Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5
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Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5

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Project Gutenberg's Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5, by Charles SylvesterThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5Author: Charles SylvesterRelease Date: February 24, 2004 [EBook #11250]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLAND, VOL. 5 ***Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Andy Jewell and PG Distributed Proofreaders[Illustration: HE TURNED HIS FACE AND KISSED HER CLIMBING Geraint and Enid]JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLANDA NEW AND ORIGINALPLAN FOR READING APPLIED TO THEWORLD'S BEST LITERATUREFOR CHILDRENB YCHARLES H. SYLVESTERAuthor of English and American LiteratureVOLUME FIVENew Edition[Illustration]1922CONTENTSJONATHAN SWIFT.GULLIVER'S TRAVELS Jonathan SwiftTHE BALLAD OF AGINCOURT Michael DraytonSOME CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF THE PAST Grace E SellonLEAD, KINDLY LIGHT Cardinal VeumanLET SOMETHING GOOD BE SAID James Whitcomb RileyPOLONIUS' ADVICE ShakespeareKING ARTHURBALIN AND BALANGERAINT AND ENID Alfred TennysonTHE HOLY GRAIL Adapted from Thomas MaloryDISSENSIONS AT KING ARTHUR'S COURTTHE PASSING OF ARTHUR Alfred TennysonHENRY HUDSON'S FOURTH VOYAGE Henry R ClevelandTHE RISE OF ROBERT BRUCE Walter ScottBRUCE AND THE SPIDER Bernard ArtonTHE HEART OF BRUCE William ...

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Project Gutenberg's Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5, by Charles Sylvester
This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net
Title: Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 5
Author: Charles Sylvester
Release Date: February 24, 2004 [EBook #11250]
Language: English
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLAND, VOL. 5 ***
Produced by Juliet Sutherland, Andy Jewell and PG Distributed Proofreaders
[Illustration: HE TURNED HIS FACE AND KISSED HER CLIMBINGGeraint and Enid]
JOURNEYS THROUGH BOOKLAND
A NEW AND ORIGINAL
PLAN FOR READINGAPPLIED TO THE
WORLD'S BEST LITERATURE
FOR CHILDREN
BY
CHARLES H. SYLVESTER
Author of English and American Literature
VOLUMEFIVE
NewEdition [Illustration]
1922
CONTENTS
JONATHAN SWIFT. GULLIVER'S TRAVELSJonathan Swift THE BALLAD OF AGINCOURTMichael Drayton SOME CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF THE PASTGrace E Sellon LEAD, KINDLY LIGHTCardinal Veuman LET SOMETHING GOOD BE SAIDJames Whitcomb Riley POLONIUS' ADVICEShakespeare KING ARTHUR BALIN AND BALAN GERAINT AND ENIDAlfred Tennyson THE HOLY GRAILAdapted from Thomas Malory DISSENSIONS AT KING ARTHUR'S COURT THE PASSING OF ARTHURAlfred Tennyson
HENRY HUDSON'S FOURTH VOYAGEHenry R Cleveland THE RISE OF ROBERT BRUCEWalter Scott BRUCE AND THE SPIDERBernard Arton THE HEART OF BRUCEWilliam E Aytoun THE SKELETON IN ARMORHenry Wadsworth Longfellow HOW THEY BROUGHT THE GOOD NEWS FROM GHENT TO AIX Robert Browning REMINISCENCES OF A PIONEEREdwin D. Coe THE BUCCANEERS CAPTAIN MORGAN AT MARACAIBO BRADDOCK'S DEFEATBenjamin Franklin READING HISTORY THE AMERICAN FLAGJoseph Rodman Drake BATTLE HYMN OF THE REPUBLICJulia Ward Howe "STONEWALL" JACKSON'S WAYJ.W. Palmer BARON MUNCHAUSEN THE FIDDLING PARSONDavy Crockett WE PLAN A RIVER TRIPJerome K Jerome ON COMIC SONGSJerome K Jerome THE INCHCAPE ROCKRobert Southey TOM BROWN AT RUBGYThomas Hughes
PRONUNCIATION OFPROPER NAMES
The Classification of Selections, see General Index at end of Volume X
ILLUSTRATIONS
