Gulliver's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World

by Jonathan Swift









[As given in the original edition.]


The author of these Travels, Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, is my ancient and

intimate friend; there is likewise some relation between us on the

mother's side.  About three years ago, Mr. Gulliver growing weary

of the concourse of curious people coming to him at his house in

Redriff, made a small purchase of land, with a convenient house,

near Newark, in Nottinghamshire, his native country; where he now

lives retired, yet in good esteem among his neighbours.


Although Mr. Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, where his father

dwelt, yet I have heard him say his family came from Oxfordshire;

to confirm which, I have observed in the churchyard at Banbury in

that county, several tombs and monuments of the Gullivers.


Before he quitted Redriff, he left the custody of the following

papers in my hands, with the liberty to dispose of them as I should

think fit.  I have carefully perused them three times.  The style

is very plain and simple; and the only fault I find is, that the

author, after the manner of travellers, is a little too

circumstantial.  There is an air of truth apparent through the

whole; and indeed the author was so distinguished for his veracity,

that it became a sort of proverb among his neighbours at Redriff,

when any one affirmed a thing, to say, it was as true as if Mr.

Gulliver had spoken it.


By the advice of several worthy persons, to whom, with the author's

permission, I communicated these papers, I now venture to send them

into the world, hoping they may be, at least for some time, a

better entertainment to our young noblemen, than the common

scribbles of politics and party.


This volume would have been at least twice as large, if I had not

made bold to strike out innumerable passages relating to the winds

and tides, as well as to the variations and bearings in the several

voyages, together with the minute descriptions of the management of

the ship in storms, in the style of sailors; likewise the account

of longitudes and latitudes; wherein I have reason to apprehend,

that Mr. Gulliver may be a little dissatisfied.  But I was resolved

to fit the work as much as possible to the general capacity of

readers.  However, if my own ignorance in sea affairs shall have

led me to commit some mistakes, I alone am answerable for them.

And if any traveller hath a curiosity to see the whole work at

large, as it came from the hands of the author, I will be ready to

gratify him.


As for any further particulars relating to the author, the reader

will receive satisfaction from the first pages of the book.












I hope you will be ready to own publicly, whenever you shall be

called to it, that by your great and frequent urgency you prevailed

on me to publish a very loose and uncorrect account of my travels,

with directions to hire some young gentleman of either university

to put them in order, and correct the style, as my cousin Dampier

did, by my advice, in his book called "A Voyage round the world."

But I do not remember I gave you power to consent that any thing

should be omitted, and much less that any thing should be inserted;

therefore, as to the latter, I do here renounce every thing of that

kind; particularly a paragraph about her majesty Queen Anne, of

most pious and glorious memory; although I did reverence and esteem

her more than any of human species.  But you, or your interpolator,

ought to have considered, that it was not my inclination, so was it

not decent to praise any animal of our composition before my master

Houyhnhnm:  And besides, the fact was altogether false; for to my

knowledge, being in England during some part of her majesty's

reign, she did govern by a chief minister; nay even by two

successively, the first whereof was the lord of Godolphin, and the

second the lord of Oxford; so that you have made me say the thing

that was not.  Likewise in the account of the academy of

projectors, and several passages of my discourse to my master

Houyhnhnm, you have either omitted some material circumstances, or

minced or changed them in such a manner, that I do hardly know my

own work.  When I formerly hinted to you something of this in a

letter, you were pleased to answer that you were afraid of giving

offence; that people in power were very watchful over the press,

and apt not only to interpret, but to punish every thing which

looked like an innuendo (as I think you call it).  But, pray how

could that which I spoke so many years ago, and at about five

thousand leagues distance, in another reign, be applied to any of

the Yahoos, who now are said to govern the herd; especially at a

time when I little thought, or feared, the unhappiness of living

under them?  Have not I the most reason to complain, when I see

these very Yahoos carried by Houyhnhnms in a vehicle, as if they

were brutes, and those the rational creatures?  And indeed to avoid

so monstrous and detestable a sight was one principal motive of my

retirement hither.


Thus much I thought proper to tell you in relation to yourself, and

to the trust I reposed in you.


I do, in the next place, complain of my own great want of judgment,

in being prevailed upon by the entreaties and false reasoning of

you and some others, very much against my own opinion, to suffer my

travels to be published.  Pray bring to your mind how often I

desired you to consider, when you insisted on the motive of public

good, that the Yahoos were a species of animals utterly incapable

of amendment by precept or example:  and so it has proved; for,

instead of seeing a full stop put to all abuses and corruptions, at

least in this little island, as I had reason to expect; behold,

after above six months warning, I cannot learn that my book has

produced one single effect according to my intentions.  I desired

you would let me know, by a letter, when party and faction were

extinguished; judges learned and upright; pleaders honest and

modest, with some tincture of common sense, and Smithfield blazing

with pyramids of law books; the young nobility's education entirely

changed; the physicians banished; the female Yahoos abounding in

virtue, honour, truth, and good sense; courts and levees of great

ministers thoroughly weeded and swept; wit, merit, and learning

rewarded; all disgracers of the press in prose and verse condemned

to eat nothing but their own cotton, and quench their thirst with

their own ink.  These, and a thousand other reformations, I firmly

counted upon by your encouragement; as indeed they were plainly

deducible from the precepts delivered in my book.  And it must be

owned, that seven months were a sufficient time to correct every

vice and folly to which Yahoos are subject, if their natures had

been capable of the least disposition to virtue or wisdom.  Yet, so

far have you been from answering my expectation in any of your

letters; that on the contrary you are loading our carrier every

week with libels, and keys, and reflections, and memoirs, and

second parts; wherein I see myself accused of reflecting upon great

state folk; of degrading human nature (for so they have still the

confidence to style it), and of abusing the female sex.  I find

likewise that the writers of those bundles are not agreed among

themselves; for some of them will not allow me to be the author of

my own travels; and others make me author of books to which I am

wholly a stranger.


