of too many among my brethren. Having,therefore, consulted with my wife, and some of my acquaintance, Idetermined 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, bywhich I got some addition to my fortune. My hours of leisure I spent inreading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided witha good number of books; and, when I was ashore, in observing the mannersand 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 ofthe sea, and intended to stay at home with my wife and family. I removedfrom the Old Jewry to Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping toget business among the sailors; but it would not turn to account. Afterthree years' expectation that things would mend, I accepted anadvantageous offer from Captain William Prichard, master of the"Antelope," who was making a voyage to the South Sea. We set sailfrom 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 theparticulars of our adventures in those seas. Let it suffice to informhim, that, in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we were drivenby a violent storm, to the northwest of Van Diemen's Land.
By an observation, we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees and2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labor andill food; the rest were in a very weak condition.
On the fifth of November, which was the beginning of summer in thoseparts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock within halfa cable's length of the ship; but the wind was so strong, that wewere driven directly upon it, and immediately split. Six of the crew, ofwhom I was one, having let down the boat into the sea, made a shift toget clear of the ship and the rock. We rowed, by my computation, aboutthree leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spentwith labor, while we were in the ship. We, therefore, trusted ourselvesto the mercy of the waves; and, in about half an hour, the boat wasoverset by a sudden flurry from the north. What became of my companionsin the boat, as well as those who escaped on the rock, or were left inthe vessel, I cannot tell, but conclude they were all lost.
For my own part, I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forwardby 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 foundmyself 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 theshore, which I conjectured was about eight o'clock in the evening. Ithen advanced forward near half a mile, but could not discover any signof houses or inhabitants; at least, I was in so weak a condition, that Idid not observe them. I was extremely tired, and with that, and theheat of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that I drank as Ileft the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down on thegrass, which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever Iremembered to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, about ninehours; 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 foundmy arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; andmy hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner. Ilikewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my arm-pitsto my thighs. I could only look upwards, the sun began to grow hot, andthe light offended my eyes.
I heard a confused noise about me; but, in the posture I lay, could seenothing except the sky. In a little time, I felt something alive movingon my left leg, which, advancing gently forward over my breast, camealmost up to my chin; when, bending my eyes downward, as much as Icould, I perceived it to be a human creature, not six inches high, witha bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back. In the meantimeI felt at least forty more of the same kind (as I conjectured) followingthe first.
I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud that they all ranback in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterwards told, were hurtwith 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 toget a full sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way ofadmiration, cried out in a shrill, but distinct voice--_Hekinah degul!_the others repeated the same words several times, but I then knew notwhat they meant.
I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness. Atlength, 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 bylifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had taken tobind me, and, at the same time, with a violent pull, which gave meexcessive pain, I a little loosened the strings that tied down my hairon the left side, so that I was just able to turn my head about twoinches.
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 itceased, I heard one of them cry aloud, _Tolgo phonac_; when, in aninstant, I felt above an hundred arrows discharged on my left hand,which pricked me like so many needles; and, besides, they shot anotherflight 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 Iimmediately covered with my left hand.
When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a-groaning with grief andpain, and then striving again to get loose, they discharged anothervolley larger than the first, and some of them attempted with spears tostick 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 liestill, and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left handbeing already loose, I could easily free myself; and as for theinhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for thegreatest army they could bring against me, if they were all of the samesize with him that I saw.
"I LAY ALL THIS WHILE IN GREAT UNEASINESS" P. 8.]
But fortune disposed otherwise of me. When the people observed I wasquiet, they discharged no more arrows: but, by the noise I hea
But I should have mentioned, that before the principal person began hisoration, he cried out three times, _Langro debul san_ (these words, andthe former, were afterwards repeated, and explained to me). Whereuponimmediately about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut the strings thatfastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turningit to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him that wasto speak. He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of theother three who attended him, whereof one was a page that held up histrain, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle finger; the othertwo stood one on each side, to support him. He acted every part of anorator, and I could observe many periods of threatenings, and others ofpromises, pity, and kindness.
I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting upmy left hand, and both my eyes, to the sun, as calling him for awitness: and, being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten amorsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands ofnature so strong upon me, that I could not forbear showing my impatience(perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my fingerfrequently to my mouth, to signify that I wanted food. The _hurgo_ (forso they call a great lord, as I afterwards learned) understood me verywell. He descended from the stage, and commanded that several laddersshould be applied to my sides; on which above a hundred of theinhabitants mounted, and walked towards my mouth, laden with basketsfull of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the king'sorders, upon the first intelligence he received of me.
I observed there was the flesh of several animals, but could notdistinguish them by the taste. There were shoulders, legs, and loins,shaped like those of mutton, and very well dressed, but smaller than thewings of a lark. I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and tookthree loaves at a time, about the bigness of musket bullets. Theysupplied me as they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder andastonishment at my bulk and appetite. I then made another sign that Iwanted drink.
They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me; andbeing a most ingenious people, they slung up with great dexterity, oneof their largest hogsheads, then rolled it towards my hand, and beat outthe top: I drank it off at a draught; which I might well do, for it didnot hold half a pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, butmuch more delicious. They brought me a second hogshead, which I drank inthe 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 dancedupon my breast, repeating, several times, as they did at first, _Hekinahdegul_. 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, cryingaloud, _Borach nevola_; and, when they saw the vessels in the air, therewas an universal shout of _Hekinah degul_.