HE TURN'D HIS FACE AND KISS'D HER CLIMBING (Color Plate) Donn P Crane JONATHAN SWIFT (Halftone) GULLIVER'S JOURNEY TO THE METROPOLISIris Weddell White THE EMPEROR VISITS GULLIVERIris Weddell White GULLIVER AND THE PISTOL (Color Plate)G H Mitchell GULLIVER'S WATCH IS BORNE AWAYIris Weddell White GULLIVER ER TAKES THE ENEMY'S FLEETIris Weddell White GULLIVER BRINGS IN THE DRIFTING BOATHarry L Gage THE BABY SEIZES GULLIVERIris Weddell White A GALE WITH THEIR FANSIris Weddell White GULLIVER AND THE KINGIris Weddell White "VICTOR I WILL REMAIN"R F Babcock CHILDREN WITH HORNBOOKSLaura K Deal ARTHUR DRAWS THE SWORDJessie Arms KING ARTHUR (Halftone) THE WEDDING OF ARTHUR AND GUINEVEREJessie Arms MERLIN SAVES ARTHURDonn P Crane ARTHUR RECEIVES EXCALIBURDonn P Crane THE DAMSEL LET FALL HER MANTLEDonn P Crane THE LIGHTDonn P Crane ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON (Halftone) GERAINT HEARS ENID SINGINGDonn P Crane ENID LEADS THE WAYDonn P Crane ENID WATCHING BY GERAINTDonn P Crane SIR GALAHADJessie Arms THE SHIP APPROACHES THE CITY OF SARRASJessie Arms THE LAST APPEARANCE OF THE SANGREAIDonn P Crane THE BARGE MOVED FROM THE BRINKDonn P Crane CUT ADRIFT IN HUDSON'S BAYR F Babcock SAVAGES ON THE SHORER F Babcock BRUCE KILLS COMYNDonn P Crane SHE BROUGHT HER TWO SONSDonn P Crane THE ASCENT TO THE CASTLE OF EDINBURGHDonn P Crane BRUCE SLAYS SIR HENRY DE BOHUNDonn P Crane BRUCE BEHELD A SPIDERDonn P Crane I SAW A PILGRIM STANDDonn P Crane
HELD THE HEART ALOFTDonn P Crane I WAS A VIKING OLDR F Babcock THREE WEEKS WE WESTWARD BORER F Babcock I CAST LOOSE MY BUFF COATDonn P Crane HALF A DOZEN INDIANS BOLTED INR F Babcock HE FISHED OUT AN OLD BUNGTOWN CENTR F Babcock CHASING THE GEESE TO GET A NEW QUILLR F Babcock THE FIRE SHIP GRAPPLED THE SPANIARDEverett E Lowry BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Halftone) ON THE MARCHEverett E Lowry THE AMBUSHEverett E Lowry "STONEWALL" JACKSON (Halftone) THE LION HAD JUMPED INTO THE CROCODILE'S MOUTH Donn P Crane I BEHELD A NOBLE STAGDonn P Crane THE HIND PART OF THE POOR CREATURE WAS MISSING Donn P Crane WARRIORS OF THE MOONDonn P Crane WE DESCENDED SAFELY ON A MOUNTAIN OF ICEDonn P Crane THE PARSON FIDDLEDDonn P Crane "AIN'T YOU GOING TO PUT THE BOOK IN"Herbert N Rudeen "WHEN I WAS YOUNG"Herbert N Rudeen ONE DREADFUL SOUND HE SEEMED TO HEARR F Babcock RUGBY SCHOOL (Color Plate) THE BULLY CAUGHT IT ON HIS ELBOWLouis Grell "A FIGHT!"Louis Grell TOM SITS ON MARTIN'S KNEELouis Grell
JONATHAN SWIFT
The father of Jonathan Swift was a Dublin lawyer who died just as he was beginning what might have been a profitable career, and before his only son was born. The widow was left with so little money that when her son was born in November, 1667, she was not able to take care of him. Her brother-in-law undertook to provide for mother and child.
He procured a nurse who became so attached to her little charge that when she received a small sum of money from a relative in England and was compelled to go to that country, she stole the baby and took him with her across the channel. It was more than three years before Jonathan was brought back to Dublin, but he had been tenderly cared for, and though but five years of age had been taught to spell and to read in the Bible.
A year later he was sent to a good school, where he made rapid progress. However, he could not have been always studious, for visitors to the school are still shown a desk in which his name is deeply cut.
He was fourteen years old when he entered the University of Dublin, where his record was not a very satisfactory one. When it came time for him to graduate, his standing was too poor for him to take his degree, but after some delay it was given him "by special favor," a term then used in Dublin to show that a candidate did not pass in his examinations.