I find likewise that your printer has been so careless as to

confound the times, and mistake the dates, of my several voyages

and returns; neither assigning the true year, nor the true month,

nor day of the month:  and I hear the original manuscript is all

destroyed since the publication of my book; neither have I any copy

left:  however, I have sent you some corrections, which you may

insert, if ever there should be a second edition:  and yet I cannot

stand to them; but shall leave that matter to my judicious and

candid readers to adjust it as they please.


I hear some of our sea Yahoos find fault with my sea-language, as

not proper in many parts, nor now in use.  I cannot help it.  In my

first voyages, while I was young, I was instructed by the oldest

mariners, and learned to speak as they did.  But I have since found

that the sea Yahoos are apt, like the land ones, to become new-

fangled in their words, which the latter change every year;

insomuch, as I remember upon each return to my own country their

old dialect was so altered, that I could hardly understand the new.

And I observe, when any Yahoo comes from London out of curiosity to

visit me at my house, we neither of us are able to deliver our

conceptions in a manner intelligible to the other.


If the censure of the Yahoos could any way affect me, I should have

great reason to complain, that some of them are so bold as to think

my book of travels a mere fiction out of mine own brain, and have

gone so far as to drop hints, that the Houyhnhnms and Yahoos have

no more existence than the inhabitants of Utopia.


Indeed I must confess, that as to the people of Lilliput,

Brobdingrag (for so the word should have been spelt, and not

erroneously Brobdingnag), and Laputa, I have never yet heard of any

Yahoo so presumptuous as to dispute their being, or the facts I

have related concerning them; because the truth immediately strikes

every reader with conviction.  And is there less probability in my

account of the Houyhnhnms or Yahoos, when it is manifest as to the

latter, there are so many thousands even in this country, who only

differ from their brother brutes in Houyhnhnmland, because they use

a sort of jabber, and do not go naked?  I wrote for their

amendment, and not their approbation.  The united praise of the

whole race would be of less consequence to me, than the neighing of

those two degenerate Houyhnhnms I keep in my stable; because from

these, degenerate as they are, I still improve in some virtues

without any mixture of vice.


Do these miserable animals presume to think, that I am so

degenerated as to defend my veracity?  Yahoo as I am, it is well

known through all Houyhnhnmland, that, by the instructions and

example of my illustrious master, I was able in the compass of two

years (although I confess with the utmost difficulty) to remove

that infernal habit of lying, shuffling, deceiving, and

equivocating, so deeply rooted in the very souls of all my species;

especially the Europeans.


I have other complaints to make upon this vexatious occasion; but I

forbear troubling myself or you any further.  I must freely

confess, that since my last return, some corruptions of my Yahoo

nature have revived in me by conversing with a few of your species,

and particularly those of my own family, by an unavoidable

necessity; else I should never have attempted so absurd a project

as that of reforming the Yahoo race in this kingdom:  But I have

now done with all such visionary schemes for ever.


April 2, 1727














[The author gives some account of himself and family.  His first

inducements to travel.  He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life.

Gets safe on shore in the country of Lilliput; is made a prisoner,

and carried up the country.]


My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire:  I was the third

of five sons.  He sent me to Emanuel College in Cambridge at

fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and applied myself

close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me, although I

had a very 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.  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 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, I was recommended by my good

master, Mr. Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham

Pannel, 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 Mrs. 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 Antelope, who was making a voyage to the

South Sea.  We set sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699, and our voyage

was at first 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,

about nine hours; for when I awaked, it was just day-light.  I

attempted to rise, but was not able to stir:  for, as I happened to

lie on my back, I found my arms and legs 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 downwards 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 mean time, 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 with 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:  the others repeated the same words several

times, but then I 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 Tolgo 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 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 army 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

I 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 afterwards 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 fast 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 people on my

left side relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able to

turn upon my right, and to ease myself with making water; which I

very plentifully did, to the great astonishment of the people; who,

conjecturing by my motion what I was going to do, immediately

opened to the right and left on that side, to avoid the torrent,

which fell with such noise and violence from me.  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 circumstances, 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 to 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 encouragement

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, 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 a while, 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 advancing 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; whereupon 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 the 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

sun-rise 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



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 upon as profane, and

therefore had been applied to common use, and all the ornaments 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 fourscore 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

backwards 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.








[The emperor of Lilliput, attended by several of the nobility,

comes to see the author in his confinement.  The emperor's person

and habit described.  Learned men appointed to teach the author

their language.  He gains favour by his mild disposition.  His

pockets are searched, and his sword and pistols taken from him.]


When I found myself on my feet, I looked about me, and must confess

I never beheld a more entertaining prospect.  The country around

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

stang, {1} 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.


