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magnify much more than those of a hundred with us, and show the stars with greater clearness. This advantage has enabled them to extend their discoveries, much farther than our astronomers in Europe ; for they have made a catalogue of ten thousand fixed stars, whereas the largest of ours, do not contain above one third part of that number. They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars; whereof the innermost is distant from the centre of the primary planet, exactly three of his diameters, and the outermost, five; the former revolves in the space of ten hours, and the latter in twenty-one and a half; so that the squares of their periodical times, are very near in the same proportion with the cubes of their distance, from the centre of Mars; which evidently shows them to be governed by the same law of gravitation, that influences the other heavenly bodies.
They have observed ninety-three different comets, and settled their periods with great exactness. If this be true, (and they affirm it with great confidence) it is much to be wished, that their observations were made publick, whereby the theory of comets, which at present is very lame and defective, might be brought to the same perfection, with other parts of astronomy.
The king would be the most absolute prince in the universe, if he could but prevail on a ministry to join with him; but these having their estates below on the continent, and considering that the of. fice of a favourite has a very uncertain tenure, would never consent to the enslaving of their country.
If any town should engage in rebellion or mutiny, fall into violent factions, or refuse to pay the usual
tribute, the king has two methods of reducing them to obedience. The first, and the mildest course is; by keeping the island hovering over such a town, and the lands about it, whereby he can deprive them of the benefit of the sun and the rain, and consequently afflict the inhabitants with dearth and dis
And if the crime deserve it, they are at the same time pelted from above with great stones, against which they have no defence but by creeping into cellars or caves, while the roofs of their houses are beaten to pieces. But if they still continue obstinate, or offer to raise insurrections, he proceeds to the last remedy, by letting the island drop directly upon their heads, which makes an universal destruction both of houses and men. However, this is an extremity to which the prince is seldom driven, neither indeed is he willing to put it in execution ; nor dare his ministers advise him to an action, which, as it would render them odious to the people, so it would be a great damage to their own estates, which lie all below; for the island is the king's demesne.
But there is still indeed a more weighty reason, why the kings of this country have been always averse from executing so terrible an action, unless upon the utmost necessity. For, if the town intended to be destroyed, should have in it any tall rocks, as it generally falls out in the larger cities, a situation probably chosen at first with a view to prevent such a catastrophe; or if it abound in high spires, or pillars of stone, a sudden fall might endanger the bottom or under surface of the island, which, although it consist, as I have said, of one entire adamant two hundred yards thick, might hap
pen to crack by too great a shock, or burst by approaching too near the fires from the houses below, as the backs both of iron and stone will often do in our chimnies. Of all this the people are well apprised, and understand how far to carry their obstinacy, where their liberty or property is concerned. And the king, when he is highest provoked, and inost determined to press a city to rubbish, orders the island to descend with great gentleness out of a pretence of tenderness to his people; but indeed for fear of breaking the adamantine bottom; in which case, it is the opinion of all their philosophers, that the loadstone could no longer hold it up, and the whole mass would fall to the ground.
By a fundamental law of this realm, neither the king, nor either of his two elder sons, are permitted to leave the island, nor the queen, till she is past child-bearing
The author leaves Laputa, is conveyed to Balnibarbi,
arrives at the metropolis. A description of the metropolis, and the country adjoining. The author hospitably received by a great lord. His çorverfution with that lord.
ALTHOUGH I cannot say that I was ill treated in this island, yet I must confess I thought myself too much neglected, not without some degree of contempt. For neither prince nor people, appeared to
be curious in any part of knowledge, except mathematicks and musick, wherein. I was far their inferiour, and upon that account very little regarded.
On the other side, after having seen all the curiosities of the island, I was very desirous to leave it, being heartily weary of those people. They were indeed excellent in two sciences, for which I have great esteem, and wherein I am not unversed; but, at the same time, so abstracted and involved in
speculation, that I never met with such disagreeable companions. I conversed only with women, tradesmen, flappers, and court-pages, during two months of my abode there'; by which at last I rendered myself extremely contemptible; yet these were the only people, from whom I could ever receive a reasonable
I had obtained, by hard study, a good degree of knowledge in their language: I was weary of being confined to an island, where I received so little countenance, and resolved to leave it with the first opportunity.
There was a great lord at court, nearly related to the king, and for that reason alone, used with respect. He was universally reckoned the most ignorant and stupid person among them. He had performed many eminent services for the crown, had great natural and acquired parts, adorned with integrity and honour ; but so ill an ear for musick, that his detractors reported, he had been often known to beat time in the wrong place; neither could his tutors, without extreme difficulty, teach him to demonstrate the most easy proposition in the mathematicks. He was pleased to show me many marks of favour, often did me the honour of a visit, desired
to be informed in the affairs of Europe, the laws and customs, the manners and learning of the several countries, where I had travelled. He listened to me with great attention, and made very wise observations on all I spoke. He had two flappers attending him for state, but never made use of them, except at court and in visits of ceremony; and would always command them to withdraw, when we were alone together.
I entreated this illustrious person, to intercede in my behalf with his majesty, for leave to depart ; which he accordingly did, as he was pleased to tell me, with regret : for indeed he had made me several offers very advantageous, which however I refused, with expressions of the highesi acknowledgment.
On the 16th of February I took leave of his majesty and the court. The king made me a present to the value of about two hundred pounds English, and my protector his kinsinan as much more; together with a letter of recommendation to a friend of his in Lagado, the metropolis: the island being then hovering over a mountain about two miles from it, I was let down from the lowest gallery, in the same manner as I had been taken up.
The continent, as far as it is subject to the monarch of the flying island, passes under the general name of Balnibarbi ; and the metropolis, as I said before, is called Lagado. I felt some little satisfaction in finding myself on firm ground. I walked to the city without any concern, being clad like one of the natives, and sufficiently instructed to converse with them. I soon found out the person's house, to whom I was recommended, presented my letter from his friend the grandee in the island, and was