I confess, I was often tempted, while they were passing backwards andforwards on my body, to seize forty or fifty of the first that came inmy reach, and dash them against the ground. But the remembrance of whatI had felt, which probably might not be the worst they could do, and thepromise of honor I made them--for so I interpreted my submissivebehavior--soon drove out those imaginations. Besides, I now consideredmyself as bound, by the laws of hospitality, to a people who had treatedme with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts Icould not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutivemortals, who durst venture to mount and walk upon my body, while one ofmy hands was at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of soprodigious a creature, as I must appear to them.
"PRODUCING HIS CREDENTIALS." P. 14.]
After some time, when they observed that I made no more demands formeat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from his imperialmajesty. 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 appliedclose 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 amile distant, whither it was agreed by his majesty in council that Imust be conveyed. I answered in few words, but to no purpose, and made asign with my hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over hisexcellency's head, for fear of hurting him or his train) and then to myown head and body, to signify that I desired my liberty.
It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head byway of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show that Imust be carried as a prisoner. However, he made other signs, to let meunderstand that I should have meat and drink enough, and very goodtreatment. Whereupon I once more thought of attempting to break mybonds; but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows upon my face andhands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still stickingin them, and observing, likewise, that the number of my enemiesincreased, I gave tokens to let them know, that they might do with mewhat they pleased. Upon this the _hurgo_ and his train withdrew, withmuch civility, and cheerful countenances.
Soon after, I heard a general shout, with frequent repetitions of thewords, _Peplom selan_, and I felt great numbers of people on my leftside, relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able to turn uponmy right, and to get a little ease. But, before this, they had daubed myface and both my hands with a sort of ointment very pleasant to thesmell, which, in a few minutes, removed all the smart of their arrows.These circumstances, added to the refreshment I had received by theirvictuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to sleep. Islept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured; and it was nowonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled a sleepypotion in the hogsheads of wine.
It seems that, upon the first moment I was discovered sleeping on theground after my landing, the emperor had early notice of it, by anexpress; and determined in council, that I should be tied in the mannerI have related (which was done in the night, while I slept), that plentyof meat and drink should be sent to me, and a machine prepared to carryme to the capital city.
This resolution, perhaps, may appear very bold and dangerous, and I amconfident would not be imitated by any prince in Europe, on the likeoccasion. However, in my opinion, it was extremely prudent, as well asgenerous; for, supposing these people had endeavored to kill me withtheir spears and arrows, while I was asleep, I should certainly haveawaked with the first sense of smart, which might so far have roused myrage and strength, as to have enabled me to break the strings wherewithI was tied; after which, as they were not able to make resistance, sothey could expect no mercy.
These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a greatperfection in mechanics, by the countenance and encouragement of theemperor, who is a renowned patron of learning. The prince hath severalmachines fixed on wheels for the carriage of trees, and other greatweights. He often builds his largest men of war, whereof some are ninefeet long, in the woods where the timber grows, and has them carried onthese engines three or four hundred yards to the sea. Five hundredcarpenters and engineers were immediately set to work, to prepare thegreatest engine they had. It was a frame of wood, raised three inchesfrom the ground, about seven feet long and four wide, moving upontwenty-two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival of thisengine, which, it seems, set out in four hours after my landing. It wasbrought parallel to me, as I lay. But the principal difficulty was, toraise and place me in this vehicle.
Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for this purpose, andvery strong cords, o
All this I was told; for, while the whole operation was performing, Ilay in a profound sleep, by the force of that soporiferous medicineinfused into my liquor. Fifteen hundred of the emperor's largest horses,each about four inches and a half high, were employed to draw metowards the metropolis, which, as I said, was half a mile distant.
About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked, by a veryridiculous accident; for, the carriage being stopt a while, to adjustsomething that was out of order, two or three of the young natives hadthe curiosity to see how I looked, when I was asleep. They climbed upinto the engine, and advancing very softly to my face, one of them, anofficer in the guards, put the sharp end of his half-pike a good wayup into my left nostril, which tickled my nose like a straw, and made mesneeze violently; whereupon they stole off, unperceived, and it wasthree weeks before I knew the cause of my awaking so suddenly.
We made a long march the remaining part of the day, and rested at nightwith five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and halfwith bows and arrows, ready to shoot me, if I should offer to stir. Thenext morning, at sunrise, we continued our march, and arrived within twohundred yards of the city gates about noon. The emperor, and all hiscourt, came out to meet us; but his great officers would by no meanssuffer his majesty to endanger his person, by mounting on my body.
At the place where the carriage stopt, there stood an ancient temple,esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom, which, having beenpolluted some years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to thezeal of those people, looked upon as profane, and therefore had beenapplied to common use, and all the ornaments and furniture carriedaway. In this edifice it was determined I should lodge. The great gate,fronting to the north, was about four feet high, and almost two feetwide, through which I could easily creep. On each side of the gate was asmall window, not above six inches from the ground; into that on theleft side the king's smith conveyed four score and eleven chains, likethose that hang to a lady's watch in Europe, and almost as large, whichwere locked to my left leg with six-and-thirty padlocks.
Over against this temple, on the other side of the great highway, attwenty feet distance, there was a turret at least five feet high. Herethe emperor ascended, with many principal lords of his court, to have anopportunity of viewing me, as I was told, for I could not see them. Itwas reckoned that above an hundred thousand inhabitants came out of thetown upon the same errand; and, in spite of my guards, I believe therecould not be fewer than ten thousand, at several times, who mounted mybody, by the help of ladders. But a proclamation was soon issued, toforbid it, upon pain of death.
When the workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, they cutall the strings that bound me; whereupon I rose up, with as melancholy adisposition as ever I had in my life. But the noise and astonishment ofthe people, at seeing me rise and walk, are not to be expressed. Thechains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me notonly the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in a semi-circle,but, being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in,and lie at my full length in the temple.
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