I had been for some hours extremely pressed by the necessities of

nature; which was no wonder, it being almost two days since I had

last disburdened myself.  I was under great difficulties between

urgency and shame.  The best expedient I could think of, was to

creep into my house, which I accordingly did; and shutting the gate

after me, I went as far as the length of my chain would suffer, and

discharged my body of that uneasy load.  But this was the only time

I was ever guilty of so uncleanly an action; for which I cannot but

hope the candid reader will give some allowance, after he has

maturely and impartially considered my case, and the distress I was

in.  From this time my constant practice was, as soon as I rose, to

perform that business in open air, at the full extent of my chain;

and due care was taken every morning before company came, that the

offensive matter should be carried off in wheel-barrows, by two

servants appointed for that purpose.  I would not have dwelt so

long upon a circumstance that, perhaps, at first sight, may appear

not very momentous, if I had not thought it necessary to justify my

character, in point of cleanliness, to the world; which, I am told,

some of my maligners have been pleased, upon this and other

occasions, to call in question.


When this adventure was at an end, I came back out of my house,

having occasion for fresh air.  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 its 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 beyond 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

mouthfuls; 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 beholders.  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 therefore 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 I 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

upon 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

impertinence, 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 forward 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 the 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 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 the court; whereby the

secretaries of state got considerable fees.


In the mean time 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 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 despatch me; but again

they considered, that the stench of so large a carcass 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 please

give me my liberty;" which I every day repeated on my knees.  His

answer, as I could comprehend it, was, "that this must be a work of

time, not to be thought on without the advice of his council, and

that first I must lumos kelmin pesso desmar lon 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 prodigious 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 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,

which 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 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 flestrin,) "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 pallisados

before your majesty's court:  wherewith 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 ranfulo, 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 at the end of 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 fingers stopped by the lucid substance.  He put this engine

into 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 understood 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 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, diligently

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 length of five men; and on the right, a

bag or pouch divided into two cells, each cell 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 requiring a strong hand to lift them:

the other cell contained a heap of 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.





When this inventory was read over to the emperor, he directed me,

although in very gentle terms, to deliver up the several

particulars.  He first called for my scimitar, which I took out,

scabbard and all.  In the mean time 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 between 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

less daunted than I could expect:  he ordered me to return it into

the scabbard, 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 my scimitar.  Hundreds fell

down as if they had been struck dead; and even the emperor,

although he stood his ground, could not recover himself for 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 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 there was a pair of spectacles (which I sometimes

use for the weakness of mine eyes,) a pocket perspective, and some

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.








[The author diverts the emperor, and his nobility of both sexes, in

a very uncommon manner.  The diversions of the court of Lilliput

described.  The author has his liberty granted him upon certain



My 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 disposition.

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 a 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 par.


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 infallibly have 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 blue, the other red, and the third green.

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 the stick, sometimes creep under it, backward and forward,

several times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed.

Sometimes the emperor holds one end of the stick, and his first

minister the other; sometimes the minister has it entirely to

himself.  Whoever performs his part with most agility, and holds

out the longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded with the blue-

coloured silk; the red is given to the next, and the green 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 horses

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 with great

difficulty persuaded even the empress herself to let me hold her in

her close chair within two yards of the stage, when she was able to

take a full view of the whole performance.  It was my good fortune,

that no ill accident happened in these entertainments; 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



About two or three days before I was set at liberty, as I was

entertaining the court with this kind of feat, 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 around, very oddly shaped, extending its

edges round, as wide as his majesty's bedchamber, and rising up in

the middle as high as a man; that it was no living creature, as

they at first apprehended, 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 that 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 waggoners arrived with it, but not in a very good

condition; they had bored two holes in the brim, within an inch and

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 commanded 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 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.  His majesty gave

orders, upon pain of death, that every soldier in his march should

observe the strictest decency with regard to my person; which

however could not prevent some of the younger officers from turning

up their eyes as they passed under me:  and, to confess the truth,

my breeches were at that time in so ill a condition, that they

afforded some opportunities for laughter and admiration.


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

Skyresh 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 Skyresh 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 afterwards 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 be curious to have some idea of the style

and manner of expression peculiar to that people, as well as to

know the article 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 public.


"Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue, most mighty

Emperor of Lilliput, delight and terror of the universe, whose

dominions extend five thousand blustrugs (about twelve miles in

circumference) to the extremities of the globe; monarch of all

monarchs, 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 at our celestial dominions, the following articles, which,

by a solemn oath, he shall be obliged to perform:-


"1st, The man-mountain shall not depart from our dominions, without

our license under our great seal.


"2d, 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 doors.


"3d, 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.


"4th, As he walks the said roads, he shall take the utmost care not

to trample upon the bodies of any of our loving subjects, their

horses, or carriages, nor take any of our subjects into his hands

without their own consent.


"5th, If an express requires extraordinary despatch, 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.


"6th, He shall be our ally against our enemies in the island of

Blefuscu, and do his utmost to destroy their fleet, which is now

preparing to invade us.


"7th, That the said man-mountain shall, at his times 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 buildings.


"8th, 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 Belfaborac, 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

Skyresh 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 acknowledgements 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 mathematicians, 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.








[Mildendo, the metropolis of Lilliput, described, together with the

emperor's palace.  A conversation between the author and a

principal secretary, concerning the affairs of that empire.  The

author's offers to serve the emperor in his wars.]


The 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 sidling, 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 who 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 view 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 stories:  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

distant 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

eight feet wide.  I then stept over the building very conveniently

from one stool to the other, and drew up the first after me with a

hooked stick.  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 along 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) for 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

hours 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 chose

rather to let me hold him in my hand during our conversation.  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, "as flourishing a

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 understand, that for about 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 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 Tramecksan, 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

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 Blefusca 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 a 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









[The author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion.

