« السابقةمتابعة »
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 coverlet.
The author, by a lucky accident, finds means to leave
Blefuscu ; ànd, after some difficulties, returns safe to his native country,
HREE 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, wading 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-admíral. 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 of 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 till 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.
vessels port 1 * "I did very much wonder not to have heard,' &c. This sens tence is ungrammatical, it should have been, • I did very much wonder, in all this time, at not having heard of any express,' &c.
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;
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 afterwards 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 farther 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 incumbrance.
With this answer the envoy returned to Lilliput, and the monarch of Blefuscu related to me all that had
past; 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.