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Printed in Great Britain. 





GULLIVER ......... Coloured Frontispiece 


THE ANTELOPE ............ 3 



I LOOKED ABOUT ME ........... 12 





AND HIS COURT ........... 22 




UPON THE BODIES .......... 28 





HER IMPERIAL MAJESTY'S APARTMENT WAS ON FIRE Coloured Illustration facing page 36 



MILDENDO ............. 41 














THE ADVENTURE ............ 66 



TO DEFEND MYSELF ........... 75 



GLUMDALCLITCH ....... Coloured Illustration facing page 80 





I BANGED IT A GOOD WHILE WITH ONE OF MY SCULLS Coloured Illustration facing page 92 



THE QUEEN'S DWARF ........... 100 




A HOLLOW TUBE OF BRASS OR IRON . . . . . . . . 115 






THE CARPENTER CAME ........... 128 






Y 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 there years, and applied myself close to my 
studies ; but the charge of maintaining me, although 
I had a very scanty allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, 
I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in 
London, with whom I continued four years ; and my father now 
and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in 
learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematics useful to 
those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be, some 
time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates I went 
down to my father, where, by the assistance of him and my uncle 
John, and some other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of 
B I 


thirty pounds a year to maintain me at Leyden ; there I studied 
physic two years and seven months, knowing it would be useful 
in long voyages. Soon after my return from Leyden 1 was 
recommended by my good master, Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to 
the Swa/hiv, Captain Abraham Pannell, commander ; 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, encouraged 
me, and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took 
part of a small house in the Old Jewry; and being advised to alter 
my condition, I married Miss 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 imitate the bad practice of too many among my 
brethren. Having, therefore, consulted with my wife and some of 
my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea. I was surgeon 
successively in two ships, and made several voyages, for six years, to 
the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my 
fortune. My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors, 
ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of 
books ; and when I was ashore, in observing the manners and 
dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language ; 
wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of my memory. 

The last of these voyages not proving very fortunate, I grew 
weary of the sea, and intended to stay at home with my wife 
and family. I removed from the Old Jewry to Fetter Lane, and 
from thence to Wapping, hoping to get business among the sailors, 
but it would not turn to account. After three years' expectation 
that things would mend, I accepted an advantageous offer from 
Captain William Prichard, master of the Ante lope ^ 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 adventures in those seas ; let it suffice to 
inform him, that in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we 
were driven by a violent storm to the 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 seamen 
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 immediately 
split. Six of the crew, of whom I was one, having let down the 
boat into the sea, made a shift to get clear of the ship and the 
rock. We rowed, by my computation, about three leagues, till we 
were able to work no longer, being already spent with labour while 



we were in the ship. We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy 
of the waves, and in about half an hour the boat was overset by 
a sudden flurry from the north. What became of my companions 
in the boat, as well as 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 
forward by wind and tide. I often let my legs drop, and could feel 
no bottom ; but when I was almost gone, and able to struggle no 
longer, I found myself within my depth ; and by this time the storm 
was much abated. The declivity was so small that I walked near a 
mile before I got to the shore, which I conjectured was about eight 
o'clock in the evening. I then advanced forward near half a mile, 
but could not discover any sign of houses or inhabitants ; at least, I 
was in so weak a condition that I did not observe them. I was 
extremely tired, and with that, and the heat of the weather, and 
about half a pint of brandy that I drank as I left the ship, I 
found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down on the grass, 
which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever 
I remembered to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, above 
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 legs and arms were strongly fastened 
on each side to the ground ; and my hair, which was long and 
thick, tied down in the same manner. I likewise felt several slender 
ligatures across my body, from my arm-pits to my thighs. I could 
only look upwards ; the sun began to grow hot, and the light 
offended my eyes. I heard a confused noise about me ; but in 
the posture I lay could see nothing except the sky. In a little 
time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing 
gently forward over my breast came almost up to my chin ; when, 
bending my eyes downward as much as I could, I perceived it 
to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow 
in his hands and a quiver at his back. In the meantime, I felt 
at least forty more of the same kind (as I conjectured) following 
the first. I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud 
that they all ran back in a fright ; and some of them, as I was 
afterwards told, were hurt by 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 I The others 
repeated the same words several times, but I then knew not what 
they meant. 

I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness ; 


at length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the 
strings, and wrench out the pegs that fastened my left arm to 
the ground ; for, by lifting it up to my face, I discovered the 
methods they had taken to bind me, and at the same time with 
a violent pull, which gave me excessive pain, I a little loosened 



the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that I was 
just able to turn my head about two 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, To/go 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 immediately covered with my left hand. When 
this shower of arrows was over, I fell a groaning with grief 
and pain, and then striving again to get loose, they discharged 
another volley larger than the first, and some of them attempted 
with spears to stick me in the sides ; but by good luck I had 
on me a buff jerkin, 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 armies they could 
bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him 
that I saw. 

But fortune disposed otherwise of me. When the people 
observed I was quiet, they discharged no more arrows ; but, by the 
noise I heard, I knew their numbers increased ; and about four yards 
from me, over against my right ear, I heard a knocking for above an 
hour, like that of people at work ; when turning my head that way, 
as well as the pegs and strings would permit me, I saw a stage erected 
about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four of 
the inhabitants, with two or three ladders to mount it : from whence 
one of them, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long 
speech, whereof I understood not one 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 each side to support him. 
He acted every part of an orator, and 1 could observe many periods 
of threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness. I 
answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting 
up my left hand and both my eyes to the sun, as calling him for 
a witness ; and being almost famished with hunger, having not 
eaten a morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the 
demands of nature so strong upon me that I could not forbear 
showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency), 
by putting my finger frequently to my mouth, to signify that I 
wanted food. The hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I after- 
wards 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 could not distinguish them by the taste. 
There were shoulders, legs and loins, shaped like those of mutton, 
and very well dressed, but smaller than the wings of a lark. I ate 
them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a 
time about the bigness of musket bullets. They supplied me as 
they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder and astonishment 
at my bulk and appetite. 

I then made another sign that I wanted drink. They found by 
my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me ; and being 
a most ingenious people, they slung up, with great dexterity, one of 
their largest hogsheads, then rolled it towards my hand, and beat 
out the top ; I drank it off at a draught, which I might well do, for 
it did not hold half a pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, 
but much,more delicious. They brought me a second hogshead, 
which I drank in the same manner, and made signs for more : but 
they had none to give me. When I had performed these wonders 
they shouted for joy, and danced upon my breast, repeating several 
times as they did at first, Hekinah degul. They made me a sign that 
I should throw down the two hogsheads, but first warning the people 
below to stand out of the way, crying aloud, Borach 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 


passing backwards and forwards on my body, to seize forty or fifty of 
the first that came in my reach, and dash them against the ground. 
But the remembrance of what I had felt, which probably might not 
be the worst they could do, and the promise of honour I made them 
for so I interpreted my submissive 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 trembling 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 distant, whither 
it was agreed by his majesty in council that I must be conveyed. I 
answered in few words, but to no purpose, and made a sign with my 
hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over his excellency's 
head for fear of hurting him or his train), and then to my own head 
and body, to signify that I desired my liberty. 

It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook 
his head by way of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture 
to show that I must be carried as a prisoner. However, he made 
other signs, to let me understand that I should have meat and drink 
enough, and very good treatment. Whereupon I once more 
thought of attempting to break my bonds ; but again, when I felt 
the smart of their arrows upon my face and hands, which were 
all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking in them, and 
observing likewise that the number of my enemies increased, I gave 
tokens to let them know that they might do with me what they 
pleased. Upon this, the hurgo and his train withdrew, with much 
civility and cheerful countenances. Soon after I heard a general 
shout; with frequent repetitions of the words, Peplom selan ; and 
I felt great numbers of the 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 circum- 
stances, added to the refreshment I had received by their victuals 
and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to sleep. 
I slept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured ; and it was 
no wonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled 
a sleepy potion in the hogsheads of wine. 

It seems, that upon the first moment I was discovered sleeping 
on the ground, after my landing, the emperor had early notice of it 
by an express ; and determined in council, that I should be tied 
in the manner I have related (which was done in the night while I 
slept), that plenty of meat and drink should be sent me, and a 
machine prepared to carry me to the capital city. This resolution 
perhaps may appear very bold and dangerous, and I am confident 
would not be imitated by any prince in Europe on the like occasion. 
However, in my opinion, it was extremely prudent, as well as 
generous : for, supposing these people had 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 enabled me to break 
the strings wherewith I was tied ; after which, as they were not 
able to make resistance, so they could expect no mercy. 

These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a 
great perfection in mechanics by the countenance and encourage- 
ment of the emperor, who is a renowned patron of learning. This 
prince has several machines fixed on wheels, for the carriage of trees 
and other great weights. He often builds his largest men-of- 
war, whereof some are nine feet long, in the woods where the 
timber grows, and has them carried on these engines three or four 
hundred yards to the sea. Five hundred carpenters and engineers 
were immediately set at work to prepare the greatest engine they 
had. It was a frame of wood raised three inches from the ground, 
about seven feet long and four wide, moving upon twenty-two 
wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival of this engine, 
which, it seems, set out in four hours after my landing. It was 
brought parallel to me, as I lay. But the principal difficulty was to 
raise and place me in this vehicle. Eighty poles, each of one 
foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords, 

c 9 


of the bigness of packthread, were fastened by hooks to many 
bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, 
my body, and my legs. Nine hundred of the strongest men were 
employed to draw up these cords, by many pulleys fastened on 
the poles ; and thus, in less than three hours, I was raised and slung 
into the engine, and 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 infused into my liquor. Fifteen 
hundred of the emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and 


a half high, were employed to draw me towards the metropolis, 
which, as I said, was half a mile distant. 

About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by 
a very ridiculous accident ; for the carriage being 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 advanced 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 ; where- 
upon 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 that day, and rested at night with five 
hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and 
half with bows and arrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to 
stir. The next morning at sunrise we continued our march, and 
arrived within two hundred yards of the city gates about noon. 
The emperor, and all his court, came out to meet us, but his great 
officers would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person 
by mounting on my body. 

At the place where the carriage 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 on as profane, 
and therefore had been applied to common use, and all the orna- 
ments 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 thousand inhabitants 
came out of the town upon the same errand ; and in spite of my 
guards, I believe there could not be fewer than ten thousand at 
several times, who mounted my body by the help of ladders. But 
a proclamation was soon issued, to forbid it upon pain of death. 
When the, workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, 
they cut all the strings that bound me ; whereupon I rose up, with 
as melancholy a disposition as ever I had in my life. But the noise 
and astonishment of the people, at seeing me rise and walk, are not 
to be expressed. The chains that held my left leg were about 
two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walking back- 
wards 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. 

1 1 



,T was with great pleasure when I found myself upon my 
feet. I looked about me, and must confess I never 
beheld a more entertaining prospect. The country round 
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 sfang, and the tallest trees, as I could judge, appeared to be 
seven feet high. I viewed the town on my left hand, which 
looked like the painted scene of a city in a theatre. 

The emperor was already descended from the tower, and 
advancing on horseback towards me, which had like to have cost 
him dear ; for the beast, though very well trained, yet wholly 
unused to such a sight, which appeared as if a mountain moved 
before him, reared up on his hinder feet : but that prince, who is 
an excellent horseman, kept his seat, till his attendants ran in, and 
held the bridle, while his majesty had time to dismount. When he 
alighted, he surveyed me round with great admiration ; but kept 
without the length of my chain. He ordered his cooks and 



butlers, who were already prepared, to give me victuals and drink, 
which they pushed forward in a sort of vehicles upon wheels, 
till I could reach them. I took these vehicles, and soon emptied 
them all : twenty of them were filled with meat, and ten with 
liquor ; each of the former afforded me two or three good mouth- 
fuls : 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 be- 
holders. His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian 
lip, and arched nose ; his complexion olive, his countenance erect, 
his body and limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, 
and his deportment majestic. He was then past his prime, being 
twenty-eight years and three-quarters old, of which he had reigned 
about seven in great felicity, and generally victorious. For the 
better convenience of beholding him, I lay on my side, so that 
my face was parallel to his, and he stood but three yards off: 
however, I have had him since many times in my hand, and there- 
fore 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 1 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 imperti- 
nence, 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 forwards 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 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, made up breadth and length ; and these were 
four double ; which, however, kept me but very indifferently from 
the hardness of the floor, that was 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 I. 

As the news of my arrival spread through the kingdom, it 
brought prodigious numbers of rich, idle, and curious people to see 
me ; so that the villages were almost emptied ; and great neglect 
of tillage and household affairs must have ensued, if his imperial 
majesty had not provided by several proclamations and orders of 
state, against this inconveniency. He directed, that those who had 
already beheld me should return home, and not presume to come 



within fifty yards of my house, without license from court ; where- 
by the secretaries of state got considerable fees. 

In the meantime the emperor held frequent councils, to debate 
what course should be taken with me ; and I was afterwards 
assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was 
looked upon to be as much in the secret as any, that the court was 
under many difficulties concerning me. They apprehended my 
breaking loose ; that my diet would be very expensive, and might 
cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to starve me, or at least 
to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which 
would soon dispatch me ; but again they considered, that the stench 
of so large a carcase might produce a plague in the metropolis, and 
probably spread through the whole kingdom. In the midst of these 
consultations, several officers of the army went to the door of the 
great council-chamber, and two of them being admitted, gave an 
account of my behaviour to the six criminals above mentioned ; 
which made so favourable an impression in the breast of his majesty 
and the whole board, in my behalf, that an imperial commission was 
issued out, obliging all the villages, nine hundred yards round the 
city, to deliver in every morning six beeves, forty sheep, and other 
victuals for my sustenance ; together with a proportionable quantity 
of bread, and wine and other liquors ; for the due payment of which, 
his majesty gave assignments upon his treasury : for this prince 
lives chiefly upon his own demesnes ; seldom, except upon great 
occasions, raising any subsidies upon his subjects, who are bound to 
attend him in his wars at their own expense. An establishment was 
also made of six hundred persons to be my domestics, who had 
board-wages allowed for their maintenance, and tents built for them 
very conveniently on each side of my door. It was likewise ordered 
that three hundred tailors should make me a suit of clothes, after the 
fashion of the country ; that six of his majesty's greatest scholars 
should be employed to instruct me in their language ; and lastly, 
that the emperor's horses, and those of the nobility and troops of 
guards, should be frequently exercised in my sight, to accustom 
themselves to me. 

All these orders were duly put in execution ; and in about three 
weeks I made a great progress in learning their language : during 
which time the emperor frequently 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 council, and that 
first I must lumos keltnin pesso desmar Ion emposo ; that is, swear 
a peace with him and his kingdom ; however, that I should be 
used with all kindness ; and he advised me to acquire by my 
patience and discreet 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 pro- 
digious a person. I said, His 
majesty should be satisfied ; for 
I was ready to strip myself, 
and turn up my pockets 
before him. This I delivered, 
part in words, and part in 
signs. He replied, that, by 
the laws of the kingdom, I 
must be searched by two of 
his officers; that he knew this 
could not be done without my six OF HIS MAJESTY'S GREATEST SCHOLARS 
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 I had no mind should be searched, wherein I had some 
little necessaries that were of no consequence to any but myself. 
In one of my fobs there was a silver watch, and in the other a 
small quantity of gold in a purse. These gentlemen, having pen, 
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 
D 17 


I afterwards 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 jiestriri), 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 substances, folded one over another, about the bigness of three 
men, tied with a strong cable, and marked with black figures ; 
which we humbly conceive to be writings, every letter almost half 
as large as the palm of our hands. In the left there was a sort 
of engine, from the back of which were extended twenty long 
poles, resembling the palisadoes before your majesty's court ; where- 
with 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 top of his 
middle cover, but squeezed close by the pressure of his belly. Out 
of the right fob hung a great silver chain, with a wonderful kind of 
engine at the bottom. We directed him to draw out whatever was 
fastened to that chain, which appeared to be a globe, half silver, 
and half of some transparent metal ; for, on the transparent side, we 
saw certain strange figures circularly drawn, and thought we could 
touch them, till we found our ringers stopped by that lucid 
substance. He put this engine to our ears, which made an incessant 
noise, like that of a water-mill : and we conjecture it is either some 
unknown animal, or the god that he worships ; but we are more 
inclined to the latter opinion, because he assured us (if we under- 
stood him right, for he expressed himself very imperfectly) that he 
seldom did any thing without consulting it. He called it his 
oracle, and said it pointed out the time for every action of his life. 
From the left fob he took out a net almost large enough for a 
fisherman, but contrived to open and shut like a purse, and which 
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, dili- 
gently 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 height of five men ; and on the right, 
a bag, or pouch, divided into two cells, capable of holding three of 
your majesty's subjects. In one of these cells were several globes, 
or balls, of a most ponderous metal, about the bigness of our heads, 
and required a strong hand to lift them ; the other cell contained 
a heap of t certain black grains, but of no great bulk or weight, for 
we could hold above fifty of them in the palms of our hands. 