A high title of honour is conferred upon him.  Ambassadors arrive

from the emperor of Blefuscu, and sue for peace.  The empress's

apartment on fire by an accident; the author instrumental in saving

the rest of the palace.]


The empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the north-east 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, where, lying down behind a hillock, I took out my

small 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 putting 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

frightened 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,

beside the excessive smart, gave me much disturbance in my work.

My greatest apprehension was for mine 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, further

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 boldest part of my enterprise remained.  I therefore

let go the cord, and leaving the looks fixed to the ships, I

resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors,

receiving about 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



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 as 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 king 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

unmeasureable 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

whole 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 instrument 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

me.  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 license to

wait on the Blefuscudian monarch, which he was pleased to grant me,

as I could 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 tongue, 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.


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 anything but

an extreme necessity have forced me to submit.  But being now a

nardac of the highest rank in that empire, such offices 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 most signal service.  I was alarmed at 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 crowd, entreated me to come immediately to the

palace, where her imperial majesty's apartment was on fire, by the

carelessness of a maid of honour, who fell 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 moonshine

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 large thimbles, 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 magnificent palace would have infallibly been burnt down

to the ground, if, by a presence of mind unusual to me, I had not

suddenly thought of an expedient.  I had, the evening before, drunk

plentifully of a most delicious wine called glimigrim, (the

Blefuscudians call it flunec, 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 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 day-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

fundamental laws 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 confidents could not

forbear vowing revenge."








[Of the inhabitants of Lilliput; their learning, laws, and customs;

the manner of educating their children.  The author's way of living

in that country.  His vindication of a great lady.]


Although 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 with 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 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 proportion; 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, but

aslant, from one corner of the paper to the other, like ladies in



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

resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet.  The learned

among them confess the absurdity 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 defence 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

emperor 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. {2}


Although we usually call reward and punishment 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.  Whoever

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 or 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

circumspection; with a bag of gold open in her right hand, and a

sword sheathed in her left, to show 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 practice 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.


Their notions relating to the duties of parents and children differ

extremely from ours.  For, since the conjunction of male and female

is founded upon the great law of nature, in order to propagate and

continue the species, the Lilliputians will needs have it, that men

and women are joined together, like other animals, by the motives

of concupiscence; and that their tenderness towards their young

proceeds from the like natural principle:  for which reason they

will never allow that a child is under any obligation to his father

for begetting him, or to his mother for bringing him into the

world; which, considering the miseries of human life, was neither a

benefit in itself, nor intended so by his parents, whose thoughts,

in their love encounters, were otherwise employed.  Upon these, and

the like reasonings, their opinion is, that parents are the last of

all others to be trusted with the education of their own children;

and therefore 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 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; and the women attendant, who are

aged proportionably to ours at fifty, perform only the most menial

offices.  They are never suffered to converse with servants, but go

together in smaller or 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 entertainment of

a child, upon failure of due payment, is levied by the emperor's



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 exercises till fifteen, which answers to twenty-one with us:

but the confinement is gradually lessened for the last three years.


In the female nurseries, the young girls of quality are educated

much like 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

are as much ashamed of being cowards and fools as the men, and

despise all personal ornaments, beyond decency and cleanliness:

neither did I perceive any difference in their education made by

their difference of sex, only that the exercises of the females

were not altogether so robust; and that some rules were given them

relating to domestic life, and a smaller compass of learning was

enjoined them:  for their maxim is, that among peoples of quality,

a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion,

because she cannot always be young.  When the girls are twelve

years old, which among them is the marriageable age, their parents

or guardians take them home, with great expressions of gratitude to

the professors, and seldom without tears of the young lady and her



In the nurseries of females of the meaner sort, the children are

instructed in all kinds of works proper for their sex, and their

several degrees:  those intended for apprentices are dismissed at

seven years old, the rest are kept to eleven.


The meaner families who have children at these nurseries, are

obliged, besides their annual pension, which is as low as possible,

to return to the steward of the nursery a small monthly share of

their gettings, to be a portion for the child; and therefore all

parents are limited in their expenses by the law.  For the

Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than for people, in

subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the

world, and leave the burthen of supporting them on the public.  As

to persons of quality, they give security to appropriate a certain

sum for each child, suitable to their condition; and these funds

are always managed with good husbandry and the most exact justice.


The cottagers and labourers keep their children at home, their

business being only to till and cultivate the earth, and therefore

their education is of little consequence to the public:  but the

old and diseased among them, are supported by hospitals; for

begging is a trade unknown in this empire.


And here it may, perhaps, divert the curious reader, to give some

account of my domestics, and my manner of living in this country,

during a residence of nine months, and thirteen days.  Having a

head mechanically turned, and being likewise forced by necessity, I

had made for myself a table and chair convenient enough, out of the

largest trees in the royal park.  Two hundred sempstresses were

employed to make me shirts, and linen for my bed and table, all of

the strongest and coarsest kind they could get; 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 ground 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

patch-work 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

convenient 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



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 in chairs of state, upon 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 opportunity 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 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."