After this, Swift remained three years at the University under the pretense of studying, but he was chiefly notorious for his connection with a gang of wild and disobedient students who were often under censure of the faculty for their irregularities. For one offense Swift was severely censured and compelled upon his knees to beg pardon of the dean. This punishment he did not forgive, and long afterward he wrote bitter things about Dr. Allen, the dean.
Yet while indulging in these follies, Swift learned to write well and became noted for a peculiar satirical style that afterward made him much feared by the government.
When the uncle who had first supported Swift had died, a second uncle and his son took up the burden. At one time this cousin sent Swift quite a large sum of money, a fact which seemed to change the nature of the wild young spendthrift, who thereafter remained economical; in fact, he became niggardly in his saving.
Swift's second degree from the University was earned creditably, and he was much pleased with the praise and respect with which he was received. This was owing to two years of diligent study which he spent at the home of Sir William Temple,a leadingstatesman of the time and a distant relative bymarriage of Swift's mother.
Discouraged by his fruitless attempt to enter public life, he began to study for the ministry, and, ultimately, he received a church appointment, of which he wearied after a short experience.
Until 1710, he led a varied life, sometimes dependent upon his relatives, and at others making his way in various political positions. From the date above he was embroiled in heated political controversies in which his bitter writings made him feared even by his friends and fiercely hated by his enemies. But he steadily rose in power and influence, and when his party triumphed he was rewarded for his political services by being appointed dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Ireland.
His appointment was exceedingly unpopular, even in Ireland, for few believed him at all suited for a position in the church, much less for one so high and important. On the day he was installed, some bitter verses, of which the following are three, were found posted on the door of the cathedral:
 To-day this temple gets a dean,  Of parts and fame uncommon;  Used both to pray and to profane,  To serve both God and Mammon. * * * * *  This place he got by wit and rhyme,  And many ways most odd;  And might a bishop be in time,  Did he believe in God. * * * * *  And now when'er his deanship dies,  Upon his tomb be graven—  A man of God here buried lies,  Who never thought of heaven.
Unfortunately there was too much truth in the charges against Swift's character, and his career, in spite of his genius, is a pitiful one. He was admired for his wit and brilliancy, and courted by the noble and powerful, but he was never able to gratify his ambitions, though he did secure many devoted friends. From his disappointments he became moody, bitter and discontented. This state of mind, together with other causes, finally broke his health, destroyed his mind and left him but the sad wreck of a brilliant manhood, and an old age of helpless imbecility. Such a life has little that is attractive for anyone, but it does show us that even a brilliant intellect cannot save a man who persistently neglects to guard his character, and that fame does not always bring happiness.
But Swift was by no means all bad, and his great services to Ireland are still deservedly recognized by that devoted people. He really laid the foundation for their prosperity and may be said to have created constitutional liberty for them.
It is, however, as a wit and a writer that Swift is now chiefly famous. Many are the stories told of his readiness in repartee, his bright sallies in conversation, and of his skill in quick and caustic rhyming. It is said that one day, when traveling in the south of Ireland, he stopped to give his horse water at a brook which crossed the road; a gentleman of the neighborhood halted for the same purpose, and saluted him, a courtesy which was politely returned. They parted, but the gentleman, struck by the dean's figure, sent his servant to inquire who the man was. The messenger rode up to the dean and said, "Please, sir, master would be obliged if you would tell him who you are."
"Willingly," replied the dean. "Tell your master I am the person that bowed to him when we were giving our horses water at the brook yonder."
[Illustration: JONATHAN SWIFT 1667-1745]
Swift's interests lay rather with the common people than with the Irish aristocracy, who, he thought, were arrant "grafters." Of one in particular he said,
 "So great was his bounty—  He erected a bridge—at the expense of the county."
The last thing Swift wrote was an epigram. It was in almost the final lucid interval between periods of insanity that he was riding in the park with his physician. As they drove along, Swift saw, for the first time, a building that had recently been put up.
"What is that?" he inquired.
"That," said the physician, "is the new magazine in which are stored arms and powder for the defence of the city."
"Oh!" said the dean, pulling out his notebook. "Let me take an item of that; this is worth remarking: 'My tablets!' as Hamlet says, 'my tablets! Memory put down that.'" Then he scribbled the following lines, the last he ever penned:
 "Behold a proof of Irish sense!  Here Irish wit is seen!  When nothing's left that's worth defence,  We build a magazine."
With the exception ofGulliver's Travels, very little that Dean Swift wrote is now read by anyone but students.
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
INTRODUCTION
Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726 and without any allusion to the real author, though many knew that the work must have come from the pen of Dean Swift. Though the dean was habitually secretive in what he did, he had some reason for not wishing to say in public that he had written so bitter a satire on the government and on mankind.