This is an exact inventory of what we found about the body 
of the man-mountain, who used us with great civility, and due 
respect to your majesty's commission. Signed and sealed on the 
fourth day of the eighty-ninth moon of your majesty's auspicious 
reign : 

C/efren ~F re lock. 
Marsi Frelock. 


less daunted than 
expect : he ordered 

When this inventory was read over to the emperor, he directed 
me, although in very gentle terms, to deliver up the several parti- 
culars. He first called for my scimitar, which I took out, scabbard 
and all. In the meantime he ordered three thousand of his choicest 
troops (who then attended him) to surround me at a distance, with 
their bows and arrows just ready to discharge ; but I did not 
observe it, for mine eyes were wholly fixed upon his majesty. He 
then desired me to draw my scimitar, which, although it had got 
some rust by the sea-water, was, in most parts, exceeding bright. 

I did so, and immediately all 
the troops gave a shout be- 
tween terror and surprise ; for 
the sun shone clear, and the 
reflection dazzled their eyes, as 
I waved the scimitar to and 
fro in my hand. His majesty, 
who is a most magnanimous 
prince, was 
I could 


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 inconvenience 
against which all prudent mariners take special care to provide), I 
first cautioned the emperor 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 in some time. 

I delivered up both my pistols in the same manner as I had done 
my scimitar, and then my pouch of powder and bullets ; begging him 
that the former might be kept from the 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 understand them. 

I then gave up my silver and copper money, my purse with nine 
large pieces of gold, and some smaller ones ; my knife and razor, my 
comb and silver snuff-box, my handkerchief, and journal-book. My 
scimitar, pistols, and pouch, were conveyed in carriages to his 
majesty's stores ; but the rest of my goods were returned me. 

I had, as I before observed, one private pocket, which escaped 
their search, wherein was a pair of spectacles (which I sometimes 
use for the weakness of mine eyes), a pocket perspective, and several 
other little conveniences ; which, being of no consequence 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. 





1Y 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 favourable dispo- 
sition. The natives came by degrees to be less apprehensive of 
any danger from me. I would sometimes lie down, and let five 
or six of them dance on my hand ; and at last the boys and 
girls would venture to come and play at hide-and-seek in my 
hair. I had now made a good progress in understanding and 
speaking the language. The emperor had a mind one day to 
entertain me with several of the country shows, wherein they exceed 
all nations I have known, both for dexterity and magnificence. 
I was diverted with none so much as that of the rope-dancers, 
performed upon a slender white thread, extended about two feet, 
and twelve inches from the ground. Upon which I shall desire 
liberty, with the reader's patience, to enlarge a little. 



This diversion is only practised by those persons who are 
candidates for great employments and high 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 the 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 

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

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

2 3 



the stick, sometimes creep under it, backward and rorward, several 
times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed. Sometimes 
the emperor holds one end of the stick, and his minister the other ; 
sometimes the minister has it entirely to himself. Whoever per- 
forms his part with most agility, and holds out the longest in 
leaping and creeping, is rewarded with the purple coloured silk ; 
the yellow is given to the next, and the white 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 without starting. The riders would leap them over 
my hand, as I held it on the ground ; and one of the emperor's 
huntsmen, upon a large courser, took my foot, shoe and all ; which 
was indeed a prodigious leap. I had the good fortune to divert the 
emperor one day after a very extraordinary manner. I desired he 
would order several sticks of two feet high, and the thickness of an 
ordinary cane, to be brought me ; whereupon his majesty commanded 
the master of his woods to give directions accordingly ; and the next 
morning six 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 horse, twenty-four in number, come and 
exercise upon this plain. His majesty approved of the proposal, and 
I took them up, one by one, in my hands, ready mounted and armed, 
with the proper officers to exercise them. As soon as they got into 
order, they divided into two parties, performed mock skirmishes, 
discharged blunt arrows, drew their swords, fled and pursued, attacked 
and retired, and, in short, discovered the best military discipline I 
ever beheld. The parallel sticks secured them and their horses from 
falling over the stage ; and the emperor was so much delighted, that 
he ordered this entertainment to be repeated several days, and once 
was pleased to be lifted up, and give the word of command ; and, 

E 25 


with great difficulty, persuaded even the empress herself to let me 
hold her in her close chair within two yards of the stage, from 
whence she was able to take a full view of the whole performance. 
It was my good fortune, that no ill accident happened in these enter- 
tainments ; only once a fiery horse, that belonged to one of the 
captains, pawing with his hoof, struck a hole in my handkerchief, 
and his foot slipping, he overthrew his rider and himself ; but I 
immediately relieved them both, and covering the hole with one 
hand, I set down the troop with the other, in the same manner as I 
took them up. The horse that fell was strained in the left shoulder, 
but the rider got no hurt ; and I repaired my handkerchief as well 
as I could : however, I would not trust to the strength of it any 
more, in such dangerous enterprises. 

About two or three days before I was set at liberty, as I was 
entertaining the court with these 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 bed-chamber, and rising up in the middle as 
high as a man ; that it was no living creature, as they at first appre- 
hended, for it lay on the grass without motion, and some of them 
had walked round it several times; that, by mounting upon each 
other's shoulders, they had got to the top, which was flat and even, 
and stamping upon it, they found it was hollow within ; that they 
humbly conceived it might be something belonging to the man- 
mountain ; and if his majesty pleased, they would undertake to bring 
it with only five horses. I presently knew what they meant, and 
was glad at heart to receive this intelligence. It seems, upon my 
first reaching the shore after our shipwreck, I was in such confusion, 
that before I came to the place where I went to sleep, my hat, 
which I had fastened with a string to my head while I was rowing, 
and had stuck on all the time I was swimming, fell off after I came 
to land ; the string, as I conjecture, breaking by some accident, 
which I never observed, but thought my hat had been lost at sea. 
I entreated his imperial majesty to give orders it might be brought 
to me as soon as possible, describing to him the use and the 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 expected. 

Two days after this adventure, the emperor, having 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 com- 
manded his general (who was an old experienced 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 in abreast, and the horse 
by sixteen, with drums beating, colours flying, and pikes advanced. 
This body consisted of three thousand foot, and a thousand horse. 

I had sent so many memorials and petitions for my liberty that 
his majesty at length mentioned the matter, first in the cabinet, 
and then in a full council ; where it was opposed by none, except 
Skyris Bolgolam, who was pleased, without any provocation, to be 
my mortal enemy. But it was carried against him by the whole 
board, and confirmed by the emperor. That minister was galbet, 
or admiral of the realm, very much in his master's confidence, and 
a person well versed in affairs, but of a morose and sour complexion. 
However, he was at length persuaded to comply ; but prevailed 
that the articles and conditions upon which I should be set free, 
and to which I must swear, should be drawn up by himself. These 
articles were brought to me by Skyris Bolgolam in person, attended 
by two under-secretaries and several persons of distinction. After 
they were read, I was demanded to swear to the performance of 
them ; first, in the manner of my own country, and afterward 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 perhaps 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 

Golbasto Momarem Ev/ame Gurdilo She/in Mitlly U/ly Gue, most 
mighty emperor of Li/liput, delight and terror of the universe, whose 



dominions extend five thousand blustrugs (about twelve miles in circum- 
ference) to the extremities of the globe ; monarch of all monarch*, taller 
than the sons of men ; whose feet press down to the centre, and whose 
head strikes against the sun ; at whose nod the princes of the earth shake 
their knees ; pleasant as the spring, comfortable as the summer, fruitful 
as autumn, dreadful as winter. His most sublime Majesty proposes to 
the Man-mountain, lately arrived to 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 metropolis without 
our express order; at which time, 
the inhabitants shall have two 
hours' warning to keep within 
their 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 sub- 
jects, their horses or carriages, 

nor take any of our subjects into his hands without their own consent. 

V. If an -express requires extraordinary dispatch, 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 B/efuscu, 
ana 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 workmen, in helping to raise certain great stones, 
towards covering the wall of the principal park, and other our royal 




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

Lastly, that, upon his solemn oath to observe all the above articles, the 
said Man-mountain shall have a daily allowance of meat and drink 
sufficient for the support of 1724 of our subjects, with free access to our 
royal person, and other marks of our favour. Given at our palace at 
Be/Jaborac 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 Skyris 
Bolgolam, 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 
acknowledgments by prostrating myself at his majesty's feet : but he 
commanded me to rise ; and after many gracious expressions, which 
to avoid the censure of vanity I shall not repeat, he added, that he 
hoped I should prove a useful servant, and well deserve all the 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 1724 Lilliputians. 
Some time after, asking a friend at court how they came to fix on 
that determinate number, he told me that his majesty's mathema- 
ticians, having taken the height of my body by the help of a quadrant, 
and finding it to exceed theirs in the proportion of twelve to one, 
they concluded from the similarity of their bodies, that mine must 
contain at least 1724 of theirs, and consequently would require as 
much food as was necessary to support that number of Lilliputians. 
By which the reader may conceive an idea of the ingenuity of that 
people, as well as the prudent and exact economy of so great 
a prince. 




first request I made after I had obtained my liberty 
was, that I might have license to see Mildendo, 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 that 
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 provided. 

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 distance from the 
buildings. I had his majesty's 
permission to step over this 
wall ; and the space being so 
wide between that and the 
palace, I could easily view it 
on every side. The outward 
court is a square of forty feet, 
and includes two other courts: 
in the inmost are the royal 
apartments, which I was very 
desirous to see, but found it 
extremely difficult ; for the 
great gates, from one square 
into another, were but eighteen 
inches high, and seven inches 
wide. Now the buildings of 
the outer court were at least five feet high, and it was impossible for 
me to stride over them without infinite damage to the pile, though 
the walls were strongly built of hewn stone, and four inches thick. 
At the same time the emperor had a great desire that I should see 
the magnificence of his palace : but this I was not able to do till 
three days > after, which I spent in cutting down with my knife some 
of the largest trees in the royal park, about 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 two stools in my hands. When I came 
to the side of the outer court, I stood upon one stool, and took the 
other in my hand ; this I lifted over the roof, and gently set it 
down on the space between the first and second court, which was 

3 1 



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 f) By this contrivance I got into the inmost court ; 
and, lying down upon my side, I applied my face to the windows of 
the middle stories, which were left open on purpose, and discovered 
the most splendid apartments that can be imagined. 

There I saw the empress and the young princes, in their several 
lodgings, with their chief attendants about them. Her imperial 
majesty was pleased to smile very graciously upon me, and gave me 
out of the window her hand to kiss. 

But I shall not anticipate the reader with 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 empire, from its first erection, through a long series of 
princes ; with a particular account of their wars and politics, laws, 
learning, and religion ; their plants and animals ; their peculiar 
manners and customs, with other matters very curious and useful ; 
my chief design at present being only to relate such events and 
transactions as happened to the public or to myself during a 
residence of about nine months in that empire. 

One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained my liberty, 
Reldresal, principal secretary (as they style him) of 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 choose rather to let me hold him in my hand during our 

He began with compliments on my liberty ; said he might 
pretend to some merit in it ; but however added, that if it had not 
been for the present situation of things at court, perhaps I might not 
have obtained it so soon. For, said he, flourishing 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 under- 
stand, that for above seventy moons past there have been two 
struggling parties in this empire, under the names of Tramecksan and 
Slamecksan, from the high and low heels of their shoes, by which 

3 2 


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 government, and all offices in the gift of 
the crown, as you cannot but observe : and particularly that his 
majesty's imperial heels are lower at least by a drurr than any of his 
court ; (drurr is a measure about the fourteenth part of an inch). 
The animosities between these two parties run so high, that they 
will neither eat nor drink nor talk with each other. We compute 
the 1'ramecksan, 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 following occasion : it is 
allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before 
we eat them, was upon the larger end ; but his present majesty's 
grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking 
it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his 
fingers ; whereupon the emperor, his father, published an edict, 
commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the 
smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, 
that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that 
account ; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. 
These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs 
of Blefuscu ; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for 
refuge to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons 

p 33 




have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break 
their eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have 
been published upon this controversy : but the books of the Big- 
endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered 
incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of 
these troubles, the emperors of Blefuscu did frequently expostulate by 
their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion by 
offending against a fundamental doctrine of our great prophet 
Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the Blundecral, which is their 
Alcoran. This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the 
text ; for the words are these : that all true believers break their eggs 
at the convenient end : and which is the convenient end seems, in 
my humble opinion, to be left to every man's conscience, or at least 
in the power of the chief magistrate to determine. 

Now, the Big-endian exiles have found so much credit in the 
emperor of Blefuscu's court, and so much private assistance and 
encouragement from their party here at home, that a bloody war 
has been carried on between the two empires for six-and-thirty 
moons, with various success ; during which time we have lost forty 
capital ships, and a much greater number of smaller vessels, together 
with thirty thousand of our best seamen and soldiers ; and the 
damage received by the enemy is reckoned to be somewhat greater 
than ours. However, they have now equipped a numerous fleet, 
and are just preparing to make a descent upon us ; and his imperial 
majesty, placing great confidence in your 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. 




empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the north- 
north-east side 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 glumgluffs at most. I walked towards the north-east coast, 




over against Blefuscu ; and lying down behind a hillock, took out 
my small pocket perspective glass, and viewed the enemy's fleet at 
anchor, consisting of about fifty men-of-war, and a great number of 
transports : I then came back to my house, and gave orders (for 
which I had a warrant) for a great quantity of the strongest cable 
and bars of iron. 

The cable was about as thick as packthread, and the bars of the 
length and size of a knitting-needle. I trebled the cable to make 
it stronger, and for the same reason, I twisted three of the iron bars 
together, bending the extremities into a hook. Having thus fixed 
fifty hooks to as many cables, I went back to the north-east coast, 
and pulling off my coat, shoes, and stockings, walked into the sea 
in my leathern jerkin, about half an hour before high water. I 
waded with what haste I could, and swam in the middle about 
thirty yards, till I felt ground. I arrived at the fleet in less than 
half an hour. The enemy was so frighted when they saw me, that 
they leaped out of their ships, and swam to shore, where there 
could not be fewer than thirty thousand souls : I then took my 
tackling, and fastening a hook to the hole at the prow of each, I 
tied all the cords together at the end. While I was thus employed, 
the enemy discharged several thousand arrows, many of which stuck 
in my hands and face ; and, besides the excessive smart, gave me 
much disturbance in my work. My greatest apprehension was for 
my eyes, which I should have infallibly lost, if I had not suddenly 
thought of an expedient. I kept, among other little necessaries, a 
pair of spectacles in a private pocket, which, as I observed before, 
had escaped the emperor's searchers. These I took out and fastened 
as strongly as I could upon my nose, and thus armed, went on 
boldly with my work, in spite of the enemy's arrows, many of 
which struck against the glasses of my spectacles, but without any 
other effect, farther than a little to discompose them. 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 bold part of my enterprise remained. I 
therefore let go the cord, and leaving the hooks fixed to the ships, 
I resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors, 
receiving above two hundred shots in my face and hands ; then I 
took up the knotted end of the cables, to which my hooks were 
tied, and with great ease drew fifty of the enemy's largest men-of- 
war after me. 



The Blefuscudians, who had not the least imagination of what 
I intended, were at first confounded with astonishment. They had 
seen me cut the cables, and thought my design was only to let 
the ships run adrift, or fall foul on each other ; but when they 
perceived the whole fleet moving in order, and saw me pulling at 
the end, they set up such a scream of grief and despair that it is 
almost impossible to describe or conceive. When I had got out 
of danger, I stopped awhile to pick out the arrows that stuck in 
my hands and face ; and rubbed on some of the same ointment 
that was given me at my first arrival, as I have formerly mentioned. 



I then took off my spectacles, and waiting about an hour till the 
tide was a little fallen, I waded through the middle with my cargo, 
and arrived safe at the royal port of Lilliput. 

The emperor and his whole court stood on the shore, expecting 
the issue of this great adventure. They saw the ships move forward 
in a large half-moon, but could not discern me, who was up to 
my breast in water. When I advanced to the middle of the 
channel, they were yet more in pain, because I was under water 
to my neck. The emperor concluded me to be drowned, and that 
the enemy's fleet was approaching in 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 most puissant emperor of 
Lilliput ! This great prince received me at my landing with all 
possible encomiums, and created me a nardac upon the spot, which 
is the highest title of honour among them. 

His majesty desired I would take some other opportunity of 
bringing all the rest of his enemy's ships into his ports. And so 
unmeasurable 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 viceroy ; of destroying the 
Big-endian exiles, and compelling that people to break the smaller 
end of their eggs, by which he would remain the sole monarch 
of the world. But I endeavoured to divert him from this design, 
by many arguments drawn from the topics of policy as well as 
justice ; and I plainly protested, that I would never be an instru- 
ment of bringing a free and brave people into slavery ; and when 
the matter was debated in council, the wisest part of the ministry 
were of my opinion. 

This open, bold declaration of mine, was so opposite to the 
schemes and politics of his imperial majesty, that he could never 
forgive it. He mentioned it in a very artful manner at council, 
where I was told that some of the wisest appeared at least, by 
their silence, to be of my opinion ; but others, who were my 
secret enemies, could not forbear some expressions which by a 
side-wind reflected on me ; and from this time began an intrigue 
between his majesty and a junto of ministers, maliciously bent 
against me, which broke out in less than two months, and had 
like to have ended in my utter destruction. Of so little weight 
are the greatest services to princes, when put into the balance 
with a refusal to gratify their passions. 