I am here obliged to vindicate the reputation of an excellent lady,

who was an innocent sufferer upon my account.  The treasurer took a

fancy to be jealous of his wife, from the malice of some evil

tongues, who informed him that her grace had taken a violent

affection for my person; and the court scandal ran for some time,

that she once came privately to my lodging.  This I solemnly

declare to be a most infamous falsehood, without any grounds,

further than that her grace was pleased to treat me with all

innocent marks of freedom and friendship.  I own she came often to

my house, but always publicly, nor ever without three more in the

coach, who were usually her sister and young daughter, and some

particular acquaintance; but this was common to many other ladies

of the court.  And I still appeal to my servants round, whether

they at any time saw a coach at my door, without knowing what

persons were in it.  On those occasions, when a servant had given

me notice, my custom was to go immediately to the door, and, after

paying my respects, to take up the coach and two horses very

carefully in my hands (for, if there were six horses, the

postillion always unharnessed four,) and place them on a table,

where I had fixed a movable rim quite round, of five inches high,

to prevent accidents.  And I have often had four coaches and horses

at once on my table, full of company, while I sat in my chair,

leaning my face towards them; and when I was engaged with one set,

the coachmen would gently drive the others round my table.  I have

passed many an afternoon very agreeably in these conversations.

But I defy the treasurer, or his two informers (I will name them,

and let them make the best of it) Clustril and Drunlo, to prove

that any person ever came to me incognito, except the secretary

Reldresal, who was sent by express command of his imperial majesty,

as I have before related.  I should not have dwelt so long upon

this particular, if it had not been a point wherein the reputation

of a great lady is so nearly concerned, to say nothing of my own;

though I then had the honour to be a nardac, which the treasurer

himself is not; for all the world knows, that he is only a

glumglum, a title inferior by one degree, as that of a marquis is

to a duke in England; yet I allow he preceded me in right of his

post.  These false informations, which I afterwards came to the

knowledge of by an accident not proper to mention, made the

treasurer show his lady for some time an ill countenance, and me a

worse; and although he was at last undeceived and reconciled to

her, yet I lost all credit with him, and found my interest decline

very fast with the emperor himself, who was, indeed, too much

governed by that favourite.








[The author, being informed of a design to accuse him of high-

treason, makes his escape to Blefuscu.  His reception there.]


Before 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 dispositions 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



"You are very sensible that Skyresh Bolgolam" (galbet, or high-

admiral) "has been your mortal enemy, almost ever since your

arrival.  His original reasons I know not; but his hatred is

increased since your great success against Blefuscu, by which his

glory as admiral is much obscured.  This lord, in conjunction with

Flimnap the high-treasurer, whose enmity against you is notorious

on account of his lady, Limtoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain,

and Balmuff the grand justiciary, have prepared articles of

impeachment against you, for treason and other capital crimes."


This preface made me so impatient, being conscious of my own merits

and innocence, that I was going to interrupt him; 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.



"'Articles of Impeachment against QUINBUS FLESTRIN, (the Man-





"'Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his imperial majesty

Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted, that, whoever shall make water

within the precincts of the royal palace, shall be liable to the

pains and penalties of high-treason; notwithstanding, the said

Quinbus Flestrin, in open breach of the said law, under colour of

extinguishing the fire kindled in the apartment of his majesty's

most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, traitorously, and

devilishly, by discharge of his urine, put out the said fire

kindled in the said apartment, lying and being within the precincts

of the said royal palace, against the statute in that case

provided, etc. against the duty, etc.




"'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 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 forsake 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.




"'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, although he knew them to be servants

to a prince who was lately an open enemy to his imperial majesty,

and in an open war against his said majesty.




"'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 lately an enemy, and in open war with his imperial

majesty aforesaid.'



"There are some other articles; but these are the most important,

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 and sheets, 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

commanded 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 you, who were

able to extinguish the fire by discharge of urine in her majesty's

apartment (which he mentioned with horror), might, at another time,

raise an inundation by the same means, to drown the whole palace;

and 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 death.


"The treasurer was of the same opinion:  he showed to what straits

his majesty's revenue was reduced, by the charge of maintaining

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 way

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 for you would grow weak and faint, and lose your

appetite, and consequently, 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, who, being a creature of the empress,

was perpetually instigated by her majesty to insist upon your

death, she having borne perpetual malice against you, on account of

that infamous and illegal method you took to extinguish the fire in

her apartment.


"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



"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



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 any thing 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.  Yet, 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 extenuation.

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 metropolis 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 seventies

acquitted me of all past obligations.


At last, I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is probable I may

incur some censure, and not unjustly; for I confess I owe the

preserving of mine 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 hands.  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









[The author, by a lucky accident, finds means to leave Blefuscu;

and, after some difficulties, returns safe to his native country.]


Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the 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, wailing 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 his

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 off 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 fore-part

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 forward, 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 damaged.


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 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 grant.


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 the

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 dispatched 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 mine 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 further 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

impossible; 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 own assistance and direction; and he hoped, in a

few weeks, both empires would be freed from so insupportable an



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 on 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 somewhat

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 folds 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 sprugs a-piece, 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 propagate the

breed.  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 northward, 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 as I conjectured 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 afternoon, 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 left in it.  The

ship slackened her sails, and I came up with her between five and

six in the evening, September 26th; 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 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 Blefuscu, together with his

majesty's picture at full length, and some other rarities of that

country.  I gave him two purses of two hundreds sprugs each, and

promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a present of a

cow and a sheep big with young.


