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fares or Amusements of Lise. When they meet an Acquaintance in the Morning, the first Question is about the Sun's Health, how he looked at his Setting and Rising, and what Hopes they have to avoid the Stroke of the approaching Comet. This Converfation they are apt to run into with the fame Temper that Boys discover, in delighting to hear terrible Stories of Spirits and Hobgoblins, which they greedily, listen to, and dare net go to Bed for Fear.
The Women of the Island have Abundance of Vivacity; they contemn their Husbands, and arc exceedingly fond of Strangers, whereof there is always a considerable Number from the Continent below, attending at Court, either upon Affairs of the several Townsand Corporations, or their own particular Occasions, but are much despised, because they want the fame Endowments. Among these, the Ladies chuse their Gallants: But the. Vexation is, that they act with too much Ease and Security, for the Husband is always so rapt in Speculation, that the Mistress and Lover may proceed to the greatest Familiarities before his Face, if he be but provided with Paper and Implements, and without his Flapper at his Side.
The Wives and Daughters lament their Confinement to the Island, although I think it the most delicious Spot ef Ground in the World j and although they live here in the greatest Plenty and Magnificence, and are allowed to do whatever they please, they long to see the World, and take the Diversions of the Metropolis, which they are not allowed to do, without a particular Licence from the King; and this is not easy to be obtained, because the People of Quality have found by frequent Experience, how
hard it is to persuade their Women to return from below. I was told, that a great Court Lady, who had several Children, is married to the Prime Minister, the richest Subject in the Kingdom, a very gracesul Person, extremely fond of her, and lives in the sinest Palace of the Island, went down to Lagado, on the Pretence of Health, there hid herself for several Months, till the King sent a Warrant to search for her, and she was round in an obscure Eating-House all in Rags, having pawned her Cloths to maintain an old deformed Foot-man, who beat her every Day, and in whose Company she was taken much against her Will.' And although her Husband received her with all possible Kindness, and without the least Reproach, she soon aster contrived to steal down again with all her Jewels, to the fame Gallant, and hath not been heard of since.
This may perhaps pass with the Reader rather for an European or Engli/h Story, than for oneof a Country so remote. But he may please to consider, that the Caprices of Women-kind are not limited by any Climate, or Nation, and that they are much more uniform than can be easily imagined.
In about a Month's Time, I had made a tolerable Prosiciency in their Language, and was able to answer most of the King's Questions, when t had the Honour to attend him. His Majesty discovered not the least Curiosity to enquire into the Laws, Government, History, Religion, or Mantiers of the Countries where I had been, but confined bis Questions to the State of Mathematics, and received the Account I gave him, with great Contempt and Indifference, though often roused by his Flapper on each Side.
CHAP. l8? .^V.OYACI
A Phenomenon solved by modern Philosophy and Astronomy. The Laputians great Improvements in the latter. The King's Method of suppressing Insurreftions. ,
ID E SIR E D Leave of this Prince to see the Cariosities of the Island, which he was graciously pleased to grant, and ordered my Tutor to attend me. I chiefly wanted to know to what Cause in Art, or in Nature, it owed its several Motions, whereof I will now give a philosophical Account to the Reader.
The flying or floating Island is exactly circular, its Diameter 7837 Yards, or about four Miles and half, and consequently contains ten thoufand Acres. It is three hundred Yards thick. The Bottom, or under Surface, which appears to those who view it from below, is one even regular Plate of Adamant, shooting up to the Height of about two hundred Yards. Above it lie the several Minerals in their usual Order, and overall is a Coat of rich Mould, ten or twelve Feet deep. The Declivity of the upper Surface, from the Circumserence to the Center, is the natural Cause why all the Dews and Rains, which fall upon the Ifland, are conveyed in small Rivulets towards the Middle, where they are emptied into four large Basons, each ofaljout half a Mile in Circuit, and two hundred Yards distant from the Center. From these Basons, the Water is continually exhaled by the Sun in the Day-time, which effectually prevents their Overflowing. Besides, as it is in the;
Power Ifowet of the Monarch to raise the Island above the Region of Clouds and Vapours, he can prevent the Falling of Dews and Rains whenever he pleases. For the highest Clouds cannot rise above two Miles, as Naturalists agree, at least they were never known to do so in that Country.
At the Center of the Island there is a Chasm about sifty Yards in Diameter, from whence the Astronomers descend into a large Dome, which is therefore called Tlandona Gagnole, or the Astronomer's Cave, situated at the Depth of a hundred Yards, beneath the upper Surface of the Adamant. In this Cave are twenty. Lamps continually burning, which, from the Reflection of the Adamant, cast a strong Light into every Part. The Place is stored with great Variety of Sextants, Quadrants,' Telescopes, Astrolabes, and other astronomical Instruments. But the greatest Curiosity, upon which the Fate of the Island depends, is a Loadstone of a prodigious Size, in Shape resembling a Weaver's Shuttle. It is in Length six Yards, and, in the thickest Part, at least three Yards over. This Magnet is sustained by a very strong Axle of Adamant pasting through its Middle, upon which it plays, and is poised so exactly, that the weakest Hand can turn it. It is hooped round with art hollow Cylinder of Adamant, four Feet deep, as many thick, and twelve Yards in Diameter, placed horizontally, and supported by eight adamantine Feet, each six Yards high. In the Middle of the concave Side there is a Groove twelve Inches deep, in which the Extremities of the Axle are lodged, and turned round as there is Occasion.
The Stone cannot be moved from its Place by any Force, because the Hoop and its Feet are ore
k?6 i V b V A Q?
continued Piece with that Body of Adamant which constitutes the Bottom of the Island. •
By Means of this Load-stone, the Ifland is made to rise and fall, and move from one Place to another. For, with Respect to that Part of the Earth over which the Monarch presides, the Stone is endued at one of its Sides with an attractive Power, and at the other with a repulsive. Upon placing the Magnet erect, with its attracting End towards the Earth, the Island descends \ but, when the repelling Extremity points downwards, the Ifland mounts directly upwards. When the Position of the Stone is oblique, the Motion of the Island is so too. For, in this Magnet, the Forces always act in Lines parallel to its Direction.
By this oblique Motion, the Ifland is conveyed to difserent Parts of the Monarch's Dominions, To explain the Manner of its Progress, \tiJB represent a Line drawn cross the Dominions of Balnibarli, let the Line c d represent the Loadstone, of which let d be the repelling End, and t the attracting End, the Island being over C; let the Stone be placed in the Position e d, with itj repelling End downwards; then the Island will be driven upwards obliquely towards D. When it is arrived at D, let the Stone be turned upon its Axle till its attracting End points towards E, and then the Island will be carried obliquely towards E; where if the Stone be again turned upon its Axle till it stands in the Position E F, with it! repelling Point downward, the Island will rife obliquely towards F, where, by.directing the attracting End towards G, the Island may be carried to G, and from G to H, by turning the Stone, so as to make its repelling Extrerhity point directly downward. And thus, by chariging the Situation