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THE author of these travels, Mr. Lemuel Gulliver, , is
my ancient and intimate friend ; there is likewise some relation between us on the mother's side. About three years ago, Mr. Gulliver, growing weary of the concourse of curious people coming to him at his house in Redriff, made a small purchase of land with a convenient house near Newark, in Nottinghamshire, his native country; where he now lives retired, yet in good esteem among his neighbours.
Although Mr. Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, where his father dwelt, yet I have heard him say, his family came from Oxfordshire ; to confirm which, I have observed in the church yard at Banbury in that county, several tombs and monuments of the Gullivers.
Before he quitted Redriff, he left the custody of the following papers in my hands, with the liberty to dispose of them as I should think fit. I have carefully perused them three times : The style is very plain and simple ; and the only fault I find is, that the author, after the manner of travellers, is a little
too circumstantial. There is an air of truth
apparent through the whole ; and indeed the author was so distinguished for his veracity, that it became a sort of proverb among his neighbours at Redriffe, when any one affirmed a thing, to say it was as true as if Mr. Gulliver had spoken it.
By the advice of several worthy persons, to whom with the author's permission I communicated these papers, I now venture to send them into the world, hoping they may be, at least for some time, a better entertainment to our young noblemen, than the common scribbles of politicks and party.
This volume would have been at least twice as large, if I had not made bold to strike out innumerable passages relating to the winds and tides, as well as to the variations and bearings in the several voyages, together with the minute descriptions of the management of the ship in storms in the style of sailors ; likewise the account of longitudes and latitudes; wherein I have reason to apprehend, that Mr. Gulliver may be a little dissatisfied : but I was resolved to fit the work as much as possible to the general capacity of readers. However, if my own ignorance in sea affairs shall have led me to commit some mistakes, I alone am answerable for them : And if any traveller has a curiosity to see the whole work at large, as it came from the hands of the au. thor, I will be ready to gratify him.
As for any farther particulars relating to the author, the reader will receive satisfaction from the first pages of the book.
A LETTER A LETTER
WRITTEN IN THE YEAR 1727.
I HOPE you will be ready to own publickly, whenever you shall be called to it, that by your great and frequent urgency you prevailed on me to publish a very loose and uncorrect account of my travels, with direction to hire some young gentleman of either university to put them in order, and correct the style, as my cousin Dampier did by my advice in his book called, “ A Voyage round the World.” But I do not remember I gave you power to consent, that any thing should be omitted, and much less that any thing should be inserted : therefore, as to the latter, I do here renounce everything of that kind; particularly a paragraph about her majesty queen Anne of most pious and glorious memory; although I did reverence and esteem her more than
of human species. But you, or your interpolator, ought to have considered, that as it was not my inclination, so was it not decent to praise any animal of our compo
sition before my master Houyhnhnm : And besides, the fact was altogether false ; for to my knowledge, being in England during some part of her majesty's reign, she did govern by a chief minister ; nay even by two successively, the first whereof was the lord of Godolphin, and the second the lord of Oxford ; so that
have made me say the thing that was not. Likewise in the account of the academy of projectors, and several passages
of discourse to my master Houyhnhnın, you have either omitted some material circumstances, or minced or changed them in such a manner, that I do hardly know my own work. When I formerly hinted to you something of this in a letter, you were pleased to answer that you were afraid of giving offence ; that people in power were very watchful over the press, and apt not only to interpret, but to punish every thing which looked like an inuendo (as I think you call it.) But, pray how could that which I spoke so many years ago, and at above five thousand leagues distance, in another reign, be applied to any of the Yahoos, who now are said to govern the herd; especially at a time when I little thought, or feared, the unhappiness of living under them? Have not I the niost reason to complain, when I see these very Yahoos carried by Houyhnhnms in a vehicle, as if they were brutes and those the rational creatures? And indeed to avoid so monstrous and detestable a sight was one principal motive of my retirement hither.
Thus much I thought proper to tell you in relation to yourself, and to the trust I reposed in you.
I do in the next place complain of my own great want of judgment, in being prevailed upon by the entreaties and false reasonings of you and
some others, very much against my own opinion, to suffer my travels to be published. Pray bring to your mind how often I desired you to consider, when you insisted on the motive of publick good, that the Yahoos were a species of animals utterly incapable of amendment by pręcepts or example: and so it has proved ; for, instead of seeing a full stop put to all abuses and corruptions, at least in this little island, as I had reason to expect; behold, after above six months, warning, I cannot learn that my book has produced one single effect according to my intentions. I desired you would let me know, by a letter, when party and faction were extinguished ; judges learned and upright ; pleaders honest and modest with some tincture of common sense, and Smithfield blazing with pyramids of law books ; the young nobility's education entirely changed ; the physicians banished; the female Yahoos abounding in virtue, honour, truth, and good sense; courts and levees of great ministers thoroughly weeded and swept; wit, merit, and learning rewarded ; all disgracers of the
in prose and verse condemned to eat nothing but their own cotton, and quench their thirst with their own ink. These, and a thousand other reformations, I firmly counted upon by your encouragement; as indeed they were plainly deducible from the precepts delivered in my book. And it must be owned, that seven months were a sufficient time to correct every vice and folly to which Yahoos are subject, if their natures had been capable of the least disposition to virtue or wisdom : Yet, so far have you been from answering my expectation in any of your letters ; that on the contrary you are loading.our carrier every week with libels, and keys,