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 13th of April, 1702.  I had only one misfortune,

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 ashore, 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 contrary:  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 needle-work.  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, commander.  But my

account of this voyage must be referred to the Second Part of my















[A great storm described; the long boat sent to fetch water; the

author goes with it to discover the country.  He is left on shore,

is seized by one of the natives, and carried to a farmer's house.

His reception, with several accidents that happened there.  A

description of the inhabitants.]


Having been condemned, by nature and fortune, to active and

restless life, in two months after my return, I again left my

native country, and took shipping in the Downs, on the 20th day of

June, 1702, in the Adventure, Captain John Nicholas, a Cornish man,

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 19th 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 2nd 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 the southern wind, called the

southern monsoon, began to set in.


Finding it was likely 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, and 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 top-mast

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

would 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 Sea.


On the 16th day of June, 1703, a boy on the top-mast discovered

land.  On the 17th, 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 alone 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 entertain 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 the 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



I fell into a high road, for so I took it to be, though it served

to the inhabitants only as a foot-path 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 came

to the uppermost.  It was impossible for me to climb this stile,

because every step was six-feet high, and the upper stone about

twenty.  I was endeavouring to find some gap in the hedge, when I

discovered 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, whence I saw him at the top of

the stile looking back into the next field on the right hand, and

heard him 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.  However, 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 a hundred yards

behind me.  Being quite dispirited with toil, and wholly overcome

by grief and dispair, 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.  I 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 philosophers are in the right, when they tell us that

nothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison.  It might

have pleased fortune, to have 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 endeavours to lay hold on a

small dangerous animal in such a manner that it shall 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 behind, by

the middle, between his fore-finger 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 I resolved not to struggle in the least

as he held me in the air above 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 towards the sun,

and place my hands together in a supplicating posture, and to speak

some words in a 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, 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 hairs

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 fours, but I got

immediately up, and walked slowly backward and forward, 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, 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, beside 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 upward, 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 full 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 a while 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 two gallons, and filled it

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 small 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

forward towards 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 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 remembering 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 another 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:  but

all in vain; so that she was forced to apply the last remedy by

giving it suck.  I must confess no object ever disgusted me so much

as the sight of her monstrous breast, which I cannot tell what to

compare with, so as to give the curious reader an idea of its bulk,

shape, and colour.  It stood prominent six feet, and could not be

less than sixteen in circumference.  The nipple was about half the

bigness of my head, and the hue both of that and the dug, so varied

with spots, pimples, and freckles, that nothing could appear more

nauseous:  for I had a near sight of her, she sitting down, the

more conveniently to give suck, and I standing on the table.  This

made me reflect upon the fair skins of our English ladies, who

appear so beautiful to us, only because they are of our own size,

and their defects not to be seen but through a magnifying glass;

where we find by experiment that the smoothest and whitest skins

look rough, and coarse, and ill-coloured.


I remember when I was at Lilliput, the complexion of those

diminutive people appeared to me the fairest in the world; and

talking upon this subject with a person of learning there, who was

an intimate friend of mine, he said that my face appeared much

fairer and smoother when he looked on me from the ground, than it

did upon a nearer view, when I took him up in my hand, and brought

him close, which he confessed was at first a very shocking sight.

He said, "he could discover great holes in my skin; that the stumps

of my beard were ten times stronger than the bristles of a boar,

and my complexion made up of several colours altogether

disagreeable:" although I must beg leave to say for myself, that I

am as fair as most of my sex and country, and very little sunburnt

by all my travels.  On the other side, discoursing of the ladies in

that emperor's court, he used to tell me, "one had freckles;

another too wide a mouth; a third too large a nose;" nothing of

which I was able to distinguish.  I confess this reflection was

obvious enough; which, however, I could not forbear, lest the

reader might think those vast creatures were actually deformed:

for I must do them the justice to say, they are a comely race of

people, and particularly the features of my master's countenance,

although he was but a farmer, when I beheld him from the height of

sixty feet, appeared very well proportioned.


When dinner was done, my master went out to his labourers, and, as

I could discover by his voice and gesture, gave his wife 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 coarser

than the mainsail of a man-of-war.


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 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 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 despatched 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.  Then she set

me on a table, where I showed her my hanger all bloody, and wiping

it on the lappet of my coat, returned it to the scabbard.  I was

pressed to do more than one thing which another could not do for

me, and therefore endeavoured to make my mistress understand, that

I desired to be set down on the floor; which after she had done, my

bashfulness would not suffer me to express myself farther, than by

pointing to the door, and bowing several times.  The good woman,

with much difficulty, at last perceived what I would be at, and

taking me up again in her hand, walked into the garden, where she

set me down.  I went on one side about two hundred yards, and

beckoning to her not to look or to follow me, I hid myself between

two leaves of sorrel, and there discharged the necessities of



I hope the gentle reader will excuse me for dwelling on these and

the like particulars, which, however insignificant they may appear

to groveling vulgar minds, yet will certainly help a philosopher to

enlarge his thoughts and imagination, and apply them to the benefit

of public as well as private life, which was my sole design in

presenting this and other accounts of my travels to the world;

wherein I have been chiefly studious of truth, without affecting

any ornaments of learning or of style.  But the whole scene of this

voyage made so strong an impression on my mind, and is so deeply

fixed in my memory, that, in committing it to paper I did not omit

one material circumstance:  however, upon a strict review, I

blotted out several passages.  Of less moment which were in my

first copy, for fear of being censured as tedious and trifling,

whereof travellers are often, perhaps not without justice, accused.