About three weeks after this exploit, there arrived a solemn 
embassy from Blefuscu, with humble offers of a peace ; which 
was soon' concluded, upon conditions very advantageous to our 
emperor, wherewith I shall not trouble the reader. There were 
six ambassadors with a train of about five hundred persons : and 
their entry was very magnificent, suitable to the grandeur of their 
master, and the importance of their business. When their treaty 
was finished, wherein I did them several good offices by the credit 
I now had, or at least appeared to have, at court, their excellencies, 
who were privately told how much I had been their friend, made 



me a visit in form. They began with many compliments upon 
my 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 excellencies, to their 
infinite satisfaction and surprise, I desired they would do me the 
honour to present my most humble respects to the emperor their 
master, the renown of whose virtues had so justly filled the whole 
world with admiration, and whose royal person I resolved to attend 
before I returned to my own country. Accordingly, the next time 
I had the honour to see our emperor, I desired his general licence 
to wait on the Blefuscudian monarch, which he was pleased to 
grant me, as I could plainly perceive, in a very cold manner ; but 
could not guess the reason, till I had a whisper from a certain 
person, that Flimnap and Bolgolam had represented my intercourse 
with those ambassadors as a mark of disaffection ; from which I 
am sure my heart was wholly free. And this was the first time 
I began to conceive some imperfect idea of courts and ministers. 

It is to be observed, that these ambassadors spoke to me by 
an interpreter, the languages of both empires differing as much 
from each other as any two in Europe, and each nation priding 
itself upon the antiquity, beauty, and energy of their own tongues, 
with an avowed contempt for 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 commerce between 
both realms, from the continual reception of exiles which is mutual 
among them, and from the custom, in each empire, to send their 
young nobility and richer gentry to the other, in order to polish 
themselves by seeing the world, and understanding men and manners ; 
there are few persons of distinction, or merchants, or seamen, who 
dwell in the maritime parts, but what can hold conversation in 
both tongues ; as I found some weeks after, when I went to pay 
my respects to the emperor of Blefuscu, which, in the midst of 
great misfortunes, through the malice of my enemies, proved a very 
happy adventure to me, as I shall relate in its proper place. 




LTHOUGH I intend to leave the description of this 
empire to a particular treatise, yet, in the mean time, 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 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 observing a cook 
pulling a lark, which was not so large as a common fly ; and a young 
girl threading an invisible needle with invisible silk. 

Their tallest trees are about seven feet high : I mean some of 
G 41 


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 pro- 
portion ; 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 ; nor from down to up, like 
the Cascagians ; but aslant, from one corner of the paper to the 
other, like ladies in England. 

They bury their dead with 
their heads directly downward, 
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 resur- 
rection, be found ready stand- 
ing on their feet. The learned 
among them confess the ab- 
surdity of this doctrine ; but 
the practice still continues, in 
compliance to the vulgar. 

There are some laws and 
customs in this empire very 
peculiar ; and if they were not 

so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should 
be tempted to say a little in their justification. It is only to be 
wished they were as well executed. The first I shall mention, 
relates to informers. All crimes against the state are punished 
here with the utmost severity ; but if the person accused makes 
his innocence plainly to appear upon his trial, the accuser is 
immediately put to an ignominious death ; and out of his goods or 
lands the innocent person is quadruply recompensed for the loss of 
his time, for the danger he underwent, for the hardship of his 
imprisonment, and for all the charges he has been at in making his 
defence. Or, if that fund be deficient, it is largely supplied by the 
crown. The emperor also confers on him some public mark of his 



favour, and proclamation is made of his innocence through the 
whole city. 

They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft, and therefore 
seldom fail to punish it with death ; for they allege, that care and 
vigilance, with a very common understanding, may preserve a man's 
goods from thieves, but honesty has no fence against superior cunning ; 
and since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse 
of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit, where fraud is 
permitted and connived at, or 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 happening to tell his 
majesty by way of extenuation, that it was only a breach of trust, the 
emperor thought it monstrous in me to offer as a defence the greatest 
aggravation of the crime ; and truly I had little to say in return, 
farther than the common answer, that different nations had different 
customs ; for, I confess I was heartily ashamed. 

Although we call rewards and punishments 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. Who- 
ever 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, according to his quality and condition of life, with a 
proportionable sum of money out of a fund appropriated 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 
before, as many behind, and on each side one, to signify circumspec- 
tion ; with a bag of gold open in her right hand, and a sword 
sheathed in her left, to show that she is more disposed to reward 
than to punish. 

In choosing persons for all employments, they have more regard 
to good morals than to great abilities ; for, since government is 
necessary to mankind, they believe that the common size of human 
understanding is fitted to some station or other ; and that Providence 
never intended to make the management of public affairs a mystery 



to be comprehended only by a few persons of sublime genius, of 
which there seldom are three born in an age : but they suppose truth, 
justice, temperance, and the like, to be in every man's power ; the 
practise of which virtues, assisted by experience and a good intention, 
would qualify any man for the service of his country, except where 
a course of study is required. But they thought the want of moral 
virtues was so far from being supplied by superior endowments of 
the mind, that employments could never be put into such dangerous 
hands as those of persons so qualified ; and at least, that the mistakes 
committed by ignorance, in a virtuous disposition, would never be of 
such fatal consequence 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 Providence renders 
a man incapable of holding any public station ; for since kings 
avow themselves to be the deputies of Providence, the Lilliputians 
think nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such 
men as disown the authority under which he acts. 

In relating these and the following laws, I would only be 
understood to mean the original institutions, and not the most 
scandalous corruptions, into which these people are fallen by the 
degenerate nature of man. For, as to that infamous practice of 
acquiring great employments by dancing on the ropes, or badges 
of 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 returns 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. 

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 to both sexes. They have certain professors 
well skilled in preparing children for such a condition of life as 
befits the rank of their parents, and their own capacities, as well as 



inclinations. I shall first say something of the male nurseries, and 
then of the female. 

The nurseries for males of noble or eminent birth, are provided 
with grave and learned professors, and their several deputies. The 
clothes and food of the children are plain and simple. They are 
bred up in the principles of 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. They are never suffered to converse with servants, 
but go together, in smaller 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 entertain- 
ment 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 continue in 
their nurseries till fifteen, which answers to one and twenty with 
us ; but the confinement is gradually lessened for the last three 

In the female nurseries, the young girls of quality are educated 
much lik'e the males, only they are dressed by orderly servants of 
their own sex ; but always in the presence of a professor or deputy, 
till they come to dress themselves, which is at five years old. And 
if it be found that these nurses ever presume to entertain the girls 
with frightful or foolish stories, or the common follies practised by 
chambermaids among us, they are publicly whipped thrice about 
the city, imprisoned for a year, and banished for life to the most 
desolate part of the country. Thus the young ladies there are as 



h ashamed of hem:; < < , -.-/a M I , a nd fools as the men, and despise 
.ill per. on a I ornaments, beyond decency and < lea ul mess : neither (lid 
I perceive any dilfen m e 111 ih'ii education mad': by th'-n difference 
of sex, only thai the exercises of the female, were not altoj-ethei BO 
lobnsl ; and that some nile 1 , wn jovii lli'in I'l.ilm;; to domesti' 
hl> , and -i Mii.dl'-i COmpaSS of leaiinn;; was enjoined them : I'.j the 
maxim is, that amon;' people of ipiality, a wife, should be always 
a le.r.onable and a :; i ' e.i bl<- i om pan ion , be<air,e sh'- lannot always be 
young, When the ;;iils air twelve year, old., wlmh amon;; them 
i the mat iia;;e.ihle age, then p. ii' nls 01 jMiaidians lake them home, 

with ;MI.II expressions ol ^latitude to the professors, and seldom 

without tear, of the youn;; lady and hci ' ompamons. 

In the nurseries of female', of the me.tnei soit, the children arc 

iir.liniled in all kinds of woiks piopei foi then BCX, and their 
several de;M''', , thoSC intended for appi nil i< es are, dismissed at nine 
year, old, the ie-,| aie kept until thllleen. 

The mranei families who have < liildren at these nurseries are 
obliged, beside then annual pension, wlmh is as low as possible, to 
i'-liiin to the stewaid of the (misery a small monthly share of their 
;"-iim;'s, ic> be a poilion for the < hild ; and therefore all parents arc 
limited in then expense, hy I he law. I'oi the I -ilh put tans think 
nolhm;; i an be moie unjust, than foi people to bnii;; children into 
(he world, and leave the buiden of supporting ihem on (lie 
piibln . As to per, oir, of <pialily, they ;;ive security to appropriate 
a leitain sum for eai h ilnld, suitable to then (ondition: and 
these funds are always managed with ;;ood husbandry and the 
most ex. H I |ir.t li e. 

'I In < oi ia;;ii s and labourer, keep tin n children at home, their 
husinev, lii in;; only to till ami iiillivale the earth, and therefore 
then education is of little c onsecpicnc r to the public : but the old 
and diseased amon;; them, are supported by hospitals; for begging 
r, a 1 1 adc unknown in tins kingdom. 

And line il may, peihaps, divnl the nnious reader, to ^ive 
some- account of my domestic, and my manner of livm;; in this 
country, dmin;; a residence "1 nine months and thirteen days. 
Jlavin;; a head mec hanic ally turned, and hem;; likewise forced by 
necessity, I had made lor mysell a table and chair convenient 
enoiij-h, oul of the lai;;est I ices in the royal park. Two hundred 
Sempstresses were employed to make- me: shirts and linen lor my bed 
and table, all ol ihr slion;;esl and coarsest kind ihey could J^ct, 




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

I had three hundred cooks to dress my victuals, in little con- 
venient huts built about my house, where they and their families 
lived, and prepared me two dishes a-piece. I took up twenty 
waiters in my hand, and placed them on the table ; 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 ingenious 
manner by certain cords, as we draw the bucket up a well in Europe. 
A dish of their meat was a good mouthful, and a barrel of their 
liquor a reasonable draught. Their mutton yields to ours, but their 
beef is excellent. I have had a sirloin so large, that I have been 
forced to make three bites of it ; but this is rare. My servants were 
astonished to see me eat it, bones and all, as in our country we do the 
leg of a lark. Their geese and turkeys I usually 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 upon chairs of state, on my table, just over against 
me, with their guards about them. Flimnap, the lord high-treasurer, 
attended there likewise, with his white staff ; and I observed he often 
looked on me with a sour countenance, which I would not seem to 
regard, but 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 oppor- 
tunity of doing me ill offices to his master. That minister had 
always been my secret enemy, though he outwardly caressed me 
more than was usual to the moroseness of his nature. He represented 
to the emperor the low condition of his treasury ; that he was forced 
to take up money at a great discount ; that exchequer bills would 
not circulate under nine per cent, below par; that, in short, I had 
cost his majesty above a million and a half of sprugs (their greatest 
gold coin, about the bigness of a spangle) ; and, upon the whole, 
that it would be advisable in the emperor to take the first fair 
occasion of dismissing me. 




IEFORE 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 dis- 
positions 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. 

When I was just preparing to pay my attendance on the emperor 
of Blefuscu, a considerable person at court (to whom I had been 
very serviceable, at a time when he lay under the highest displeasure 
of his imperial majesty), came to my house very privately at night, 
in a close chair, and, without sending his name, desired admittance. 
The chairmen were dismissed : I put the chair, with his lordship in 
it, into my coat-pocket ; and giving orders to a trusty servant, to say 
I was indisposed and gone to sleep, I fastened the door of my house, 
placed the chair on the table, according to my usual custom, and sat 
down by it. After the common salutations were over, observing his 
lordship's countenance full of concern, and inquiring into the reason, 
he desired I would hear him with patience, in a matter that highly 



concerned my honour and my life. His speech was to the following 
effect, for I took notes of it as soon as he left me : 

You are to know, said he, that several committees of council 
have been lately called, in the most private manner, on your account ; 
and it is but two days since his majesty came to a full resolution. 

You are very sensible that Skyris Bolgolam (gal bet or high- 
admiral) has been your mortal enemy, almost ever since your 
arrival. His original reasons I know not ; but his hatred is 
much increased since your great success against Blefuscu, by which 
his glory as admiral is 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 im- 
peachment against you, for 
treason and other capital 


This preface made me so 
impatient, being conscious of 
my own merits and inno- 
cence, that I was going to 
interrupt, 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 venture my head for your service. 



Article I. 

That the said Quinbus Flestrin having brought the imperial fleet of 
Blefuscu into the royal port, and being afterwards commanded by his 
imperial majesty to seize all the other ships of the said empire of Blefuscu, 
and reduce that empire to a province, to be governed by a "viceroy from 

5 1 


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 for- 
sake 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 II. 

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

Article III. 

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 license from his imperial 
majesty, and, under colour of the said license does falsely and traitorously 
intend to take the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the 
emperor of Blefuscu, so late an enemy, and in open war with his imperial 
majesty aforesaid. 

There are some other articles ; but these are the most impor- 
tant, of which I have read you an abstract. 

In the several debates upon this impeachment, it must be 
confessed that his majesty gave many marks of his great lenity ; 
often urging the services you had done him, and 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, which would 
soon make you tear your own flesh, and die in the utmost torture. 
The general came into the same opinion ; so that for a long time 
there was a majority against you ; but his majesty resolving, if 
possible, to spare your life, at last brought off the chamberlain. 

Upon this incident, Reldresal, principal secretary for private 
affairs, who always approved himself your true friend, was com- 

5 2 


manded by the emperor to deliver his opinion, which he accordingly 
did ; and therein justified the good thoughts you have of him. He 
allowed your crimes to be great, but that still there was room for 
mercy, the most commendable virtue in a prince, and for which his 
majesty was so justly celebrated. He said, the friendship between 
you and him was so well known to the world, that perhaps the most 
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 consideration of your services, 
and pursuant to his own merciful disposition, would please to spare 
your life, and only give orders to put out both your eyes, he humbly 
conceived that, by this expedient, justice might in some measure be 
satisfied, and all the world would applaud the lenity of the emperor, 
as well as the fair and generous proceedings of those who have the 
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 more. 

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

The treasurer was of the same opinion : he showed to what 
straits his majesty's revenue was reduced, by the charge of maintain- 
ing you, which would soon grow insupportable : that the secretary's 
expedient of putting out your eyes, was so far from being a remedy 
against this evil, that it would probably increase it, as is manifest 
from the common practice of blinding some 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 condemn you to death, without the formal proofs 
required by the strict letter of the law. 

But his imperial majesty, fully determined against capital 
punishment, was graciously pleased to say, that since the council 
thought the loss of your eyes too easy a censure, some other 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 emperor'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 con- 
sequently decay and consume in a few months ; neither would the 
stench of your carcass be then so dangerous, when it should become 
more than half diminished ; and immediately upon your death, five 
or six thousand of his majesty's subjects might, in two or three days, 
cut your flesh from your bones, take it away by cart-loads, and bury 
it in distant parts, to prevent infection, leaving the skeleton as a 
monument of admiration to posterity. 

Thus by the great friendship of the secretary, the whole 
affair was compromised. It was strictly enjoined, that the project 
of starving you by degrees should be kept a secret ; but the sentence 
of putting out your eyes was entered on the books ; none dissenting, 
except Bolgolam the admiral. 

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 sufferer more innocent. And 
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) rather to be 
rigorous than gentle. I sometimes thought of standing my trial ; 
for, although I could not deny the facts alleged in the several 
articles, yet I hoped they would admit of some extenuations. But 
having in my life perused many state trials, which I ever observed 
to terminate as the judges thought fit to direct, I durst not rely 
on so dangerous a decision, in so critical a juncture, and against 
such powerful enemies. Once, I was strongly bent upon resistance : 
for, while I had liberty, the whole strength of that empire could 
hardly subdue me, and I might easily with stones pelt the metro- 
polis to pieces ; but I soon rejected that project with horror, by 
remembering 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 incure some censure, and not unjustly ; for I confess I 
owe the preserving of my eyes, and consequently my liberty, to my 
own great rashness and want of experience ; because, if I had then 
known the nature of princes and ministers, which I have since 
observed in many other courts, and their methods of treating 
criminals less obnoxious than myself, I should, with great alacrity 
and readiness, have submitted to so easy a punishment. But 
hurried on by the precipitancy of youth, and having his imperial 
majesty's license to pay my attendance upon the emperor of 



Blefuscu, I took this opportunity, before the three days were 
elapsed, to send a letter to my friend the secretary, signifying 
my resolution of setting out that morning for Blefuscu, pursuant to 
the leave I had got ; and, without waiting for an answer, I went to 
that side of the island where our fleet lay. I seized a large man-of- 
war, tied a cable to the prow, and lifting up the anchors, I 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 Blefuscu, where 
the people had long expected me. 

They lent me two guides to direct me to the capital city, which 
is of the same name. I held them in my hands, 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 command. I had an answer in about an hour, that his 
majesty, attended by the royal family, and great officers of the court, 
was coming out to receive me. I advanced a hundred yards. The 
emperor and his train alighted from their horses, the empress and 
ladies from their coaches, and I did not perceive they were in any 
fright or concern. I lay on the ground to kiss his majesty's and the 
empress's hand. I told his majesty, that I was come according to 
my promise, and with the license of the emperor my master, to have 
the 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 information of it, and might suppose myself wholly ignorant 
of any such design ; neither could I reasonably conceive that the 
emperor would discover the secret, while I was out of his power ; 
wherein, however, it soon appeared I was deceived. 

