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which although I could not understand, yet I replied as I had been directed : Flute drin yalerick dwuldom prastrad mirpush, which properly signifies, My tongue is in the mouth of my friend ;' and by this expression was meant, that I desired leave to bring my interpreter ; whereupon the young man, already mentioned, was accordingly introduced ; by whose intervention I answered as many questions, as his majesty could put in above an hour. I spoke in the Balnibarbian
my interpreter delivered my meaning in that of Luggnagg.
The king was much delighted with my company, and ordered his bliffmarklub, or high cham berlain, to appoint a lodging in the court for me and my interpreter ; with a daily allowance for my table, and a large purse of gold for my common expenses,
I stayed three months in this country, out of perfect obedience to his majesty ; who was pleased highly to favour me, and made me very honourable offers. But I thought it more consistent with prudence and justice, to pass the remainder of my days with my wife and family.
The Luggnaggians commended. A particular de
scription of the Struldbrugs, with many conversations, between the author and some eminent persons, upon that subject.
THE Luggnaggians are a polite and generous people ; and although they are not without some share of that pride, which is peculiar to all Eastern countries, yet they show themselves courteous to strangers ; especially such who are countenanced by the court. I had many acquaintance and among persons of the best fashion, and being always attended by my interpreter, the conversation we had was not disagreeable.
One day, in much good company, I was asked by a person of quality, whether I had seen any of their Struldbrugs or immortals. I said, I had not ; and desired he would explain to me, what he meant by such an appellation, applied to a mortal crea
He told me, that sometimes, though very rarely, a child happened to be born in a family, with a red circular spot in the forehead, directly over the left eyebrow, which was an infallible mark, that it should never die. The spot, as he described it, was about the compass of a silver three-pence, but in the course of time grew larger, and changed its colour ; for at twelve years old it became green, so continued till five and twenty, then turned to a deep blue : at five and forty it grew coal black, and
as large as an English shilling; but never admitted any farther alteration. He said, these births were so rare, that he did not believe there could be above eleven hundred struldbrugs, of both sexes, in the whole kingdom ; of which he computed about fifty in the metropolis, and among the rest, a young girl born about three years ago : that these productions were not peculiar to any family, but a mere effect of chance; and the children of the struldbrugs themselves, were equally mortal with the rest of the people.
I freely own myself to have been struck with inexpressible delight, upon hearing this account : and
gave it me, happening to understand the Balnibarbian language, which I spoke very well, I could not forbear breaking out into expressions, perhaps a little too extravagant. I cried out, as in a' rapture : Happy nation, where every child has at least a chance for being immortal! Happy people, who enjoy so many living examples of ancient virtue, and have masters ready to instruct them in the wisdom of all former ages; but, happiest beyond all comparison, are those excellent struldbrugs, who being born exempt from that universal calamity of human nature, have their minds free and disengaged, without the weight and depression of spirits caused by the continual apprehension of death. I discovered my admiration, that I had not observed any of these illustrious persons, at court; the black spot on the forehead being so remarkable a distinction, that I could not have easily overlooked it: and it was impossible that his majesty, a most judicious prince, should not provide himself with a good number of such wise and able Vol. VI.
counsellors. Yet perhaps, the virtue of those reverend sages, was too'strict for the corrupt and libertine manners of a court. And we often find by experience, that young men are too opinionated and volatile, to be guided by the sober dictates of their seniors. However, since the king was pleased to allow me access to his royal person, I was resolved, upon the very first occasion, to deliver my opinion to him on this matter freely and at large, by the help of my interpreter ; and whether he would please to take my advice or not, yet in one thing I was determined, that his majesty having frequently offered me an establishment in this country, I would, with great thinkfulness, accept the favour, and pass my
life here in the conversation of those superiour beings, the struldbrugs, if they would please to ad
The gentleman, to whom I addressed my discourse, because (as I have already observed) he spoke the language of Balnibarbi, said to me with a sort of a smile, which usually arrises from pity to the ignorant, that he was glad of any occasion to keep me among them, and desired my permission to explain to the company what I had spoke. He did so, and they talked together for some time in their own language, whereof I understood not a syllable, neither could I observe by their countenances, what impression my discourse had made on them. After a short silence, the same person told me, that' his friends and mine (so he thought fit to express himself) were very much pleased with the judicious remarks I had made, on the great happiness and advantages of immortal life, and they were desirous to know in a particular manner, what scheme of living
I should have formed to myself, if it had fallen to my lot to have been born a struldbrug.
I answered, it was easy to be eloquent on so copious and delightful a subject, especially to me, who had been often apt to aniuse myself with visions of what I should do, if I were a king, a general, or a great lord: and upon this very case, I had frequently run over the whole system how I should employ myself, and pass the time if I were sure to live for ever.
That, if it had been my good fortune to come into the world a struldbrug, as soon as I could discover my own happiness, by understanding the difference between life and death, I would first resolve by all arts and methods whatsoever, to procure myself riches. In the pursuit of which, by thrift and management, I might reasonably expect, in about two hundred years, to be the wealthiest man in the kingdom. In the second place, I would, from my earliest youth, apply myself to the study of arts and sciences, by which I should arrive in time, to excel all others in learning. Lastly, I would carefully record every action and event of consequence, that happened in the publick, impartially draw the characters of the several successions of princes and great ministers of state, with my own observations on every point. - I would exactly set down the several changes in customs, language, fashions of dress, diet, and diversions. ... By all, which acquirements, I should be a living treasure of knowledge and wisdom, and certainly become the oracle of the nation.
I would never marry after threescore, but live in a hospitable manner, yet still on the saving side.