[A description of the farmer's daughter.  The author carried to a

market-town, and then to the metropolis.  The particulars of his



My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly

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 staid

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 sackcloth; 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

any thing, 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 Grildrig, which the family

took up, and afterwards the whole kingdom.  The word imports what

the Latins call nanunculus, the Italians homunceletino, 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 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 when I observed my master and his friend

whispering together, sometimes 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 considered 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 as 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 was 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. Alban's.  My master alighted at an inn

which he used to frequent; and after consulting awhile with the

inn-keeper, 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

understanding 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 a 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 act over again 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 every body's reach.  However, an unlucky school-boy aimed a

hazel nut directly at my head, which very narrowly missed me;

otherwise it came with so much violence, that it would have

infallibly knocked out my brains, for it was almost as large as a

small pumpkin, 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 meantime he prepared a convenient 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 neighbouring 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 is 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 likely 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 17th of August, 1703, about two months after my

arrival, we set out for the metropolis, situate 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 26th day of October we arrived at the metropolis, called in

their language Lorbrulgrud, 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

pallisadoed 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 young girls, giving a short account of

their religion:  out of this she taught me my letters, and

interpreted the words.








[The author sent for to court.  The queen buys him of his master

the farmer, and presents him to the king.  He disputes with his

majesty's great scholars.  An apartment at court provided for the

author.  He is in high favour with the queen.  He stands up for the

honour of his own country.  His quarrels with the queen's dwarf.]


The 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 must soon die, resolved to make as good a hand of me

as he could.  While he was thus reasoning and resolving with

himself, a sardral, 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

the 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

could 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

was 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 fields:  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 phoenix of the creation, so I hoped my late

master's apprehensions would appear to be groundless; for I already

found my spirits revive, by the influence of her most august



This was the sum of my speech, delivered with great improprieties

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 hand, 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



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 better 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 court.


His majesty sent for three great scholars, who were then in their

weekly waiting, according to the custom in that country.  These

gentlemen, after they had a while 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.  One of these virtuosi seemed to think that I might be

an embryo, or abortive birth.  But this opinion was rejected by the

other two, who observed my limbs to be perfect and finished; and

that I had lived several years, as it was manifest from my beard,

the stumps whereof they plainly discovered through a magnifying

glass.  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 unanimously,

that I was only relplum scalcath, which is interpreted literally

lusus naturae; a determination exactly agreeable to the modern

philosophy of Europe, whose professors, disdaining the old evasion

of occult causes, whereby the followers of Aristotle endeavoured 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 herself.  The queen commanded her own

cabinet-maker to contrive a box, that might serve me for a

bedchamber, after the model that Glumdalclitch and I should agree

upon.  This man was a most ingenious artist, and according to my

direction, 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 habit.


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 ate, just at her left elbow, and a chair to sit on.

Glumdalclitch stood on 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 eldest 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 into her mouth as big as two twelve-

penny 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 those enormous knives and forks were lifted up

together, I thought I had never till then beheld so terrible a



It is the custom, that every Wednesday (which, as I have 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 wise 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 at 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 be

nothing more ridiculous than the comparison; so that I really began

to imagine myself dwindled many degrees below my usual size.


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 so 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

antechamber, while I was standing on some table talking with the

lords or ladies of the court, and he seldom failed of a smart 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 usually in the mouths of court pages.  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 then 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 whipt, and as a farther

punishment, 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 on a lady of high quality, so that I saw him

no more, to my very great satisfaction; for I could not tell to

what extremities 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 side-board,

mounted the stool that 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

fearfulness; 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.  They would sometimes alight upon my

victuals, and leave their loathsome excrement, or spawn behind,

which to me was very visible, though not to the natives of that

country, whose large optics were not so acute as mine, in viewing

smaller objects.  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 a 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 piecemeal

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 insects 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.








[The country described.  A proposal for correcting modern maps.

The king's palace; and some account of the metropolis.  The

author's way of travelling.  The chief temple described.]


I 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 staid 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:  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 determined 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 Greenland.


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 glomglungs (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 about a

square of Westminster-hall, but not altogether so high:  however, I

cannot be very exact.  One day the governess ordered our coachman

to stop at several shops, where the beggars, watching their

opportunity, crowded to the sides of the coach, and gave me the

most horrible spectacle that ever a European eye beheld.  There was

a woman with a cancer in her breast, swelled to a monstrous size,

full of holes, in two or three of which I could have easily crept,

and covered my whole body.  There was a fellow with a wen in his

neck, larger than five wool-packs; and another, with a couple of

wooden legs, each about twenty feet high.  But the most hateful

sight of all, was the lice crawling on their clothes.  I could see

distinctly the limbs of these vermin with my naked eye, much better

than those of a European louse through a microscope, and their

snouts with which they rooted like swine.  They were the first I

had ever beheld, and I should have been curious enough to dissect

one of them, if I had had proper instruments, which I unluckily

left behind me in the ship, although, indeed, the sight was so

nauseous, that it perfectly turned my stomach.


Besides 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 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 on my box, and place

it upon 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, those 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, 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 whatever 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 her 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

military 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









[Several adventurers that happened to the author.  The execution of

a criminal.  The author shows his skill in navigation.]


I 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 needs 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 opportunity, 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 at 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 fours, 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 this 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

as to weigh and measure them.