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




'SHREE days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity 
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 imperial majesty to 
lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he had left, after the loss of his 
fleet, and three thousand seamen under the command of the vice- 
admiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went back the shortest way to 
the coast, where I first discovered the boat. I found the tide had driven 
it still nearer. The seamen were all provided with cordage, which 
I had beforehand twisted to a sufficient strength. When the ships 
came up, I stripped myself and waded till I came within a hundred 
yards of the boat, after which I was forced to swim till I got up to 



it. The seamen threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to 
a hole in the forepart of the boat, and the other end to a man-of- 
war ; but I found all my labour to little purpose ; for, being out of 
my depth, I was not able to work. In this necessity I was forced to 
swim behind, and push the boat forwards, as often as I could with 
one of my hands ; and the tide 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, I 
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 to the royal port of Blefuscu, where a mighty concourse 
of people appeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at the sight of so 
prodigious a vessel. I told the emperor that my good fortune had 
thrown this boat in my way, to carry me to some place from whence 
I might return into my native country ; and begged his majesty's 
orders for getting materials to fit it up ; together with his license to 



depart ; which, after some kind expostulations, he was pleased to 

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

The emperor of Blefuscu, having taken three days to consult, 
returned an answer consisting of many civilities and excuses. He 
said, that, as for sending me bound, his brother knew it was 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 
cwn assistance and direction ; and he hoped, in a few weeks, both 
empires would be freed from so insupportable an incumbrance. 

With this answer the envoy returned to Lilliput, and the monarch 
of Blefuscu related to me all that had passed ; offering me at the 
same time (but under the strictest confidence) his gracious protection, 
if I would continue in his service ; wherein although I believed him 
sincere, yet I resolved never more to put any confidence in princes 
or ministers, where I could possibly avoid it ; and therefore, with all 
due acknowledgments for his 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 in 


the ocean, rather than be an occasion of difference between two such 
mighty monarchs. Neither did I find the emperor at all displeased ; 
and I discovered, by a certain accident, that he was very glad of my 
resolution, and so were most of his ministers. 

These considerations moved me to hasten my departure some- 
what 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 fold of their strongest linen together. I was at 
the pains of making ropes and cables, by twisting ten, twenty, or 
thirty, of the thickest and strongest of theirs. A great stone that I 
happened to find, after a long search, by the sea-shore, served me for 
an anchor. I had the tallow of three hundred cows, for greasing my 
boat, and other uses. I was at incredible pains in cutting down 
some of the largest timber trees for oars and masts, wherein I was, 
however, much assisted by his majesty's ship-carpenters, who helped 
me in smoothing them, after I had done the rough work. 

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

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 to feed them 
on board, I had a good bundle of hay, and a bag of corn. I would 
gladly have taken a dozen of the natives, but this was a thing the 
emperor would by no means permit ; and, besides a diligent search 
into my pockets, his majesty engaged my 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 September 1701, at six in the 
morning ; and when I had gone about four leagues to the north- 
ward, the wind being at south-east, at six in the evening, I descried 



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, and I conjecture at least six hours, for I found 
the day broke in two hours after I awaked. It was a clear night. 
I ate my breakfast before the sun was up ; and heaving anchor, the 
wind being favourable, I steered the same course that I had done 
the day before, wherein I was directed by my pocket compass. 

My intention was to reach, if possible, one of those islands 
which I had reason to believe lay to the north-east of Van Diemen's 

Land. I discovered nothing 
all that day ; but upon the 
next, about three in the after- 
noon, when I had by my 
computation, made twenty- 
four leagues from Blefuscu, I 
descried a sail steering to the 
south-east ; my course was 
due east. I hailed her, but 
could get no answer; yet I 
found I gained upon her, for 
the wind slackened. I made 
all the sail I could, and in half 
an hour she spied me, then 
hung out her ancient, 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 
had left in it. The ship slackened her sails, and I came up with 
her between five and six in the evening, September 26 ; but my 
heart leaped within me to see her English colours. I put my cows 
and sheep into my coat-pockets, and got on board with all my little 
cargo of provisions. 

The vessel was an English merchantman, returning from Japan 
by the North and South seas ; the captain, Mr. John Biddel of 
Deptford, a very civil man and an excellent sailor. We were now 
in the latitude of 30 degrees south ; there were about fifty men in 
the ship ; and here I met an old comrade of mine, one Peter 
Williams, who gave me a good character to the captain. This 



gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I would let him 
know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound ; 
which I did in 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 Lilliput, together with his 
majesty's picture at full length, and some other rarities of that 
country. I gave him two purses of two hundred sprtigs each, and 
promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a present of a 
cow and a sheep. 

I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this 
voyage, which was very prosperous for the most part. We arrived 
in the Downs on the I3th of April 1702. I had only one mis- 
fortune, 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 on shore, 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 contary : 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 
pounds. Since my last return I find the breed is considerably 
increased, especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to the 
advantage of the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the 

I stayed but two months with my wife and family, for my 
insatiable desire of seeing foreign countries would suffer me to 
continue no longer. I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife, 
and fixed her in a good house at RedrifF. My remaining stock I 
carried with me, part in money and part in goods, in hopes to 
improve my fortunes. My eldest uncle John had left me an estate 
in land near Epping of about thirty pounds a-year, and I had a long 
lease of the Black Bull in Fetter-lane, which yielded me as much 
more ; so that I was not in any danger of leaving my family upon 
the parish. My son Johnny, named so after his uncle, was at the 
grammar-school, and a towardly child. My daughter Betty (who is 



now well married, and has children) was then at her needlework. I 
took leave of my wife and boy and girl, with tears on both sides, 
and went on board the Adventure, a merchant ship of three hundred 
tons, bound for Surat, Captain John Nicholas, of Liverpool, com- 
mander. But my account of this voyage must be referred to the 
Second Part of my Travels. 


6 4 





AVING been condemned by nature and fortune to an 
active and restless life, in ten months after my return 
I again left my native country, and took ship in 
the Downs,' on the 2oth day of June 1702, in the 
Adventure, Captain John Nicholas, a Cornishman, 
commander, bound for Surat. We had a very prosperous gale, till 
we arrived at the Cape of Good Hope, where we landed for fresh 
water ; but discovering a leak, we unshipped our goods, and 
wintered there ; for the captain falling sick of an ague, we could 
not leave" the Cape till the end of March. We then set sail, and 
had a good voyage till we passed the Straits of Madagascar ; but 
having got northward of that island, and to about five degrees south 
latitude, the winds, which in those seas are observed to blow a 
constant equal gale between the north and west, from the beginning 
of December to the beginning of May, on the igth of April 
began to blow with much greater violence, and more westerly than 
usual, continuing so for twenty days together : during which time, 



we were driven a little to the east of the Molucca Islands, and about 
three degrees northward of the line, as our captain found by an 
observation he took the and day of May, at which time the wind 


ceased, and it was a perfect calm ; whereat I was not a little 
rejoiced. But he being a man well experienced in the navigation 
of those seas, bid us all prepare against a storm, which accordingly 
happened the day following; for a southern wind, called the 
southern monsoon, began to set in. 

Finding it was like to overblow, we took in our sprit-sail, and 


stood by to hand the fore-sail ; but, making foul weather, we looked 
the guns were all fast, and handed the mizen. The ship lay very 
broad off, so we thought it better spooning before the sea, than 
trying or hulling. We reefed the fore-sail and set him, we hauled 
aft the fore-sheet ; the helm was hard-a-weather. The ship wore 
bravely. We belayed the fore down-haul ; but the sail was split, 
and we hauled down the yard, and got the sail into the ship, and 
unbound all the things clear of it. It was a very fierce storm ; 
the sea broke strange and dangerous. We hauled off upon the 
laniard of the whip-staff, and helped the man at the helm. We 
would not get down our topmast, but let all stand, because she 
scudded before the sea very well, and we knew that the topmast 
being aloft, the ship was the wholesomer, and made better way 
through the sea, seeing we had sea-room. 

When the storm was over, we set fore-sail and main-sail, and 
brought the ship to. Then we set the mizen, main-top-sail, and 
the fore-top-sail. Our course was east-north-east, the wind was at 
south-west. We got the starboard tacks aboard, we cast off our 
weather braces and lifts ; we set in the lee-braces, and hauled 
forward by the weather-bowlings, and hauled them tight, and 
belayed them, and hauled over the mizen tack to windward, and 
kept her full and by as near as she could lie. During this storm, 
which was followed by a strong wind west-south-west, we were 
carried, by my computation, about five hundred leagues to the east, 
so that the oldest sailor on board could not tell in what part of 
the world we were. Our provisions held out well, our ship was 
staunch, and our crew all in good health ; but we lay in the utmost 
distress for water. We thought it best to hold on the same 
course, rather than turn more northerly, which might have brought 
us to the north-west part of Great Tartary, and into the Frozen 

On the 1 6th day of June, 1703, a boy on the topmast discovered 
land. On the lyth, we came in full view of a great island, or 
continent (for we knew not whether) ; on the south side whereof 
was a small neck of land jutting out into the sea, and a creek too 
shallow to hold a ship of above one hundred tons. We cast anchor 
within a league of this creek, and our captain sent a dozen of his 
men well armed in the long boat, with vessels for water, if any 
could be found. I desired his leave to go with them, that I might 
see the country, and make what discoveries I could. 



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

I fell into a high road, for so I took it to be, though it served 
to the inhabitants only as a footpath through a field of barley. 
Here I walked on for some time, but could see little on either side, 
it being now near harvest, and the corn rising at least forty feet. 
I was an hour walking to the end of this field, which was fenced 
in with a hedge of at least one hundred and twenty feet high, 
and the trees so lofty that I could make no computation of their 
altitude. There was a stile to pass from this field into the next. 
It had four steps, and a stone to cross over when you come to 
the uppermost. It was impossible for me to climb this stile, 
because every step was six feet high, and the upper stone above 

I was endeavouring to find some gap in the hedge, when I dis- 
covered one of the inhabitants in the next field, advancing towards 
the stile, of the same size with him whom I saw in the sea pursuing 
our boat. He appeared as tall as an ordinary spire steeple, and took 
about ten yards at every stride, as near as I could guess. I was 
struck with the utmost fear and astonishment, and ran to hide 
myself in the corn, from whence I saw him at the top of the stile 
looking back into the next field on the right hand, and heard him 


6 9 


call in a voice many degrees louder than a speaking-trumpet ; but 
the noise was so high in the air, that at first I certainly thought 
it was thunder. Whereupon seven monsters, like himself, came 
towards him, with reaping-hooks in their hands, each hook about 
the largeness of six scythes. These people were not so well clad 
as the first, whose servants or labourers they seemed to be ; for, 
upon some words he spoke, they went to reap the corn in the field 
where I lay. I kept from them at as great a distance as I could, 
but was forced to move with extreme difficulty, for the stalks of 
the corn were sometimes not above a foot distant, so that I could 
hardly squeeze my body betwixt them. I made a shift to go 
forward, till I came to a part of the field where the corn had been 
laid by the rain and wind. Here it was impossible for me to 
advance a step ; for the stalks were so interwoven, that I could 
not creep through, and the beards of the fallen ears so strong and 
pointed, that they pierced through my clothes into my flesh. At 
the same time I heard the reapers not above a hundred yards 
behind me. 

Being quite dispirited with toil, and wholly overcome by grief 
and despair, I lay down between two ridges, and heartily wished I 
might there end my days. I bemoaned my desolate widow and 
fatherless children. I lamented my own folly and wilfulness, in 
attempting a second voyage, against the advice of all my friends 
and relations. In this terrible agitation of mind, I could not forbear 
thinking of Lilliput, whose inhabitants looked upon me as the 
greatest prodigy that ever appeared in the world ; where I was able 
to draw an imperial fleet in my hand, and perform those other 
actions, which will be recorded for ever in the chronicles of that 
empire, while posterity shall hardly believe them, although attested 
by millions. 1 reflected what a mortification it must prove to me 
to appear as inconsiderable in this nation, as one single Lilliputian 
would be among us. But this I conceived was to be the least of 
my misfortunes ; for, as human creatures are observed to be more 
savage and cruel in proportion to their bulk, what could I expect 
but to be a morsel in the mouth of the first among these enormous 
barbarians that should happen to seize me ? Undoubtedly philo- 
sophers are in the right when they tell us that nothing is great or 
little otherwise than by comparison. It might have pleased fortune, 
to let the Lilliputians find some nation where the people were as 
diminutive with respect to them, as they were to me. And who 


knows but that even this prodigious race of mortals might be 
equally overmatched in some distant part of the world, whereof we 
have yet no discovery ? 

Scared and confounded as I was, I could not forbear going on 
with these reflections, when one of the reapers approaching within 
ten yards of the ridge where I lay, made me apprehend that with 
the next step I should be squashed to death under his foot, or cut 
in two with his reaping-hook. And therefore, when he was again 
about to move, I screamed as 
loud as fear could make me ; 
whereupon the huge creature 
trod short, and looking round 
about under him for some 
time, at last espied me as I 
lay on the ground. 

He considered awhile, with 
the caution of one who en- 
deavours to lay hold on a 
small dangerous animal in 
such a manner that it may 
not be able either to scratch 
or bite him, as I myself have 
sometimes done with a weasel 
in England. At length he 
ventured to take me up behind, 
by the middle, between his 

forefinger and thumb, and brought me within three yards of his 
eyes, that he might behold my shape more perfectly. I guessed his 
meaning, and my good fortune gave me so much presence of mind, 
that 1 resolved not to struggle in the least as he held me in the air 
about sixty feet from the ground, although he grievously pinched 
my sides, for fear I should slip through his fingers. All I ventured 
was to raise mine eyes toward the sun, and place my hands together 
in a supplicating posture, and to speak some words in an humble 
melancholy tone, suitable to the condition I then was in ; for I 
apprehended every moment that he would dash me against the 
ground, as we usually do any little hateful animal which we have a 
mind to destroy. But my good star would have it, that he appeared 
pleased with my voice and gestures, and began to look upon me as 
a curiosity, much wondering to hear me pronounce articulate words, 

7 1 



although he could not understand them. In the mean time I was 
not able to forbear groaning and shedding tears, and turning my 
head towards my sides ; letting him know, as well as I could, how 
cruelly I was hurt by the pressure of his thumb and finger. He 
seemed to apprehend my meaning ; for, lifting up the lappet of his 
coat, he put me gently into it, and immediately ran along with me 
to his master, who was a substantial farmer, and the same person 
I had first seen in the field. 

The farmer having (as I suppose by their talk) received such 
an account of me as his servant could give him, took a piece of 
a small straw, about the size of a walking-staff, and therewith lifted 
up the lappets of my coat ; which, it seems, he thought to be some 
kind of covering that nature had given me. He blew my hair aside 
to take a better view of my face. He called his hinds about him, 
and asked them, as I afterwards learned, Whether they had ever 
seen in the fields any little creature that resembled me ? he then 
placed me softly on the ground upon all four, but I got immediately 
up, and walked slowly backwards and forwards to let those people 
see I had no intent to run away. They all sat down in a circle 
about me, the better to observe my motions. I pulled off my hat, 
and made a low bow towards the farmer. I fell on my knees, and 
lifted up my hands and eyes, and spoke several words as loud as 
I could ; I took a purse of gold out of my pocket, and humbly 
presented it to him. He received it on the palm of his hand, and 
then applied it close to his eye to see what it was, and afterwards 
turned it several times with the point of a pin (which he took out 
of his sleeve), but could make nothing of it. Whereupon I made a 
sign that he should place his hand on the ground. I then took the 
purse, and opening it, poured all the gold into his palm. There 
were six Spanish pieces of four pistoles each, besides twenty or 
thirty smaller coins. I saw him wet the tip of his little finger 
upon his tongue, and take up one of my largest pieces, and then 
another ; but he seemed to be wholly ignorant what they were. 
He made me a sign to put them again into my purse, and the purse 
again into my pocket, which, after offering it to him several times, 
I thought it best to do. 

The farmer, by this time, was convinced I must be a rational 
creature. He spoke often to me ; but the sound of his voice 
pierced my ears like that of a water-mill, yet his words were 
articulate enough. I answered as loud as I could in several 



languages, and he often laid his ear within two yards of me : but 
all in vain, for we were wholly unintelligible to each other. He 
then sent his servants to their work, and taking his handkerchief 
out of his pocket, he doubled and spread it on his left hand, which 
he placed flat on the ground with the palm upwards, making me a 
sign to step into it, as I could easily do, for it was not above a foot 
in thickness. I thought it my part to obey, and, for fear of falling, 
laid myself at length upon the handkerchief, with the remainder of 
which he lapped me up to the head for further security, and in this 
manner carried me home to his house. There he called his wife, 
and showed me to her ; but she screamed and ran back, as women 
in England do at the sight of a toad or a spider. However, when 
she had awhile seen my behaviour, and how well I observed the 
signs her husband made, she was soon reconciled, and by degrees 
grew extremely tender of me. 

It was about twelve at noon, and a servant brought in dinner. 
It was only one substantial dish of meat (fit for the plain condition 
of a husbandman), in a dish of about four-and-twenty feet diameter. 
The company were, the farmer and his wife, three children, and an 
old grandmother. When they were sat down, the farmer placed 
me at some distance from him on the table, which was thirty 
feet high from the floor. I was in a terrible fright, and kept as 
far as I could from the edge, for fear of falling. The wife minced 
a bit of meat, then crumbled some bread on a trencher, and placed 
it before me. I made her a low bow, took out my knife and 
fork, and fell to eat, which gave them exceeding delight. The 
mistress sent her maid for a small dram cup, which held about 
three gallons, and rilled with drink ; I took up the vessel with 
much difficulty in both hands, and in a most respectful manner 
drank to her ladyship's health, expressing the words as loud as 
I could in English, which made the company laugh so heartily 
that I was almost deafened with the noise. This liquor tasted 
like a srriall cider, and was not unpleasant. 

