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civil wars ; the last whereof, was happily put an end to, by this prince's grandfather, in a general composition ; and the militia, then settled with common consent, has been ever since kept in the strictest duty.

CHAP. VIII.

The king and queen make a progress to the frontiers.

The author attends them. The manner in which he leaves the country very particularly related. He returns to England.

I Had always a strong impulse, that I should some time recover my liberty, though it was impossible to conjecture by what means, or to form any project, with the least hope of succeeding. The ship in which I sailed, was the first ever known to be driven within sight of that coast, and the king had given strict orders, that if at any time another appeared, it should be taken ashore, and with all its crew and passengers, brought in a tumbril to Lorbrulgrud. He was strongly bent to get me a woman of my own size, by whom I might propagate the breed : but I think I should rather have died, than undergone the disgrace, of leaving a posterity to be kept in cages, like tame canary birds, and perhaps, in time, sold about the kingdom, to persons of quality, for curiosities. I was indeed treated with much kindness : I was the favourtie of a great king

and

and queen, and the delight of the whole court; but it was upon such a foot, as ill became the dignity of human kind. I could never forget those domestick pledges I had left behind me. I wanted to be among people, with whom I could converse upon even terms, and walk about the streets and fields, without being afraid of being trod to death like a frog or a young puppy.

But

my deliverance came sooner than I expected, and in a manner not very common : the whole story and circumstances of which, I shall faithfully relate,

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

When we caine to our journey's end, the king thought proper to pass a few days at a palace he has near Flanflasnic, a city within eighteen English miles of the sea-side, Glumdalclitch and I were much fatigued : I had gotten a small cold, but the poor girl was so ill as to be confined to her chamber. I

longed

longed to see the ocean, which must be the only scene of my escape, if ever it should happen. I pretended to be worse than I really was, and desired leave to take the fresh air of the sea, with a page, whom I was very fond of, and who had sometimes been trusted with me. I shall never forget with what unwillingness Glumdalclitch consented, nor the strict charge she gave the page to be careful of me, bursting at the same time into a flood of tears, as if she had some foreboding of what was to happen. The boy took me out in my box, about half an hour's walk from the palace, towards the rocks on the sea-shore. I ordered him to set me down, and lifting up one of my sashes, cast many a wistful melancholy look towards the sea,

I found myself not very well, and told the page that I had a mind to take a nap in my hanimock, which I hoped would do me good. I got in, and the boy shut the window close down, to keep out the cold. I soon fell asleep, and all I can conjecture is, while I slept, the page, thinking no danger could happen, went among the rocks to look for birds eggs, having before observed him from my window searching about, and picking up one or two in the clefts, Bę that as it will, I found myself suddenly awaked with a violent pull upon the ring, which was fastened at the top of my box, for the conveniency of carriage. I felt my box raised very high in the air, and then born forward with prodigious speed. The first jolt had like to have shaken me out of my

hammock, but afterwards the motion was easy enough. I called out several times, as loud as I could raise my voice, but all to no purpose. I looked towards my windows, and could see nothing but the clouds and sky. Í heard a noise just over my head, like the clapping of wings, and then began to perceive the woful condition I was in, that some eagle 'had got the ring of my box in his beak, with an intent to let it fall on á rock like a tortoise in a shell, and then pick out my body, and devour it: for the sagacity and smell of this bird enabled him to discover his quarry at a great distance, though better concealed than I could be within a two-inch board.

In a little time, I observed the noise and flutter of wings to increase very fast, and my box was tossed up and down, like a sign in a windy day. I heard several bangs or buffets, as I thought, given to the eagle (for such I am certain it must have been that held the ring of my box in his beak) and then, all on a sudden, felt myself falling perpendicularly down, for abové a minute, but with such incredible swiftness, that I almost lost my breath. My fall' was stopped by a terrible squash, that sounded louder to my ears than the cataract of Niagara ; after which, I was quite in the dark for another minute, and then

my box began to rise so high, that I could see light from the tops of the windows. I now perceived I was fallen into the sea. My box, by the weight of my body, the goods that were in, and the broad plates of iron fixed for strength at the four corners of the top and bottom, floated about five feet deep in water. I did then, and do now suppose, that the eagle which flew away with my box, was pursued by two or three others, and forced to let me drop, while he defended himself against the rest, who hoped to share in the prey. The plates of iron fastened at the bottom of the box (for those were the strongest) preserved the balance VOL. VI.

M

while

while it fell, and hindered it from being broken on the surface of the water. Every joint of it was well grooved ; and the door did not move on hinges, but up

and down like a sash, which kept my closet so tight that very little water came in. I got with much difficulty out of my hammock, having first ventured to draw back the slip-board on the roof already mentioned, contrived on purpose to let in air, for want of which I found myself almost stifled.

How often did I then wish myself with my dear Glumdalclitch, from whom one single hour had so far divided me! And I may say with truth, that in the midst of my own misfortunes I could not forbear lamenting my poor nurse, the grief she would suffer for my loss, the displeasure of the queen, and the ruin of her fortune. Perhaps many travellers have not been under greater difficulties and distress than I was at this juncture, expecting every moment to see my box dashed to pieces, or at least overset by the first violent blast, or rising wave. A breach in one single pane of glass, would have been immediate death : nor could any thing have preserved the windows, but the strong lattice wires placed on the outside, against accidents in travelling. I saw the water ooze in at several crannies, although the leaks were not considerable, and I endeavoured to stop them as well as I could. I was not able to lift

up the roof of my closet, which otherwise I certainly should have done, and sat on the top of it; where I might at least preserve myself some hours longer, than by being shut up (as I may call it) in the hold. Or, if I escaped these dangers for a day or two, what could I expect, but a miserable death of cold and hunger ? I was four hours under these circum3

stances,

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