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 garden with her governess

and some ladies of her acquaintance.  While she was absent, and out

of hearing, a small white spaniel that belonged 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 her 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 mole-hill, 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 happened to stumble over, as I was

walking alone and thinking on poor England.


I cannot tell whether I were more pleased or mortified to observe,

in those solitary walks, that the smaller birds did not appear to

be at all afraid of me, but would hop about within a yard's

distance, looking for worms and other food, with as much

indifference and security as if no creature at all were near them.

I remember, a thrush had the confidence to snatch out of my hand,

with his bill, a of cake that Glumdalclitch had just given me for

my breakfast.  When I attempted to catch any of these birds, they

would boldly turn against me, endeavouring to peck my fingers,

which I durst not venture within their reach; and then they would

hop 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.  This linnet, as near as I can remember,

seemed to be somewhat larger than an English swan.


The maids of honour often invited Glumdalclitch to their

apartments, and desired she would bring me along with her, on

purpose to have the pleasure of seeing and touching me.  They would

often strip me naked from top to toe, and lay me at full length in

their bosoms; wherewith I was much disgusted because, to say the

truth, a very offensive smell came from their skins; which I do not

mention, or intend, to the disadvantage of those excellent ladies,

for whom I have all manner of respect; but I conceive that my sense

was more acute in proportion to my littleness, and that those

illustrious persons were no more disagreeable to their lovers, or

to each other, than people of the same quality are with us in

England.  And, after all, I found their natural smell was much more

supportable, than when they used perfumes, under which I

immediately swooned away.  I cannot forget, that an intimate friend

of mine in Lilliput, took the freedom in a warm day, when I had

used a good deal of exercise, to complain of a strong smell about

me, although I am as little faulty that way, as most of my sex:

but I suppose his faculty of smelling was as nice with regard to

me, as mine was to that of this people.  Upon this point, I cannot

forbear doing justice to the queen my mistress, and Glumdalclitch

my nurse, whose persons were as sweet as those of any lady in



That which gave me most uneasiness among these maids of honour

(when my nurse carried me to visit then) was, to see them use me

without any manner of ceremony, like a creature who had no sort of

consequence:  for they would strip themselves to the skin, and put

on their smocks in my presence, while I was placed on their toilet,

directly before their naked bodies, which I am sure to me was very

far from being a tempting sight, or from giving me any other

emotions than those of horror and disgust:  their skins appeared so

coarse and uneven, so variously coloured, when I saw them near,

with a mole here and there as broad as a trencher, and hairs

hanging from it thicker than packthreads, to say nothing farther

concerning the rest of their persons.  Neither did they at all

scruple, while I was by, to discharge what they had drank, to the

quantity of at least two hogsheads, in a vessel that held above

three tuns.  The handsomest among these maids of honour, a

pleasant, frolicsome girl of sixteen, would sometimes set me

astride upon one of her nipples, with many other tricks, wherein

the reader will excuse me for not being over particular.  But I was

so much displeased, that I entreated Glumdalclitch to contrive some

excuse for not seeing that young lady any more.


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 company, 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 that purpose, and his head cut off at one 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 to it 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 was 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 into 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 their 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 officiously

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

gentlewoman's stomacher; the head of the pin passing 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 as 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, climbed 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 was 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 farther corner of my room; or box; but

the monkey looking in at every side, put me in 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 seized

the lappet of my coat (which being made of that country silk, 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 forepaws, 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 every body 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 encompassed, 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, five

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 inquire 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 speculations 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

curiosity 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 on the 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 courage should be called in question.  However, my

speech produced nothing else beside a laud laughter, which all the

respect due to his majesty from those about him could not make them

contain.  This made me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man

to endeavour to do 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.


I was every day furnishing the court with some ridiculous story:

and Glumdalclitch, although she loved me to excess, yet was arch

enough to inform the queen, whenever I committed any folly that she

thought would be diverting to her majesty.  The girl, who had been

out of order, was carried by her governess to take the air about an

hour's distance, or thirty miles from town.  They alighted out of

the coach near a small foot-path in a field, and Glumdalclitch

setting down my travelling box, I went out of it to walk.  There

was a cow-dung in the path, and I must need try my activity by

attempting to leap over it.  I took a run, but unfortunately jumped

short, and found myself just in the middle up to my knees.  I waded

through with some difficulty, and one of the footmen wiped me as

clean as he could with his handkerchief, for I was filthily

bemired; and my nurse confined me to my box, till we returned home;

where the queen was soon informed of what had passed, and the

footmen spread it about the court:  so that all the mirth for some

days was at my expense.








[Several contrivances of the author to please the king and queen.

He shows his skill in music.  The king inquires into the state of

England, which the author relates to him.  The king's observations



I 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 distances 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 toward 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 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 me sit upon one of these

chairs, but I absolutely refused to obey her, protesting I would

rather die than place a dishonourable part of my body 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 learned 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 pieces 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 performance.


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 those 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 any thing that might

deserve imitation."


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 composed three mighty kingdoms,

under one sovereign, beside 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,

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 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 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

determining 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

what questions he intended to ask me.


When I had put an end to these long discources, 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 parts 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 design of strengthening a party opposite to the public

interest, ever happened to be the motive 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 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 compliers

with the times, while they were common priests; or slavish

prostitute chaplains to some nobleman, whose opinions they

continued servilely to follow, after they were admitted into that



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

neighbourhood?  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 families, 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 delivering 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

be better defended by himself, 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



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; 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 them from 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 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