Then the master made me a sign to come to his trencher 
side ; but as I walked on the table, being in great surprise all 
the time, as the indulgent reader will easily conceive and excuse, 
I happened to stumble against a crust, and fell flat on my face, 
but received no hurt. I got up immediately, and observing the 
good people to be in much concern, I took my hat (which I 
held under my arm out of good manners), and waving it over 



my head, made three huzzas, to show I had got no mischief by 
my fall. But advancing forwards toward my master (as I shall 
henceforth call him), his youngest son, who sat next to him, an 
arch boy of about ten years old, took me up by the legs, and 
held me so high in the air that I trembled in every limb ; but his 
father snatched me from him, and at the same time gave him 
such a box on the left ear, as would have felled an European troop 
of horse to the earth, ordering him to be taken from the table. 
But being afraid the boy might owe me a spite, and well remem- 
bering how mischievous all children among us naturally are to 
sparrows, rabbits, young kittens, and puppy dogs, I fell on my 
knees ; and pointing to the boy, made my master to understand 
as well as I could, that I desired his son might be pardoned. The 
father complied, and the lad took his seat again, whereupon I 
went to him, and kissed his hand, which my master took, and 
made him stroke me gently with it. 

In the midst of dinner, my mistress's favourite cat leaped 
into her lap. I heard a noise behind me like that of a dozen 
stocking-weavers at work ; and turning my head, I found it 
proceeded from the purring of that animal, who seemed to be 
three times larger than an ox, as I computed by the view of 
her head, and one of her paws, while her mistress was feeding 
and stroking her. The fierceness of this creature's countenance 
altogether discomposed me ; though I stood at the farther end 
of the table, above fifty feet off; and although my mistress 
held her fast, for fear she might give a spring, and seize me in 
her talons. But it happened there was no danger, for the cat 
took not the least notice of me, -when my master placed me within 
three yards of her. And as I have been always told, and found 
true by experience in my travels, that flying or discovering fear 
before a fierce animal, is a certain way to make it pursue or 
attack you, so I resolved, in this dangerous juncture, to show no 
manner of concern. I walked with intrepidity five or six times 
before the very head of the cat, and came within half a yard of her ; 
whereupon she drew herself back, as if she were more afraid of me. 
I had less apprehension concerning the dogs, whereof three or four 
came into the room, as it is usual in farmers' houses ; one of which 
was a mastiff, equal in bulk to four elephants, and a greyhound 
somewhat taller than the mastiff, but not so large. 

When dinner was almost done, the nurse came in with a child of 



a year old in her arms, who immediately spied me, and began a 
squall that you might have heard from London Bridge to Chelsea, 
after the usual oratory of infants, to get me for a plaything. The 
mother out of pure indulgence, took me up, and put me towards the 
child, who presently seized me by the middle, and got my head into 
his mouth, where I roared so loud that the urchin was frighted, and 
let me drop, and I should infallibly have broke my neck, if the 
mother had not held her apron under me. The nurse, to quiet her 
babe made use of a rattle, 
which was a kind of hollow 
vessel filled with great stones, 
and fastened by a cable to the 
child's waist. 

When dinner was done, 
my master went out to his 
labourers, and, as I could dis- 
cover by his voice and gesture, 
gave his wife a strict charge 
to take care of me. I was 
very much tired and disposed 
to sleep, which my mistress 
perceiving, she put me on her 
own bed, and covered me with 
a clean white handkerchief, 
but larger and 
the mainsail of 

I slept about two hours, and dreamt I was at home with my wife 
and children, which aggravated my sorrows when I awaked and 
found myself alone in a vast room, between two and three hundred 
feet wide, and above two hundred high, lying in a bed twenty yards 
wide. My mistress was gone about her household affairs, and had 
locked me in. 

The bed was eight yards from the floor. Some natural necessities 
required me to get down ; I durst not presume to call ; and if I had, 
it would have been in vain, with such a voice as mine, at so great a 
distance as from the room where I lay to the kitchen where the 
family kept. While I was under these circumstances, two rats crept 
up the curtains, and ran smelling backwards and forwards on the bed. 
One of them came up almost to my face, whereupon I rose in a 
fright, and drew out my hanger to defend myself. These horrible 


coarser than 



animals had the boldness to attack me on both sides, and one of them 
held his fore-feet at my collar ; but I had the good fortune to rip up 
his belly before he could do me any mischief. He fell down at my 
feet ; and the other seeing the fate of his comrade, made his escape, 
but not without one good wound on the back, which I gave him as 
he fled, and made the blood run trickling from him. After this 
exploit, I walked gently to and fro on the bed, to recover my breath 
and loss of spirits. These creatures were of the size of a large mastiff, 
but infinitely more nimble and fierce ; so that if I had taken off my 
belt before I went to sleep, I must have infallibly been torn to pieces 
and devoured. I measured the tail of the dead rat, and found it to 
be two yards long, wanting an inch ; but it went against my stomach 
to drag the carcass off the bed, where it lay still bleeding. I observed 
it had yet some life, but with a strong slash across the neck, I 
thoroughly dispatched it. 

Soon after, my mistress came into the room, who seeing me all 
bloody, ran and took me up in her hand. I pointed to the dead rat, 
smiling and making other signs to show I was not hurt ; whereat she 
was extremely rejoiced, calling the maid to take up the dead rat with 
a pair of tongs, and throw it out of the window. 



]Y mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of 
toward parts for her age, very dexterous at her needle, 
and skilful in dressing her baby. Her mother and 
she contrived to fit up the baby's cradle for me 
against night : the cradle was put into a small drawer 
of a cabinet, and the drawer placed upon a hanging shelf for fear of 
the rats. This was my bed all the time I stayed with those people, 
though made more convenient by degrees, as I began to learn their 
language and make my wants known. 

This young girl was so handy, that after I had once or twice 
pulled off my clothes before her, she was able to dress and undress 
me, though I never gave her that trouble when she would let me do 
either myself. She made me seven shirts, and some other linen, of 
as fine cloth as could be got, which indeed was coarser than sack- 
cloth ; and these she constantly washed for me with her own hands. 
She was likewise my school-mistress, to teach me the language : 
when I pointed to anything, she told me the name of it in her own 
tongue, so that in a few days I was able to call for whatever I had a 



mind to. She was very good-natured, and not above forty feet high, 
being little for her age. She gave me the name of Gri/Jrig, which 
the family took up, and afterwards the whole kingdom. The word 
imports what the Latins call nanunculus, the Italians Aomunce/efino, and 
the English mannikin. To her I chiefly owe my preservation in that 
country : we never parted while I was there ; I called her my 
Glumdalclitch) or little nurse : and I should be guilty of great 
ingratitude, if I omitted this honourable mention of her care and 
affection towards me, which I heartily wish it lay in my power to 
requite as she deserves, instead of being the innocent, but unhappy 
instrument of her disgrace, as I have too much reason to fear. 

It now began to be known and talked of in the neighbourhood, 
that my master had found a strange animal in the field, about the 
bigness of a splacnuck, but exactly shaped in every part like a human 
creature ; which it likewise imitated in all its actions ; seemed to 
speak in a little language of its own, had already learned several 
words of theirs, went erect upon two legs, was tame and gentle, 
would come when it was called, do whatever it was bid, had the 
finest limbs in the world, and a complexion fairer than a nobleman's 
daughter of three years old. 

Another farmer, who lived hard by, and was a particular friend 
of my master, came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth 
of this story. I was immediately produced, and placed upon a table, 
where I walked as I was commanded, drew my hanger, put it up 
again, made my reverence to my master's guest, asked him in his 
own language how he did, and told him he was 'welcome, just as my 
little nurse had instructed me. This man, who was old and dim- 
sighted, put on his spectacles to behold me better ; at which I could 
not forbear laughing very heartily, for his eyes appeared like the full 
moon shining into a chamber at two windows. Our people, who 
discovered the cause of my mirth, bore me company in laughing, at 
which the old fellow was fool enough to be angry and out of 
countenance. He had the character of a great miser ; and, to my 
misfortune, he well deserved it, by the cursed advice he gave my 
master, to show me as a sight upon a market-day in the next town, 
which was half an hour's riding, about two and twenty miles from 
our house. I guessed there was some mischief contriving, when I 
observed my master and his friend whispering long together, some- 
times pointing at me ; and my fears made me fancy that I overheard 
and understood some of their words. 



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

My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a 
box the next market-day to the neighbouring town, and took along 
with him his little daughter, my nurse, upon a pillion behind him. 
The box was close on every side, with a little door for me to go in 
and out, and a few gimlet holes to let in air. The girl had been so 
careful to put the quilt of her baby's bed into it, for me to lie down 
on. However, I was terribly shaken and discomposed in this journey, 
though it were but of half an hour ; for the horse went about forty 
feet at every step, and trotted so high, that the agitation was equal 
to the rising and falling of a ship in a great storm, but much more 




frequent. Our journey was somewhat farther than from London 
to St. Albans. My master alighted at an inn which he used to 
frequent ; and after consulting awhile with the innkeeper, and 
making some necessary preparations, he hired the grultrud, or crier, 
to give notice through the town of a strange creature to be seen at 
the sign of the Green Eagle, not so big as a splacnuck (an animal in 
that country), very finely shaped, about six feet long, and in every 
part of the body resembling a human creature, could speak several 
words, and perform a hundred diverting tricks. 

I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which 
might be near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood on 
a low stool close to the table, to take care of me, and direct what I 
should do. My master, to avoid a crowd, would suffer only thirty 
people at a time to see me. I walked about on the table as the girl 
commanded: she asked me questions as far as she knew my under- 
standing of the language reached, and I answered them as loud as I 
could. I turned about several times to the company, paid my 
humble respects, said they were welcome, and used some other speeches 
I had been taught. I took up a thimble filled with liquor, which 
Glumdalclitch had given me for a cup, and drank their health. I 
drew out my hanger, and flourished with it after the manner of 
fencers in England. My nurse gave me part of a straw, which I 
exercised as a pike, having learnt the art in my youth. 

I was that day shown to twelve sets of company, and as often 
forced to go over again with the same fopperies, till I was half dead 
with weariness and vexation : for those who had seen me made such 
wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break down the 
doors to come in. My master for his own interest would not suffer 
any one to touch me except my nurse ; and to prevent danger, 
benches were set round the table at such a distance as to put me out 
of everybody's reach. However, an unlucky schoolboy aimed a 
hazel-nut directly at my head, which very narrowly missed me ; other- 
wise it came with so much violence, that it would have infallibly 
knocked out my brains, for it was almost as large as a small pumpion : 
but I had the satisfaction to see the young rogue well beaten, and 
turned out of the room. 

My master gave public notice that he would show me again the 
next market day ; and in the mean time he prepared a more con- 
venient vehicle for me, which he had reason enough to do ; for I 
was so tired with my first journey, and with entertaining company 



for eight hours together, that I could hardly stand upon my legs, 
or speak a word. It was at least three days before I recovered my 
strength ; and that I might have no rest at home, all the neighbour- 
ing gentlemen from a hundred miles round, hearing of my fame, 
came to see me at my master's own house. There could not be 
fewer than thirty persons, with their wives and children (for the 
country was very populous) ; and my master demanded the rate of a 
full room whenever he showed me at home, although it were only 
to a single family : so that for some time I had but little ease every 
day of the week (except Wednesday, which is their Sabbath), 
although I were not carried to the town. 

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

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

On the a6th day of October we arrived at the metropolis, called 
in their language ILorbrulgrud^ or Pride of the Universe. My 



master took a lodging in the principal street of the city, not far 
from the royal palace, and put out bills in the usual form, 
containing an exact description of my person and parts. He hired 
a large room between three and four hundred feet wide. He 
provided a table sixty feet in diameter, upon which I was to 
act my part, and palisadoed it round three feet from the edge, 
and as many high, to prevent my falling over. I was shown 
ten times a-day, to the wonder and satisfaction of all people. 

I could now speak the language tolerably well, and perfectly 
understood every word that was spoken to me. Besides, I had 
learnt their alphabet and could make a shift to explain a sentence 
here and there ; for Glumdalclitch had been my instructor while 
we were at home, and at leisure hours during our journey. She 
carried a little book in her pocket not much larger than a Sanson's 
Atlas ; it was a common treatise for the use of y un g gi f l s > 
giving a short account of their religion : out of this she taught 
me my letters, and interpreted the words. 




HE frequent labours I underwent every day, made, in a 
few weeks, a very considerable change in my health : 
the more my master got by me, the more insatiable 
he grew. I had quite lost my stomach and was 
almost reduced to a skeleton. The farmer observed 
it, and concluding I soon must die, resolved to make as good a 
hand of me as he could. While he was thus reasoning and 
resolving with himself, a slardral, or gentleman-usher, came 
from court, commanding my master to carry me immediately 
thither for the diversion of the queen and her ladies. Some of the 
latter had already been to see me, and reported strange things of my 
beauty, behaviour, and good sense. 

Her majesty, and those who attended her, were beyond measure 
delighted with my demeanour. I fell on my knees, and begged the 
honour of kissing her imperial foot ; but this gracious princess 
held out her little finger towards me (after I was set on a 
table), which I embraced in both my arms, and put the tip of 
it with the utmost respect to my lip. She made me some general 
questions about my country and my travels, which I answered as 
distinctly, and in as few words as I could. She asked, whether I 
would be content to live at court ? I bowed down to the board 
of the table, and humbly answered, that I was my master's slave : 



but if I were at my own disposal, I should be proud to devote 
my life to her majesty's service. She then asked my master 
whether he were willing to sell me at a good price ? He, who 
apprehended I could not live a month, was ready enough to part 
with me, and demanded a thousand pieces of gold, which were 
ordered him on the spot, each piece being about the bigness of 
eight hundred moidores ; but allowing for the proportion of all 
things between that country and Europe, and the high price of 
gold among them, was hardly so great a sum as a thousand 

guineas would be in England. 
I then said to the queen, since 
I was now her majesty's most 
humble creature and vassal, I 
must beg the favour that 
Glumdalclitch, who had 
always tended me with so 
much care and kindness, and 
understood to do it so well, 
might be admitted into her 
service, and continue to be my 
nurse and instructor. 

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

The queen observed my coldness, and, when the farmer was 
gone out of the apartment, asked me the reason. I made bold 
to tell her majesty, that I owed no other obligation to my late 
master, than his not dashing out the brains of a poor harmless 
creature found by chance in his field ; which obligation was amply 
recompensed by the gain he had made in showing me through half 
the kingdom, and the price he had now sold me for. That the life 
I had since led, was laborious enough to kill an animal of ten times 
my strength. That my health was much impaired by the continual 
drudgery of entertaining the rabble every hour of the day ; and 



that if my master had not thought my life in danger, her majesty 
would not have got so cheap a bargain. But as I was out of all 
fear of being ill-treated under the protection of so great and 
good an empress, the ornament of nature, the darling of the world, 
the delight of her subjects, the phcenix of the creation ; so, I hoped 
my late master's apprehensions would appear to be groundless ; 
for I already found my spirits to revive by the influence of her most 
august presence. 

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

The queen, giving great allowance for my defectiveness in 
speaking, was, however, surprised at so much wit and good sense in 
so diminutive an animal. She took me in her own hands, and 
carried me to the king, who was then retired to his cabinet. His 
majesty, a prince of much gravity and austere countenance, not well 
observing my shape at first view, asked the queen after a cold 
manner, how long it was since she grew fond of a splacnuck ? for 
such it seems he took me to be, as I lay upon my breast in her 
majesty's right hand. But this princess, who has an infinite deal of 
wit and humour, set me gently on my feet upon the scrutoire, and 
commanded me to give his majesty an account of myself, which I 
did in a very few words ; and Glumdalclitch, who attended at the 
cabinet door, and could not endure I should be out of her sight, 
being admitted, confirmed all that had passed from my arrival at her 
father's house. 

