« PreviousContinue »
Bpon my Valour and Generosity, invited me to that Kingdom in the Emperor their Master's Name, and desired me to shew them some Prooss of my prodigious Strength, of which they had heardsomany Wonders ; wherein I readily obliged them, but shall not trouble the Reader with the Particulars.
Wheri I had for some Time entertained their Excellencies to their insinite Satisfaction and Surprize, 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 Out Emperor, I desired his general Licence to wait on the Blefuscudian Monarch, which he was pleas'd 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 impersect Idea of Courts and Ministers.
Jt is to be observed, that these Ambassador* 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 Seisure of their Fleet, obliged them to deliver their Credentials, and make their Speech in the Lilliputian
*8 !A Voyau
Tongue. And it must be consessed, that from th«f 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 seW Persons of Distinction, or Merchants, or Seamen^ who dwell in the maritime Parts, but what can .hold Converfation in both Tongues ; as I found some Weeks aster, when I went to pay my Respects to the Emperor of Blefuscu, which, in the midst of great Misfortunes through the Malice of -iy Enemies, proved a very,happy Adventure to me, as I shall relate in its proper Place.
The Reader may remember, that, when I signed those Articles upon which I recovered my Liberty, there were some which I disliked upon Account of their being too servile, neither could any Thing but an extreme Necessity have forced me to submit. But, being now a Nardac of the highest Rank in that Empire, such Ossices were looked upon as below my Dignity, and the Emperor (to do him Justice).never once mentioned them to me. However, it was not long before I had an Opportunity of doing his Majesty, at least, as I then thought, a moll signal Service. I was alarmedat Midnight with the Cries of many hundred People at my Door ; by which being suddenly awaked, I was in some kind of Terror. I heard the Word Burglum repeated incessantly: Several of the Emperor's Court, making their Way through, the Croud, intreated me to come immediately to the Palace, where her Imperial Majesty's Apartment was on Fire, by the Careksneii of a Maid of
Honour Hohbur who sell asleep while she was reading a Romance. I got up in an Instant; and Orders being given to clear the Way before me, and it being likewise a Moon-shine Night, I made a shift- to get to the Palace, without Trampling on any of the People. I found they had already applied Ladders to the Walls of the Apartment, and were well provided with Buckets, but the Water was at some Distance. These Buckets were about the Size of a large Thimble, and the poor People supplied me with them as fast as they could; but the Flame was so violent that they did little Good. I might easily have stifled it with my Coat, which I unfortunately left behind me for Haste, and came away only in my leathern Jerkin. The Case seemed wholly desperate and deplorable, and this magnisicent Palace would have infallibly been burnt down to the Ground, if, by a Presence of Mind, unusual to me, shad not suddenly thought of an Expedient. I had the Evening before drank plentisully of a inost delicious Wine called Glimigrim (the Blesuscudians call it Flunee, but ours is esteemed the better Sort) which is very diuretic. By the luckiest Chance, in the World I had not discharged myself of any Part of it. The Heat I had contracted by coming very near the Flames, and by my labouring to quench them, made the Wine begin to operate by Urine; which I Voided in such a Quantity, and applied so well to the proper Places, that in three Minutes the Fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble Pile, which had cost so many Ages in erecting, preserved from Destruction.
It was now JDay-light, and I returned to my
House, without waiting to congratulate with the
Emperor; because, although I had done a very eminent Piece of Service, yet I could not tell how his Majesty might resent the Manner by which I had performed it: For, by the sundamental Law* of the Realm, it is Capital in any Person, of what Quality soever, to make Water within [the Precincts of the Palace. But I was a little comforted by a Message from his Majesty, that he would give Orders to the grand Justiciary for passing my Pardon in Form; which, however, I could not obtain. And I was privately assured, that the Empress, conceiving the greatest Abhorrence of what I had done, removed to the most distant Side of the Court, firmly resolved that those Buildings should never be repaired for her Use'; and, in the Presence of her chief Considents, could not forbear vowing Revenge.
, , •< .
: .... C H A P, VI.
Of the Inhabitants pfLiWipht ; their Learning, Laws, and Customs, the Manner of educating their Children, i The Author's Way of 'Living in that Country, His Vindication of a great Lady.
AL T HO' J 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 theBig
ness ness of a Sparrow, and so the several Gradations downwards, till you come to the smallest, which to my Sight-rwere almost invisible ; but Nature hath adapted tlie-EyeS of the Lilliputians to all Objects proper for their View: They see with great Exactness, but at no great Distance. And, to shew the Sharpness of their Sight towards Objects that are near, I have been much pleased with observing a Cook pulling a Lark, which was not.so large as a common Fly 5 ants a young Girl threading an invisible Needle with invisible Silk. Their tallest Trees are about seven Feet high: I mean some of those in the great Royal Park,. the Tops whereof I could but just reach with my Fist clinched. The other Vegetables are in the fame Proportion; but this I leave to the Reader's Imagination.
I shall fay but little at present of their Learning, which for many Ages hath flourished in all its Branches among them: But their Manner of Writing is very peculiar, being neither from the Left to the Right, like the Europeans; nor from the Right to the Left, like the Arabians; nor from up to down, like the Chinese; but aslant from one Corner of the Paper to the other, like Ladies in England.
They bury their Dead with theirHeads directly downwards, because they hold an Opinion, that in eleven thoufand Moons they are all to rise again, in which Period the Earth (which they conceive to be .slat) will turn upside down, and by this Means they shall, at their Resurrection, be found ready standing on their Feet. The Learned among them consess the Absurdity of this Doctrine, but the Practice still continues, in Compliance to the Vulgar.
E 2 There