The work was immediately popular, not only in the British Isles but on the Continent as well. No such form of political satire had ever appeared, and everyone was excited over its possibilities. Not all parts of the work were considered equally good; some parts were thought to be failures, and the Fourth Voyage was as a whole deservedly unpopular. The Voyages to Lilliput and to Brobdingnag were considered the best, and to them is to be attributed the greater part of the author's fame. Their popularity continues with the years.
Lemuel Gulliver is represented as a British sailor who had been educated as a doctor but whose wandering instincts led him back to the sea. On his return from his voyages he writes the account of his adventures; and the manner in which this account is written is so masterly that we almost believe the things he tells.
In describing the manners, customs, and governments of the several countries, he shows in his inimitable way the weakness of his king, prince, nobles, government and mankind in general.
While the scholar and the man of affairs may still be interested in the political significance of what is said and in a study of the keen knowledge of human nature shown by the writer, yet it is principally as a story that the work is now popular. Everybody enjoys reading about the wonderful people who existed only in the imagination of the great dean of Saint Patrick's.
In this volume are printed some of the most enjoyable parts of the first and second voyages. About the only changes from the original text are in the omission of those passages which contribute nothing to the narrative or which for other reasons it seems inadvisable to reprint. These omissions put the real fictitious narrative into so small a compass that children will be entertained from beginning to end.
TheVoyage to Lilliputwas directed against the policy of the English Court during the reign of George I. The real differences between the parties were trifling; not more, to Swift's idea, than that betweenHigh-heelsandLow-heelsin the court of Lilliput; and the controversies between the churches were not greater than those between theBig-endians and theLittle-endians.As the Prince of Wales was thought to favor a union of parties, he was typified in the heir-apparent of Lilliput who wore one shoe with a high heel and one with a low heel. This explanation will give an idea of the nature of Swift's milder satire.
TheVoyage to Brobdingnagadvocates the principles then held by the Tory party in England and attacks those of the Whigs.
TheVoyage to Laputa, from which we give no selections, was not generally understood and hence was not popular. Its chief purpose was to ridicule the proceedings of the Royal Society, but Swift was not well enough acquainted with music and some of the other sciences fostered by the Society to attack them to advantage.
TheVoyage to the Houyhnhnmswas a bitter screed against mankind, and is in many respects disgusting. It showed Swift's venom against the world and something of the approach of the malady which finally hurried him into insanity.
The following selections are somewhat condensed from the original story, chiefly by the omission of passages of no interest to people of to-day.
ADVENTURES IN LILLIPUT
I. The Arrival
We set sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699, and our voyage at first was very prosperous.
It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the particulars of our adventures; let it suffice to inform him, that, in our passage to the East Indies, we were driven by a violent storm to the northwest of Van Diemen's Land.[1] By an observation we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south. Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labor and ill food; the rest were in a very weak condition.
[Footnote 1:Van Diemen's Landis the old name for Tasmania, an island off the coast of Australia.]
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 labor 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 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 remember to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, above nine hours; for when I awaked it was just daylight.
I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir; for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my 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 armpits to my thighs. I could only look upward; the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended mine 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 mine eyes downward as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back. In the meantime, I felt at least forty more of the same kind (as I conjectured) following the first. I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterward 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 I then knew not what they meant. I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness.
At length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the strings and wrench out the pegs that fastened my left arm to the ground; for, by lifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had taken to bind me, and, at the same time, with a violent pull, which gave me excessive pain, I a little loosened the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my head about two inches. But the creatures ran off a second time, before I could seize them; whereupon there was a great shout, in a very shrill accent, and, after it ceased, I heard one of them cry aloud, "Tolgo phonac"; when, in an instant, I felt above an hundred arrows discharged on my left hand, which pricked me like so many needles; and, besides, they shot another flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe; whereof many, I suppose, fell on my body (though I felt them not), and some on my face, which I immediately covered with my left hand.
When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a-groaning with grief and pain; and then, striving again to get loose, they discharged another volley, larger than the first, and some of them attempted, with spears, to stick me in the sides; but, by good luck, I had on me a buff[2] jerkin, which they could not pierce. I thought it the most prudent method to lie still; and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself; and as for the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest armies they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw.
[Footnote 2:Buffis the name given to a kind of leather, made originally of buffalo hide, but later of the skins of other animals]
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 afterward 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 mine 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 on my mouth, to signify that I wanted food.