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



otherwise defective than by a foreign accent, and an imperfect 
knowledge in the language, with some rustic phrases which I had 
learned at the farmer's house, and did not suit the polite style of a 

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

After this decisive conclusion, I entreated to be heard a word or 
two. I applied myself to the king, and assured his majesty, that I 
came from a country which abounded with several millions of both 
sexes, and of my own stature ; where the animals, trees, and houses, 
were all in proportion, and where, by consequence, I might be as 
able to defend myself, and to find sustenance, as any of his majesty's 
subjects could do here ; which I took for a full answer to those 
gentlemen's arguments. To this they only replied with a smile of 
contempt, saying, that the farmer had instructed me very well in my 
lesson. The king, who had a much better understanding, dismissing 
his learned men, sent for the farmer, who by good fortune was not 
yet gone out of town. Having, therefore, first examined him 


privately, and then confronted him with me and the young girl, his 
majesty began to think that what we told him might possibly be 
true. 'He desired the queen to order that a particular care should be 
taken of me ; and was of opinion that Glumdalclitch should still 
continue in her office of tending me, because he observed we had a 
great affection for each other. A convenient apartment was provided 
for her at court ; she had a sort of governess appointed to take care 
of her education, a maid to dress her, and two other servants for 
menial offices ; but the care of me was wholly appropriated to 

The queen commanded her own cabinet-maker to contrive a box, 
that might serve me for a bed-chamber, after the model that 
Glumdalclitch and I should agree upon. This man was a most 
ingenious artist, and according to my directions, in three weeks, 
finished for me a wooden chamber of sixteen feet square, and twelve 
high, with sash-windows, a door, and two closets, like a London bed- 
chamber. The board that made the ceiling, was to be lifted up and 
down by two hinges, to put in a bed ready furnished by her 
majesty's upholsterer, which Glumdalclitch took out every day to 
air, made it with her own hands, and letting it down at night, 
locked up the roof over me. A nice workman, who was famous for 
little curiosities, undertook to make me two chairs, with backs and 
frames, of a substance not unlike ivory, and two tables, with a 
cabinet to put my things in. The room was quilted on all sides, as 
well as the floor and the ceiling, to prevent any accident from the 
carelessness of those who carried me, and to break the force of a jolt, 
when I went in a coach. I desired a lock for my door, to prevent 
rats and mice from coming in. The smith, after several attempts, 
made the smallest that ever was seen among them, for I have known 
a larger at the gate of a gentleman's house in England. I made 
a shift to keep the key in a pocket of my own, fearing Glumdalclitch 
might lose it. The queen likewise ordered the thinnest silks that 
could be gotten, to make me clothes, not much thicker than an 
English blanket, very cumbersome till I was accustomed to them. 
They were after the fashion of the kingdom, partly resembling the 
Persian, and partly the Chinese, and are a very grave and decent 

The queen became so fond of my company, that she could not 
dine without me. I had a table placed upon the same at which her 
majesty eat, just at her elbow, and a chair to sit on. Glumdalclitch 



stood upon a stool on the floor, near my table, to assist and take care 
of me. I had an entire set of silver dishes and plates, and other 
necessaries, which, in proportion to those of the queen, were not 
much bigger than what I have seen in a London toy-shop, for the 
furniture of a baby-house : these my little nurse kept in her pocket 
in a silver box, and gave me at meals as I wanted them, always 
cleaning them herself. 

No person dined with the queen but the two princesses royal, 
the elder sixteen years old, and the younger at that time thirteen and 
a month. Her majesty used to put a bit of meat upon one of my 
dishes, out of which I carved for myself, and her diversion was to 
see me eat in miniature ; for the queen (who had indeed but a weak 
stomach) took up, at one mouthful, as much as a dozen English 
farmers could eat at a meal, which to me was for some time a very 
nauseous sight. She would craunch the wing of a lark, bones and 
all, between her teeth, although it were nine times as large as that of 
a full-grown turkey ; and put a bit of bread in her mouth, as big as 
two twelvepenny loaves. She drank, out of a golden cup, above a 
hogshead at a draught. Her knives were twice as long as a scythe, 
set straight upon the handle. The spoons, forks, and other 
instruments, were all in the same proportion. I remember when 
Glumdalclitch carried me, out of curiosity, to see some of the tables 
at court, where ten or a dozen of these enormous knives and forks 
were lifted up together, I thought I had never till then beheld 
so terrible a sight. 

It is the custom that every Wednesday (which, as I have before 
observed, is their sabbath) the king and queen, with the royal issue 
of both sexes, dine together in the apartment of his majesty, to 
whom I was now become a great favourite ; and at these times, my 
little chair and table were placed at his left hand, before one of the 
salt-cellars. This prince took a pleasure in conversing with me, 
inquiring into the manners, religion, laws, government, and learning 
of Europe ; wherein I gave him the best account I was able. His 
apprehension was so clear, and his judgment so exact, that he made 
very w r ise reflections and observations upon all I said. But I confess, 
that after I had been a little too copious in talking of my own 
beloved country, of our trade, and wars by sea and land, of our 
schisms in religion, and parties in the state, the prejudices of his 
education prevailed so far, that he could not forbear taking me up in 
his right hand, and stroking me gently with the other, after a hearty 



fit of laughing, asked me, whether I was a whig or tory ? Then 
turning to his first minister, who waited behind him with a white 
staff, near as tall as the mainmast of the Royal Sovereign, he 
observed, how contemptible a thing was human grandeur, which 
could be mimicked by such diminutive insects as I ; and yet, says he, 
I dare engage these creatures have their titles and distinctions of 
honour ; they contrive little nests and burrows, that they call houses 
and cities; they make a figure in dress and equipage; they love, 
they fight, they dispute, they cheat, they betray. And thus he 
continued on, while my colour came and went several times, with 
indignation, to hear our noble country, the mistress of arts and arms, 
the scourge of France, the arbitress of Europe, the seat of virtue, 
piety, honour, and truth, the pride and envy of the world, so 
contemptuously treated. 

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

Nothing angered and mortified me so much as the queen's 
dwarf ; who, being of the lowest stature that was ever in that 
country (for I verily think he was not full thirty feet high), became 
insolent at seeing a creature so much beneath him, that he would 
always affect to swagger and look big as he passed by me in the 
queen's ante-chamber, while I was standing on some table talking 
with the lords or ladies of the court, and he seldom failed of 
a small word or two upon my littleness ; against which I could 


only revenge myself by calling him brother, challenging him to 
wrestle, and such repartees as are usual in the mouths of court 

One day at dinner, this malicious little cub was so nettled with 
something I had said to him, that, raising himself upon the frame of 
her majesty's chair, he took me up by the middle, as I was sitting 
down, not thinking any harm, and let me drop into a large silver 
bowl of cream, and than ran away as fast as he could. I fell over 
head and ears, and if I had not been a good swimmer it might have 
gone very hard with me ; for Glumdalclitch in that instant happened 
to be at the other end of the room, and the queen was in such 
a fright that she wanted presence of mind to assist me. But my 
little nurse ran to my relief, and took me out, after I had swallowed 
above a quart of cream. I was put to bed ; however, I received no 
other damage than the loss of a suit of clothes, which was utterly 
spoiled. The dwarf was soundly whipped, and as a farther punish- 
ment, forced to drink up the bowl of cream into which he had 
thrown me : neither was he ever restored to favour ; for soon after 
the queen bestowed him to a lady of high quality, so that I saw 
him no more, to my very great satisfaction : for I could not tell to 
what extremity such a malicious urchin might have carried his 

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

I was frequently rallied by the queen upon account of my fear- 

9 1 


fulness ; and she used to ask me whether the people of my country 
were as great cowards as myself ? The occasion was this : the 
kingdom is much pestered with flies in summer ; and these 
odious insects, each of them as big as a Dunstable lark, hardly 
gave me any rest while I sat at dinner, with their continual 
humming and buzzing about mine ears. Sometimes they would 
fix upon my nose or forehead, where they stung me to the quick, 
smelling very offensively ; and I could easily trace that viscous matter 

which, our naturalists tell 
us, enables those creatures to 
walk with their feet upwards 
upon a ceiling. I had much 
ado to defend myself against 
these detestable animals, and 
could not forbear starting 
when they came on my face. 
It was the common practice of 
the dwarf to catch a number 
of these insects in his hand, 
as schoolboys do among us, 
and let them out suddenly 
under my nose, on purpose to 
frighten me, and divert the 
queen. My remedy was to 
cut them in pieces with my 
knife, as they flew in the air, 
wherein my dexterity was much admired. 

I remember one morning, when Glumdalclitch had set me in my 
box upon a window, as she usually did in fair days to give me 
air (for I durst not venture to let the box be hung on a nail out of 
the window, as we do with cages in England), after I had lifted up 
one of my sashes, and sat down at my table to eat a piece of sweet 
cake for my breakfast, above twenty wasps, allured by the smell, 
came flying into the room, humming louder than the drones of as 
many bagpipes. Some of them seized my cake, and carried it piece- 
meal away ; others flew about my head and face, confounding me 
with the noise, and putting me in the utmost terror of their stings. 
However, I had the courage to rise and draw my hanger, and attack 
them in the air. I dispatched four of them, but the rest got away, 
and I presently shut my window. These creatures were as large as 



partridges : I took out their stings, found them an inch and a half 
long, and as sharp as needles. I carefully preserved them all ; and 
having since shown them, with some other curiosities in several 
parts of Europe ; upon my return to England I gave three of them 
to Gresham College, and kept the fourth for myself. 




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

The kingdom is a peninsula, terminated to the north-east by a 
ridge of mountains thirty miles high, which are altogether impassable, 
by reason of the volcanoes upon the tops : neither do the most 
learned know what sort of mortals inhabit beyond those mountains, 
or whether they be inhabited at all. On the three other sides, it is 
bounded by the ocean. There is not one seaport in the whole 



kingdom ; and those parts of the coasts into which the rivers issue, 
are so full of pointed rocks, and the sea generally so rough, that 
there is no venturing with the smallest of their boats; so that these 
people are wholly excluded from any commerce with the rest of the 
world. But the large rivers are full of vessels, and abound with 
excellent fish : for they seldom get any from the sea, because the 
sea-fish are of the same size with those in Europe, and consequently, 
not worth catching ; whereby it is manifest, that nature, in the 
production of plants and animals of so extraordinary a bulk, is wholly 
confined to this continent, of which I leave the reasons to be deter- 
mined by philosophers. However, now and then they take a whale 
that happens to be dashed against the rocks, which the common 
people feed on heartily. These whales I have known so large, that 
a man could hardly carry one upon his shoulders ; and sometimes for 
curiosity they are brought in hampers to Lorbrulgrud : I saw one of 
them in a dish at the king's table, which passed for a rarity, but I 
did not observe he was fond of it ; for I think, indeed, the bigness 
disgusted him, although I have seen one somewhat larger in 

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

The king's palace is no regular edifice, but a heap of buildings 
about seven miles round : the chief rooms are generally two hundred 
and forty feet high, and broad and long in proportion. A coach was 
allowed to Glumdalclitch and me, wherein her governess frequently 
took her out to see the town, or go among the shops ; and I was 
always of the party, carried in my box ; although the girl, at my own 
desire, would often take me out, and hold me in her hand, that I 
might more conveniently view the houses and the people, as we 
passed along the streets. I reckoned our coach to be a square of 



Westminster Hall, but not altogether so high : however, I cannot 
be very exact. 

Beside the large box in which I was usually carried, the queen 
ordered a smaller one to be made for me, of about twelve feet square, 
and ten high, for the convenience of travelling ; because the other 
was somewhat too large for Glumdalclitch's lap, and cumbersome in 
the coach : it was made by the same artist, whom I directed in the 
whole contrivance. This travelling closet was an exact square, with 
a window in the middle of three of the squares, and each window 
was latticed with iron wire on the outside, to prevent accidents in 
long journeys. On the fourth side, which had no window, two 
strong staples were fixed, through which the person that carried me, 
when I had a mind to be on horseback, put in a leathern belt, and 
buckled it about his waist. This was always the office of some grave 
trusty servant, in whom I could confide, whether I attended the king 
and queen in their progresses, or were disposed to see the gardens, or 
pay a visit to some great lady or minister of state in the court, when 
Glumdalclitch happened to be out of order ; for I soon began to be 
known and esteemed among the greatest officers, I suppose more 
upon account of their majesties' favour, than any merit of my own. 
In journeys, when I was weary of the coach, a servant on horseback 
would buckle my box, and place it on a cushion before him ; and 
there I had a full prospect of the country on three sides, from my 
three windows. I had in this closet a field-bed, and a hammock 
hung from the ceiling, two chairs and a table, neatly screwed to the 
floor, to prevent being tossed about by the agitation of the horse or 
the coach. And having been long used to sea voyages, these motions, 
although sometimes very violent, did not much discompose me. 

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

I was very desirous to see the chief temple, and particularly the 
tower belonging to it, which is reckoned the highest in the kingdom. 
Accordingly, one day my nurse carried me thither, but I may truly 
say I came back disappointed ; for the height is not above three 
thousand feet, and reckoning from the ground to the highest pinnacle 



top ; which, allowing for the difference between the size of those 
people and us in Europe, is no great matter for admiration, nor at 
all equal in proportion (if I rightly remember) to Salisbury steeple. 
But, not to detract from a nation, to which during my life I shall 
acknowledge myself extremely obliged, it must be allowed that what- 
ever this famous tower wants in height, is amply made up in beauty 
and strength ; for the walls are near a hundred feet thick, built of 
hewn stone, whereof each is about forty feet square, and adorned on 
all sides with statues of gods and emperors, cut in marble, larger than 
the life, placed in their several niches. I measured a little finger 
which had fallen down from one of these statues, and lay unperceived 
among some rubbish, and found it exactly four feet and an inch in 
length. Glumdalclitch wrapped it up in a handkerchief, and carried 
it home in her pocket, to keep among other trinkets, of which the 
girl was very fond, as children at her age usually are. 

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

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

j^~ WT ^^r wr ^^ ?^r j^ ^^r 





SHOULD have lived happy enough in that country, 
if my littleness had not exposed me to several ridiculous 
and troublesome accidents : some of which I shall 
venture to relate. Glumdalclitch often carried me into 
the gardens of the court in my smaller box, and would 
sometimes take me out of it, and hold me in her hand, or set 
me down to walk. I remember, before the dwarf left the queen, 
he followed us one day into those gardens, and my nurse having 
set me down, he and I being close together, near some dwarf 
apple-trees, I must need show my wit, by a silly allusion between 
him and the trees, which happens to hold in their language as it 
does in ours. Whereupon the malicious rogue, watching his oppor- 
tunity, when I was walking under one of them, shook it directly over 
my head, by which a dozen apples, each of them near as large as a 
Bristol barrel, came tumbling about my ears ; one of them hit me on 
the back as I chanced to stoop, and knocked me down flat on my 
face ; but I received no other hurt, and the dwarf was pardoned at 
my desire, because I had given the provocation. 


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

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

This accident absolutely determined Glumdalclitch never to 
trust me abroad for the future out of sight. I had been long afraid 



of this resolution, and therefore concealed from her some little 
unlucky adventures, that happened in those times when I was left 
by myself. Once a kite, hovering over the garden, made a stoop at 
me, and if I had not resolutely drawn my hanger, and run under a 
thick espalier he would have certainly carried me away in his talons. 
Another time, walking to the top of a fresh molehill, I fell to my 
neck in the hole, through which that animal had cast up the earth, 
and coined some lie, not worth remembering, to excuse myself for 
spoiling my clothes. I likewise broke my right shin against the 

shell of a snail, which I hap- 
pened to stumble over, as I 
was walking alone and think- 
ing on poor England. 

I cannot tell whether I 
were more pleased or morti- 
fied to observe, in those soli- 
tary walks, that the smaller 
birds did not appear to be at 
all afraid of me, but would 
hop about within a yard dis- 
tance, looking for worms and 
other food, with as much in- 
difference and security as if 
no creature at all were near 
them. I remember, a thrush 
THE QUEEN'S DWARF h ac [ tne confidence to snatch 

out of my hand, with his bill, 

a piece of cake that Glumdalclitch had just given me for my break- 
fast. When I attempted to catch any of these birds, they would 
boldly turn against me, endeavouring to pick my fingers, which I 
durst not venture within their reach ; and then they would turn 
back unconcerned, to hunt for worms or snails, as they did before. 
But one day, I took a thick cudgel, and threw it with all my strength 
so luckily, at a linnet, that I knocked him down, and seizing him 
by the neck with both my hands, ran with him in triumph to my 
nurse. However, the bird, who had only been stunned, recovering 
himself, gave me so many boxes with his wings, on both sides of 
my head and body, though I held him at arm's-length, and was out 
of the reach of his claws, that I was twenty times thinking to let 
him go. But I was soon relieved by one of our servants, who 


wrung off the bird's neck, and I had him next day for dinner, by 
the queen's command. The linnet, as near as I can remember, 
seemed to be somewhat larger than an English swan. 

One day, a young gentleman, who was nephew to my nurse's 
governess, came and pressed them both to see an execution. It was 
of a man who had murdered one of that gentleman's intimate 
acquaintance. Glumdalclitch was prevailed on to be of the com- 
pany, very much against her inclination, for she was naturally 
tender-hearted : and as for myself, although I abhorred such kind 
of spectacles, yet my curiosity tempted me to see something that I 
thought must be extraordinary. The malefactor was fixed in a 
chair upon a scaffold erected for the purpose, and his head cut off 
at a blow, with a sword of about forty feet long. The veins and 
arteries spouted up such a prodigious quantity of blood, and so high 
in the air, that the great jet d'eau at Versailles was not equal for the 
time it lasted ; and the head, when it fell on the scaffold floor, gave 
such a bounce as made me start, although I were at least half an 
English mile distant. 

The queen, who often used to hear me talk of my sea-voyages, 
and took all occasions to divert me when I was melancholy, asked 
me whether I understood how to handle a sail or an oar, and whether 
a little exercise of rowing might not be convenient for my health ? 
I answered that I understood both very well : for although my 
proper employment had been to be surgeon or doctor to the ship, 
yet often, upon a pinch, I was forced to work like a common 
mariner. But I could not see how this could be done in their 
country, where the smallest wherry was equal to a first-rate man-of- 
war among us ; and such a boat as I could manage would never 
live in any of their rivers. Her majesty said, if I would contrive a 
boat, her own joiner should make it, and she would provide a place 
for me to sail in. The fellow was an ingenious workman, and by 
my instructions, in ten days, finished a pleasure boat, with all its 
tackling, able conveniently to hold eight Europeans. 

When it was finished, the queen was so delighted, that she ran 
with it in her lap to the king, who ordered it to be put in a cistern 
full of water, with me in it, by way of trial ; where I could not 
manage my two sculls, or little oars, for want of room. But the 
queen had before contrived another project. She ordered the joiner 
to make a wooden trough of three hundred feet long, fifty broad, 
and eight deep ; which being well pitched to prevent leaking, was 



placed on the floor along the wall, in an outer room of the palace. 
It had a cock near the bottom, to let out the water when it began 
to grow stale ; and two servants could easily fill it in half an hour. 
Here I often used to row for my own diversion, as well as that of 
the queen and her ladies, who thought themselves well entertained 
with my skill and agility. Sometimes I would put up my sail, and 
then my business was only to steer, while the ladies gave me a gale 
with their fans ; and when they were weary, some of the pages 
would blow my sail forward with their breath, while I showed my 
art by steering starboard or larboard as I pleased. When I had 
done, Glumdalclitch always carried back my boat into her closet, 
and hung it on a nail to dry. 

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

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

But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom, was 
from a monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen. 
Glumdalclitch had locked me up in her closet, while she went 
somewhere upon business, or a visit. The weather being very 
warm, the closet window was left open, as well as the windows 


and the door of my bigger box, in which I usually lived, because 
of its largeness and conveniency. As I sat quietly meditating at 
my table, I heard something bounce in at the closet window, and 
skip about from one side to the other ; whereat, although I were 
much alarmed, yet I ventured to look out, but not stirring from 
my seat ; and then I saw this frolicsome animal frisking and leaping 
up and down, till at last he came to my box, which he seemed to 
view with great pleasure and curiosity, peeping in at the door and 
every window. I retreated to the further corner of my room, or 
box ; but the monkey looking in at every side, put me into such 
a fright, that I wanted presence of mind to conceal myself under 
the bed, as I might easily have done. 

After some time spent in peeping, grinning, and chattering, he 
at last espied me ; and reaching one of his paws in at the door, 
as a cat does when she plays with a mouse, although I often shifted 
place to avoid him, he at length caught hold of the lappet of my 
coat (which being made of that country cloth, was very thick and 
strong), and dragged me out. He took me up in his right fore-foot, 
and held me as a nurse does a child she is going to suckle, just as 
I have seen the same sort of creature do with a kitten in Europe : 
and when I offered to struggle, he squeezed me so hard, that I 
thought it more prudent to submit. I have good reason to 
believe that he took me for a young one of his own species, by his 
often stroking my face very gently with his other paw. In these 
diversions he was interrupted by a noise at the closet door, as if 
somebody were opening it ; whereupon he suddenly leaped up to 
the window, at which he had come in, and thence upon the leads 
and gutters, walking upon three legs, and holding me in the fourth, 
till he clambered up to a roof that was next to ours. I heard 
Glumdalclitch give a shriek at the moment he was carrying me 
out. The poor girl was almost distracted ; that quarter of the 
palace was all in an uproar ; the servants ran for ladders ; the 
monkey was seen by hundreds in the court, sitting upon the ridge 
of a building, holding me like a baby in one of his fore paws, and 
feeding me with the other, by cramming into my mouth some 
victuals he had squeezed out of the bag on one side of his chaps, 
and patting me when I would not eat ; whereat many of the rabble 
below could not forbear laughing ; neither do I think they justly 
ought to be blamed, for, without question, the sight was ridiculous 
enough to everybody but myself. Some of the people threw up 



stones, hoping to drive the monkey down ; but this was strictly 
forbidden, or else, very probably, my brains had been dashed out. 

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

I was almost choked with the filthy stuff the monkey had 
crammed down my throat ; but my dear little nurse picked it out 
of my mouth with a small needle, and then I fell a vomiting, which 
gave me great relief. Yet I was so weak and bruised in the sides 
with the squeezes given me by this odious animal, that I was forced 
to keep my bed a fortnight. The king, queen, and all the court, 
sent every day to enquire after my health ; and her majesty made 
me several visits during my sickness. The monkey was killed, and 
an order made that no such animal should be kept about the palace. 

When I attended the king after my recovery, to return him 
thanks for his favours, he was pleased to rally me a good deal upon 
this adventure. He asked me, what my thoughts and my specu- 
lations were while I lay in the monkey's paw ? how I liked the 
victuals he gave me ? his manner of feeding ? and whether the 
fresh air on the roof had sharpened my stomach ? He desired to 
know what I would have done upon such an occasion in my own 
country ? I told his majesty, that in Europe we had no monkeys 
except such as were brought for curiosities from other places, and 
so small that I could deal with a dozen of them together, if they 
presumed to attack me. And as for that monstrous animal, with 
whom I was so lately engaged (it was indeed as large as an elephant), 
if my fears had suffered me to think so far as to make use of my 
hanger (looking fiercely, and clapping my hand upon my hilt, as I 
spoke), when he poked his paw into my chamber, perhaps I should 
have given him such a wound, as would have made him glad to 
withdraw it, with more haste than he put it in. This I delivered 
in a firm tone, like a person who was jealous lest his honour should 
be called in question. However, my speech produced nothing else 
besides a loud laughter, which all the respect due to his majesty 



from these about him could not make them contain. This made 
me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man to endeavour doing 
himself honour among those who are out of all degree of equality 
or comparison with him. And yet I have seen the moral of my 
own behaviour very frequent in England since my return ; where 
a little contemptible varlet, without the least title to birth, person, 
wit, or common sense, shall presume to look with importance, and 
put himself upon a foot with the greatest persons of the kingdom. 

1 06 



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

And this puts me in mind of an amusement wherein I spent 
many of my leisure hours. I desired the queen's woman to save for 
me the combings of her majesty's hair, whereof in time I got a good 
quantity ; and consulting with my friend the cabinet-maker, who 
had received general orders to do little jobs for me, I directed him to 
make two chair frames, no larger than those I had in my box, and 



then to bore little holes with a fine awl round those parts where 
I designed the backs and seats : through these holes I wove the 
strongest hairs I could pick out, just after the manner of cane-chairs 
in England. When they were finished, I made a present of them to 
her majesty, who kept them in her cabinet, and used to show them 
for curiosities, as indeed they were the wonder of every one that 
beheld them. The queen would have had me sit upon one of these 
chairs, but I absolutely refused to obey her, protesting I would rather 
die a thousand deaths than sit on those precious hairs that once adorned 
her majesty's head. Of these hairs (as I had always a mechanical 
genius) I likewise made a neat little purse, about five feet long, with 
her majesty's name deciphered in gold letters, which I gave to 
Glumdalclitch, by the queen's consent. To say the truth it was 
more for show than use, being not of strength to bear the weight of 
the larger coins, and therefore she kept nothing in it, but some little 
toys that girls are fond of. 

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

I had learnt in my youth to play a little upon the spinet. 
Glumdalclitch kept one in her chamber, and a master attended twice 
a-week to teach her : I called it a spinet, because it somewhat 
resembled that instrument, and was played upon in the same manner. 
A fancy came into my head that I would entertain the king and 
queen with an English tune upon this instrument. But this 
appeared extremely difficult : for the spinet was near sixty feet long, 
each key being almost a foot wide, so that with my arms extended I 
could not reach to above five keys, and to press them down required 
a good smart stroke with my fist, which would be too great a labour, 
and to no purpose. 

The method I contrived was this : I prepared two round sticks, 
about the bigness of common cudgels ; they were thicker at one end 
than the other, and I covered the thicker ends with a piece of a 
mouse's skin, that by rapping on them I might neither damage the 


tops of the keys nor interrupt the sound. Before the spinet a bench 
was placed, about four feet below the keys, and I was put upon the 
bench. I ran sideling upon it, that way and this, as fast as I could, 
banging the proper keys with my two sticks, and made a shift to play 
a jig to the great satisfaction of both their majesties : but it was the 
most violent exercise I ever underwent ; and yet I could not strike 
above sixteen keys, nor, consequently, play the bass and treble 


together, as other artists do ; which was a great disadvantage to my 

The king, who, as I before observed, was a prince of excellent 
understanding, would frequently order that I should be brought in my 
box, and set upon the table in his closet ; he would then command 
me to bring one of my chairs out of the box, and sit down within 
three yards' distance, upon the top of the cabinet, which brought me 
almost to a level with his face. In this manner I had several 
conversations with him. I one day took the freedom to tell his 
majesty that the contempt he discovered towards Europe, and the 
rest of the world, did not seem answerable to these excellent 



qualities of mind that he was master of : that reason did not extend 
itself with the bulk of the body : on the contrary, we observed 
in our country, that the tallest persons were usually the least 
provided with it. That among other animals, bees and ants had 
the reputation of more industry, art, and sagacity, than many of the 
larger kinds ; and that, as inconsiderable as he took me to be, I 
hoped I might live to do his majesty some signal service. The 
king heard me with attention, and began to conceive a much better 
opinion of me than he had ever before. He desired I would give 
him as exact an account of the government of England as I possibly 
could ; because, as fond as princes commonly are of their own 
customs (for so he conjectured of other monarchs by my former 
discourses), he should be glad to hear of anything that might deserve 

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

I began my discourse by informing his majesty, that our 
dominions consisted of two islands, which comprised three mighty 
kingdoms under one sovereign, besides our plantations in America. 
I dwelt long upon the fertility of our soil, and the temperature of 
our climate. I then spoke at large upon the constitution of an 
English parliament ; partly made up of an illustrious body, called the 
House of Peers ; persons of the noblest blood, and of the most ancient 
and ample patrimonies. I described that extraordinary care always 
taken of their education in arts and arms, to qualify them for being 
counsellors both to the king and kingdom ; to have a share in the 
legislature ; to be members of the highest court of judicature, from 
whence there can be no appeal ; and to be champions always ready 
for the defence of their prince and country, by their valour, conduct, 
and fidelity. That these were the ornament and bulwark of the 
kingdom, worthy followers of their most renowned ancestors, whose 
honour had been the reward of their virtue, from which their 
posterity were never once known to degenerate. To these were 
joined several holy persons, as part of that assembly, under the title 
of bishops, whose peculiar business it is to take care of religion, and 
of those who instruct the people therein. These were searched and 
sought out through the whole nation, by the prince and his wisest 
counsellors, among such of the priesthood as were most deservedly 
1 10 


distinguished by the sanctity of their lives, and the depth of their 
erudition, who were indeed the spiritual fathers of the clergy and 
the people. 

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

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

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

When I had put an end to these long discourses, his majesty, in 
a sixth audience, consulting his notes, proposed many doubts, queries, 
and objections, upon every article. He asked what methods were 
used to cultivate the minds and bodies of our young nobility, and in 
what kind of business they commonly spent the first and teachable 
part of their lives ? What course was taken to supply that assembly, 
when any noble family became extinct ? What qualifications were 
necessary in those who are to be created new lords : whether the 
humour of the prince, a sum of money to a court lady or a prime 
minister, or a design of strengthening a party opposite to the public 
interest, ever happened to be motives in those advancements ? What 
share of knowledge these lords had in the laws of their country, and 
how they came by it, so as to enable them to decide the properties of 
their fellow-subjects in the last resort ? Whether they were always 

1 1 1 


so free from avarice, partialities, or want, that a bribe, or some other 
sinister view, could have no place among them ? Whether those 
holy lords I spoke of were always promoted to that rank upon 
account of their knowledge in religious matters, and the sanctity 
of their lives ; had never been compilers with the times, while they 
were common priests ; or slavish prostitute chaplains to some noble- 
man, whose opinions they continued servilely to follow after they 
were admitted into that assembly ? 

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

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



opinions ? Whether they were a rich or a poor corporation ? 
Whether they received any pecuniary reward for pleading, or deliver- 
ing their opinions ? And particularly, whether they were ever 
admitted as members in the lower senate ? 

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

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

He observed, that among the diversions of our nobility and 
gentry, I had mentioned gaming. He desired to know at what age 
this entertainment was usually taken up, and when it was laid down ; 

Q 113 


how much of their time it employed ; whether it ever went so 
high as to affect their fortunes ; whether mean, vicious people, by 
their dexterity in that art, might not arrive at great riches, and 
sometimes keep our very nobles in dependence, as well as habituate 
them to vile companions, wholly take from them the improvement 
of their minds, and force them, by the losses they received, to learn 
and practise that infamous dexterity upon others ? 

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

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




OTHING but an extreme love of truth could have 
hindered me from concealing this part of my story. 
It was in vain to discover my resentments, which 
were always turned into ridicule ; and I was forced 
to rest with patience while my noble and beloved 
country was so injuriously treated. I am as heartily sorry as any 
of my readers can possibly be, that such an occasion was given : 
but this prince happened to be so curious and inquisitive upon 
every particular, that it could not consist either with gratitude or 
good manners, to refuse giving him what satisfaction I was able. 
Yet thus much I may be allowed to say in my own vindication, that 
I artfully eluded many of his questions, and gave to every point 
a more favourable turn by many degrees than the strictness of truth 
would allow. For I have always borne that laudable partiality to 
my own- country, which Dionysius Halicarnassensis with so much 
justice recommends to an historian : I would hide the frailties and 
deformities of my political mother, and place her virtues and 
beauties in the most advantageous light. This was my sincere 
endeavour in those many discourses I had with that monarch, 
although it unfortunately failed of success. 

But great allowances should be given to a king, who lives 
wholly secluded from the rest of the world, and must therefore 


be altogether unacquainted with the manners and customs that 
most prevail in other nations ; the want of which knowledge will 
ever produce many prejudices, and a certain narrowness of thinking, 
from which we and the politer countries of Europe are wholly 
exempted. And it would be hard indeed, if so remote a prince's 
notions of virtue and vice were to be offered as a standard for all 

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


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

A strange effect of narrow 
principles and short views ! 
that a prince possessed of 
every quality which procures 
veneration, love, and esteem ; 
of strong parts, great wisdom, 
and profound learning ; en- 
dued with admirable talents 
for government, and almost 

adored by his subjects, should from a nice unnecessary scruple, 
whereof in Europe we can have no conception, let slip an oppor- 
tunity put into his hands that would have made him absolute 
master of the lives, the liberties, and the fortunes of his people. 
Neither do I say this, with the least intention to detract from the 
many virtues of that excellent king, whose character I am sensible, 
will, on this account, be very much lessened in the opinion of an 
English reader ; but I take this defect among them to have risen 
from their ignorance, they not having hitherto reduced politics into 
a science, as the more acute wits of Europe have done. 




For, I remember very well, in a discourse one day with the king, 
when I happened to say there were several thousand books among us 
written upon the art of government, it gave him (directly contrary 
to my intention) a very mean opinion of our understandings. He 
professed both to abominate and despise all mystery, refinement, and 
intrigue, either in a prince or a minister. He could not tell what I 
meant by secrets of state, where an enemy or some rival nation were 
not in the case. He confined the knowledge of governing within 
very narrow bounds, to common sense and reason, to justice and 
lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes ; 
with some other obvious topics which are not worth considering. 
And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of 
corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground, where 
only one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more 
essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians 
put together. 

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

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

They have had the art of printing, as well as the Chinese, time 
out of mind : but their libraries are not very large ; for that of the 
king, which is reckoned the largest, does not amount to above a 
thousand volumes, placed in a gallery of twelve hundred feet long, 
whence I had liberty to borrow what books I pleased. The queen's 
joiner had contrived in one of Glumdalclitch's rooms, a kind of 
wooden machine five-and-twenty feet high, formed like a standing 


ladder ; the steps were each fifty feet long ; it was indeed a movable 
pair of stairs, the lowest end placed at ten feet distance from the wall 
of the chamber. The book I had a mind to read was put up leaning 
against the wall : I first mounted to the upper step of the ladder, 
and turning my face towards the book, began at the top of the page, 
and so walking to the right and left about eight or ten paces, 
according to the length of the lines, till I had gotten a little below 
the level of mine eyes, and then descending gradually till I came to 
the bottom : after which I mounted again, and began the other 
page in the same manner, and so turned over the leaf, which I could 
easily do with both my hands, for it was as thick and stiff as a 
pasteboard, and in the largest folios not above eighteen or twenty 
feet long. 

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

This writer went through all the usual topics of European 
moralists, showing how diminutive, contemptible, and helpless an 
animal was man in his own nature : how unable to defend himself 
from inclemencies of the air, or the fury of wild beasts : how much 
he was excelled by one creature in strength, by another in speed, by 
a third in foresight, by a fourth in industry. He added, that nature 
was degenerated in these latter declining ages of the world, and could 
now produce only small abortive births, in comparison of those in 
ancient times. He said, it was very reasonable to think, not only 
that the species of men were originally much larger, but also that 
there must have been giants in former ages : which, as it is asserted 
by history and tradition, so it has been confirmed by huge bones and 
skulls casually dug up in several parts of the kingdom, far exceeding 
the common dwindled race of men in our days. He argued, that 
the very laws of nature absolutely required we should have been 



made, in the beginning, of a size more large and robust, not so liable 
to destruction from every little accident, of a tile falling from a 
house, or a stone cast from the hand of a boy, or being drowned in a 
little brook. From this way of reasoning, the author drew several 
moral applications, useful in the conduct of life, but needless here to 
repeat. For my own part, I could not avoid reflecting how uni- 
versally this talent was spread, of drawing lectures in morality, or 
indeed rather matter of discontent and repining, from the quarrels we 
raise with nature. And I believe, upon a strict inquiry, those 
quarrels might be shown as ill-grounded among us as they are among 
that people. 