Thehurgo(for so they call a great lord, as I afterward learned) understood me very well. He descended from the stage, and commanded that several ladders should be applied to my sides, on which above an hundred of the inhabitants mounted, and walked toward 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 eat 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 toward 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 mivolah"; and when they saw the vessels in the air there was an universal shout of "Hekinah degul."
I confess I was often tempted, while they were passing backward and forward 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 honor I made them—for so I interpreted my submissive behavior— 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 forward up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue; and producing his credentials, under the signet-royal, which he applied close to mine eyes, spoke about ten minutes without any signs of anger, but with a kind of determinate resolution; often pointing forward; which, as I afterward found, was toward 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, thehurgoand his train withdrew, with much civility and cheerful countenances. Soon after, I heard a general shout, with frequent repetitions of the words "Peplom selan," and I felt great numbers of the people on my left side, relaxing the cords to such a degree that I was able to turn upon my right. But before this they had daubed my face and both my hands with a sort of ointment, very pleasant to the smell, which, in a few minutes, removed all the smart of their arrows. These 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 afterward 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 endeavored 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.
[Illustration: GULLIVER'S JOURNEY TO THE METROPOLIS]
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 pack-thread, 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 whole 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 toward the metropolis, which, as I said, was half a mile distant. About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by a very ridiculous accident; for the carriage being stopped awhile to adjust something that was out of order, two or three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and 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 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 awaking so suddenly.
We made a long march the remaining part of that day,[3] and rested at night with five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and half with bows and arrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to stir. The next morning at sunrise we continued our march, and arrived within two hundred yards of the city gates about noon. The emperor and all his court came out to meet us, but his great officers would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person by mounting on my body.
[Footnote 3: Notice the skill with which Swift adjusts all things to his tiny Lilliputians. The half-mile journey would have been but a few minutes' walk for Gulliver, but the six-inch men and the four-and-one-half-inch horses spent almost a day and a half in covering the distance.]
At the place where the carriage stopped there stood an ancient temple, esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom; which, having been polluted some years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to the zeal of those people, looked on as profane, and therefore had been applied to common use, and all the ornaments and furniture carried away. In this edifice it was determined I should lodge. The great gate fronting to the north was about four foot high, and about two foot 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 smiths 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 thirty-six padlocks.
Over against this temple, on t'other side of the great highway, at twenty foot distance, there was a turret at least five foot 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 an 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 upon 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 backward and forward 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.
II. Imprisonment
When I found myself on my feet I looked about me, and must confess I never beheld a more entertaining prospect. The country round appeared like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally forty foot square, resembled so many beds of flowers. These fields were intermingled with woods of half a stang,[4] and the tallest trees, as I could judge, appeared to be seven foot high. I viewed the town on my left hand, which looked like the painted scene of a city in a theater.
The emperor was already descended from the tower, and advancing on horseback toward me, which had like to have cost him dear, for the beast, though very well trained, yet wholly unused to such a sight, which appeared as if a mountain moved before him, reared up on his hinder feet; but that prince, who is an excellent horseman, kept his seat till his attendants ran in and held the bridle while his majesty had time to dismount.
[Footnote 4:Stangis an old name for a pole, or perch, sixteen and one-half feet.]
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 sorts 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. 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 is alone 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,[5] 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.
[Footnote 5: Swift uses his reducing imagination even on the time, perceiving that it would not seem natural for his tiny manikins to have as long lives as the "man mountain" on which they gazed with such wonder.]
[Illustration: THE EMPEROR VISITS GULLIVER]
The ladies and courtiers were all most magnificently clad, so that the spot they stood upon seemed to resemble a petticoat spread on the ground embroidered with figures of gold and silver.
His imperial majesty spoke often to me, and I returned answers, but neither of us could understand a syllable. There were several of his priests and lawyers present (as I conjectured by their habit), 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,[6] but all to no purpose.
[Footnote 6:Lingua Francawas the name given to a mixed dialect used in some parts of the Mediterranean coasts as means of communication between people of different nationalities. It consisted largely of corrupted Italian words.]
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.
Toward 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; an 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 I.
In the meantime the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what course should be taken with me; and I was afterward assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was looked upon to be as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties concerning me. They apprehended my breaking loose; that my diet would be very expensive, and might cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to starve me, or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which would soon despatch me.
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 behavior to the six criminals above mentioned, which made so favorable 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 payment of which his majesty gave orders upon his treasury. 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 guard, should be frequently exercised in my sight, to accustom themselves to me.