As to their military affairs, they boast that the king's army 
consists of a hundred and seventy-six thousand foot, and thirty-two 
thousand horse : if that may be called an army, which is made up of 
tradesmen in the several cities, and farmers in the country, whose 
commanders are only the nobility and gentry, without pay or reward. 
They are indeed perfect enough in their exercises, and under very 
good discipline, wherein I saw no great merit ; for how should it be 
otherwise, where every farmer is under the command of his own 
landlord, and every citizen under that of the principal men in his own 
city, chosen, after the manner of Venice, by ballot ? I have often 
seen the militia of Lorbrulgrud drawn out to exercise in a great field 
near the city, of twenty miles square. They were in all not above 
twenty-five thousand foot, and six thousand horse ; but it was 
impossible for me to compute their number, considering the space of 
ground they took up. A cavalier mounted on a large steed might 
be about an hundred feet high. I have seen this whole body of 
horse, upon a word of command, draw their swords at once, and 
brandish them in the'air. Imagination can figure nothing so grand, 
so surprising, and so astonishing ! it looked as if ten thousand flashes 
of lightning were darting at the same time from every quarter 
of the sky. 

I was curious to know how this prince, to whose dominions there 
is no access from any other country, came to think of armies, or to 
teach his people the practice of military discipline. But I was soon 
informed, both by conversation and reading their histories ; for, in 
the course of many ages, they have been troubled with the same 
disease to which so many other governments are subject ; the nobility 
often contending for power, the people for liberty, and the king for 
absolute dominion. All which, however happily tempered by the 




laws of that kingdom, have been sometimes violated by each of the 
three parties, and have once or more occasioned civil wars ; the last 
whereof was happily put an end to by this prince's grandfather by a 
general composition, and the militia, then settled with common 
consent, has been ever since kept in the strictest duty. 




HAD always a strong impulse that I should some time 
recover my liberty, though it was impossible to con- 
jecture by what means, or to form any project with 
the least hope of succeeding. The ship in which I 
sailed was the first known to be driven within sight 
of that coast, and the king had given strict orders, that if at any 
time another appeared, it should be taken ashore and with all its 
crew and passengers brought in a tumbril to Lorbrulgrud. 

I was indeed treated with much kindness : 1 was the favourite 
of a great king and queen, and the delight of the whole court ; 
but it was upon such a foot as ill became the dignity of human 
kind. I could never forget those domestic pledges I had left 
behind me. I wanted to be among people with whom I could 
converse upon even terms, and walk about the streets and fields 
without fear of being trod to death like a frog or a young puppy. 
But my deliverance came sooner than I expected, and in a manner 



not very common : the whole story and circumstances of which 
I shall faithfully relate. 

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

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

The boy took me out in my box, about half an hour's walk 
from the palace, towards the rocks on the sea-shore. I ordered 
him to set me down, and lifting up one of my sashes, cast many 
a wistful melancholy look towards the sea. I found myself not 
very well, and told the page that I had a mind to take a nap 
in my hammock, which I hoped would do me good. I got in, 
and the boy shut the window close down to keep out the cold. 
I soon fell asleep, and all I can conjecture is, that while I slept, 
the page thinking no danger could happen, went among the 
rocks to look for birds' eggs, having before observed him from 
my window searching about, and picking up one or two in the 


clefts. Be that as it will, I found myself suddenly awakened with 
a violent pull upon the ring which was fastened at the top of 
my box for the convenciency of carriage. I felt my box raised 
very high in the air, and then borne forward with prodigious 

The first jolt had like to have shaken me out of my hammock, 

but afterward the motion was easy enough. I called out several 

times as loud as I could raise my voice, but all to no purpose. I 

looked towards my windows, and could see nothing but the 

clouds and sky. I heard a 

noise just over my head, like 

the clapping of wings, and 

then began to perceive the 

woeful condition I was in ; that 

some eagle had got the cord of 

my box in his beak, with an 

intent to let it fall on a rock, 

like a tortoise in a shell, and 

then pick out my body, and 

devour it : for the sagacity 

and smell of this bird enable 

him to discover his quarry at 

a great distance, though better 

concealed than I could be 

within a two-inch board. In 
a little time, I observed the 
noise and flutter of wings to 

increase very fast, and my box was tossed up and down, like a 
sign-post in a windy day. I heard several bangs or buffets, as 
I thought, given to the eagle (for such I am certain it must have 
been that held the ring of my box in his beak), and then, all on 
a sudden, felt myself falling perpendicularly down for above a 
minute,, but with such incredible swiftness that I almost lost 
my breath. My fall was stopped by a terrible squash, that 
sounded louder to my ears than the cataract of Niagara ; after 
which I was quite in the dark for another minute, and then my 
box began to rise so high, that I could see light from the tops 
of the windows. 

I now perceived that I was fallen into the sea. My box, by 
the weight of my body, the goods that were in, and the broad 




plates of iron fixed for strength at the four corners of the top 
and bottom, floated about five feet deep in water. I did then, 
and do now suppose, that the eagle which flew away with my 
box was pursued by two or three others, and forced to let me 
drop, while he was defending himself against the rest, who hoped 
to share in the prey. The plates of iron fastened at the bottom 
of the box (for those were the strongest) preserved the balance 
while it fell, and hindered it from being broken on the surface 
of the water. Every joint of it was well grooved ; and the door 
did not move on hinges, but up and down like a sash, which 
kept my closet so tight that very little water came in. I got 
with much difficulty out of my hammock, having first ventured 
to draw back the slip-board on the roof already mentioned, contrived 
on purpose to let in air, for want of which 1 found myself almost 

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

I have already told the reader that there were two strong staples 
fixed upon that side of my box which had no window ; and into 
which the servant, who used to carry me on horseback, would put 
a leathern belt, and buckle it about his waist. Being in this 


disconsolate state, I heard, or at least thought I heard, some kind of 
grating noise on that side of my box where the staples were fixed ; 
and soon after I began to fancy that the box was pulled or towed 
along the sea ; for I now and then felt a sort of tugging, which 


made the waves rise near the tops of my windows, leaving me almost 
in the dark. This gave me some faint hopes of relief, although 
I was not able to imagine how it could be brought about. I 
ventured to unscrew one of my chairs, which were always fastened to 





the floor ; and having made a hard shift to screw it down again, 
directly under the slipping-board that I had lately opened, I mounted 
on the chair, and putting my mouth as near as I could to the hole, I 
called for help in a loud voice, and in all the languages I understood. 
I then fastened my handkerchief to a stick I usually carried, and, 
thrusting it up the hole, waved it several times in the air, that if any 
boat or ship were near, the seamen might conjecture some unhappy 
mortal to be shut up in this box. 

I found no effect from all I could do, but plainly perceived my 
closet to be moved along ; and in the space of an hour, or better, 
that side of the box where the staples were, and had no windows, 
struck against something that was hard. I apprehended it to be a 
rock, and found myself tossed more than ever. I plainly heard 
a noise upon the cover of my closet, like that of a cable, and the 
grating of it as it passed through the ring. I then found myself 
hoisted up, by degrees, at least three feet higher than I was before. 
Whereupon I again thrust up my stick and handkerchief, calling for 
help till I was almost hoarse. In return to which, I heard a great 
shout repeated three times, giving me such transports of joy, as are 
not to be conceived but by those who feel them. 

I now heard a trampling over my head, and somebody calling 
through the hole with a loud voice, in the English tongue, if there 
be anybody below, let them speak. I answered, I was an English- 
man, drawn by ill fortune into the greatest calamity that ever any 
creature underwent, and begged, by all that was moving, to be 
delivered out of the dungeon I was in. The voice replied, I 
was safe, for my box was fastened to their ship ; and the carpenter 
should immediately come and saw a hole in the cover, large enough 
to pull me out. I answered that was needless, and would take up 
too much time ; for there was no more to be done, but let one of 
the crew put his finger into the ring, and take the box out of the sea 
into the ship, and so into the captain's cabin. Some of them, upon 
hearing, me talk so wildly, thought I was mad ; others laughed ; for 
indeed it never came into my head, that I was now got among people 
of my own stature and strength. The carpenter came, and in a few 
minutes sawed a passage about four feet square, then let down a 
small ladder, upon which I mounted, and thence was taken into the 
ship in a very weak condition. 

The sailors were all in amazement, and asked me a thousand 
questions, which I had no inclination to answer. I was equally 



confounded at the sight of so many pigmies, for such I took them to 
be, after having so long accustomed mine eyes to the monstrous 
objects I had left. But the captain, Mr. Thomas Wilcocks, an 
honest worthy Shropshire man, observing I was ready to faint, took 
me into his cabin, gave me a cordial to comfort me, and made me 
turn in upon his own bed, advising me to take a little rest, of which 
I had great need. Before I went to sleep, I gave him to understand 
that I had some valuable furniture in my box, too good to be lost ; a 
fine hammock, a handsome field-bed, two chairs, a table, and a 
cabinet ; that my closet was hung on all sides, or rather quilted, with 
silk and cotton ; that if he would let one of the crew bring my closet 
into his cabin, I would open it there before him, and show him my 
goods. The captain, hearing me utter these absurdities, concluded I 
was raving : however (I suppose to pacify me) he promised to give 
order as I desired, and going upon deck, sent some of his men down 
into my closet, whence (as I afterwards found), they drew up all my 
goods, and stripped off the quilting ; but the chairs, cabinet, and 
bedstead, being screwed to the floor, were much damaged by the 
ignorance of the seamen, who tore them up by force. Then they 
knocked off some of the boards for the use of the ship, and when 
they had got all they had a mind for, let the hull drop into the sea, 
which, by reason of many breaches made in the bottom and sides, 
sunk to rights. And, indeed, I was glad not to have been a spectator 
of the havoc they made ; because I am confident it would have 
sensibly touched me, by bringing former passages into my mind, 
which I had rather forget. 

I slept some hours, but perpetually disturbed with dreams of the 
place I had left, and the dangers I had escaped. However, upon 
waking, I found myself much recovered. It was now about eight 
o'clock at night, and the captain ordered supper immediately, think- 
ing I had already fasted too long. He entertained me with great 
kindness, observing me not to look wildly, or talk inconsistently ; 
and when we were left alone, desired I would give him a relation of 
my travels, and by what accident I came to be set adrift in that 
monstrous wooden chest. He said, that about twelve o'clock at 
noon, as he was looking through his glass, he spied it at a distance, 
and thought it was a sail, which he had a mind to make, being not 
much out of his course, in hopes of buying some biscuit, his own 
beginning to fall short. That upon coming nearer, and finding his 
error, he sent out his long boat, to discover what I was ; that 



his men came back in a fright, swearing they had seen a swimming 
house. That he laughed at their folly, and went himself in the boat, 
ordering his men to take a strong cable along with them. That the 
weather being calm, he rowed round me several times, observed my 
windows and wire lattices that defended them. That he discovered 
two staples upon one side, which was all of boards, without any 
passage for light. He then commanded his men to row up to that 
side, and fastening a cable to one of the staples, ordered them to tow 
my chest (as they called it) towards the ship. When it was there, 
he gave directions to fasten another cable to the ring fixed in the 
cover, and to raise up my chest with pulleys, which all the sailors 
were not able to do above two or three feet. He said, they saw my 
stick and handkerchief thrust out of the hole, and concluded that 
some unhappy men must be shut up in the cavity. 

I asked, whether he or the crew had seen any prodigious birds in 
the air, about the time he first discovered me ? To which he 
answered, that discoursing this matter with the sailors while I was 
asleep, one of them said, he had observed three eagles flying towards 
the north, but remarked nothing of their being larger than the usual 
size ; which I suppose must be imputed to the great height they 
were at ; and he could not guess the reason of my question. I then 
asked the captain, how far he reckoned we might be from land ? 
He said, by the best computation he could make, we were at least a 
hundred leagues. I assured him that he must be mistaken by almost 
half, for I had not left the country whence I came, above two hours 
before I dropped into the sea. Whereupon he began again to think 
that my brain was disturbed, of which he gave me a hint, and 
advised me to go to bed in a cabin he had provided. I assured him, 
I was well refreshed with his good entertainment and company, and 
as much in my senses as ever I was in my life. He then grew 
serious, and desired to ask me freely, whether I were not troubled in 
my mind by the consciousness of some enormous crime, for which I 
was punished, at the command of some prince, by exposing me in 
that chest ; as great criminals, in other countries, have been forced 
to sea in a leaky vessel, without provisions : for although he 
should be sorry to have taken so ill a man into his ship, yet 
he would engage his word to set me safe on shore, in the first 
port where we arrived ? He added, that his suspicions were much 
increased by some very absurd speeches I had delivered at first 
to his sailors, and afterwards to himself, in relation to my closet 


or chest, as well as by my odd looks and behaviour while I was at 

I begged his patience to hear me tell my story, which I 
faithfully did, from the last time I left England, to the moment 
he first discovered me. And as truth always forces its way into 
rational minds, so this honest worthy gentleman, who had some 
tincture of learning, and very good sense, was immediately 
convinced of my candour and veracity. But, farther to confirm 
all I had said, I entreated him to give order that my cabinet should 
be brought, of which I had the key in my pocket ; for he had 
already informed me how the seamen disposed of my closet. 
I opened it in his own presence, and showed him the small 
collection of rarities I made in the country from which I had been so 
strangely delivered. There was the comb I had contrived out of the 
stumps of the king's beard, and another of the same materials, but 
fixed into a paring of his majesty's thumb nail, which served for the 
back. There was a collection of needles and pins, from a foot to half 
a yard long ; four wasp stings, like joiner's tacks ; some combings 
of the queen's hair ; a gold ring which one day she made me 
a present of, in a most obliging manner, taking it from her 
little finger, and throwing it over my head like a collar. I desired 
the captain would please to accept this ring in return of his 
civilities ; which he absolutely refused. I showed him a corn that 
I had cut off, with my own hand, from a maid of honour's toe ; 
it was about the bigness of a Kentish pippin, and grown so hard, 
that when I returned to England, I got it hollowed into a cup, and 
set it in silver. Lastly, I desired him to see the breeches I had then 
on, which were made of a mouse's skin. 

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

The captain was very well satisfied with this plain relation I had 
given him, and said, he hoped, when we returned to England, I 
would oblige the world by putting it on paper, and making it 
public. My answer was, that I thought we were overstocked 


with books of travels ; that nothing could now pass which was not 
extraordinary ; wherein, I doubted some authors less consulted 
truth, than their own vanity, or interest, or the diversion of 
ignorant readers ; that my story could contain little beside common 
events, without those ornamental descriptions of strange plants, 
trees, birds, and other animals, or of the barbarous customs and 
idolatry of savage people, with which most writers abound. 
However,, I thanked him for his good opinion, and promised to 
take the matter into my thoughts. 

He said, he wondered at one thing very much, which was 
to hear me speak so loud ; asking me, whether the king and queen 
of that country were thick of hearing ? I told him, it was what I 
had been used to for above two years past ; and that I admired 
as much at the voices of him and his men, who seemed to me only 
to whisper, and yet I could hear them well enough. But, when 
I spoke in that country, it was like a man talking in the streets, to 
another looking out from the top of a steeple, unless when I was 
placed on a table, or held in any person's hand. I told him, 
I had likewise observed another thing, that when I first got into 
the ship, and the sailors stood all about me, I thought they were the 
most little contemptible creatures I had ever beheld. For, indeed, 
while I was in that prince's country, I could never endure to 
look in a glass after my eyes had been accustomed to such 
prodigious objects, because the comparisons gave me so despicable 
a conceit of myself. 

The captain said, that while we were at supper he observed me 
to look at everything with a sort of wonder, and that I often 
seemed hardly able to contain my laughter, which he knew not 
well how to take, but imputed it to some disorder in my brain. 
I answered, it was very true ; and I wondered how I could forbear, 
when I saw his dishes of the size of a silver threepence, a leg 
of pork hardly a mouthful, a cup not so big as a nutshell ; and so I 
went orr, describing the rest of his household-stuff and provisions, 
after the same manner. For, although the queen had ordered 
a little equipage of all things necessary while I was in her service, 
yet my ideas were wholly taken up with what I saw on every 
side of me, and I winked at my own littleness as people do at their 
own faults. The captain understood my raillery very well, and 
merrily replied with the old English proverb, that he doubted 
mine eyes were bigger than my belly, for he did not observe 



my stomach so good, although I had fasted all day ; and,, 
continuing in his mirth, protested, he would have gladly given 
a hundred pounds, to have seen my closet in the eagle's bill, and 
afterwards in its fall from so great a height into the sea : which 
would certainly have been a most astonishing object, worthy to 
have the description of it transmitted to future ages : and the 
comparison of Phaeton was so obvious, that he could not forbear 
applying it, although I did not much admire the conceit. 


The captain having been at Tonquin, was in his return to 
England, driven north-eastward to the latitude of 44 degrees, 
and of longitude 143. But meeting a trade-wind two days 
after I came on board him, we sailed southward for a long time, 
and coasting New Holland, kept our course west-south-west, and 
then south-south-west, till we doubled the Cape of Good Hope. 
Our voyage was very prosperous, but I shall not trouble the reader 
with a journal of it. The captain called in at one or two ports, and 
sent in his long-boat for provisions and fresh water ; but I never 
went out of the ship till we came into the Downs, which was 



on the third day of June 1706, about nine months after my escape. 
I offered to leave my goods in security for payment of my freight, 
but the captain protested he would not receive one farthing. We 
took a kind leave of each other, and I made him promise he would 
come to see me at my house in Redriff. I hired a horse and guide 
for five shillings, which I borrowed of the captain. 

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

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

In a little time, I and my family and friends came to a right 
understanding : but my wife protested I should never go to sea any