Stories of Gulliver's Travels Told to the Children - John Lang

Gulliver's Birth and Early Voyages

Two hundred years ago, a great deal of the world as we now know it was still undiscovered; there were yet very many islands, small and great, on which the eyes of white men had never looked, seas in which nothing bigger than an Indian canoe had ever sailed.

A voyage in those days was not often a pleasant thing, for ships then were very bluff-bowed and slow-sailing, and, for a long voyage, very ill-provided with food. There were no tinned meats two hundred years ago, no luxuries for use even in the cabin. Sailors lived chiefly on salt junk, as hard as leather, on biscuit that was generally as much weevil as biscuit, and the water that they drank was evil-smelling and bad when it had been long in the ship's casks.

So, when a man said good-bye to his friends and sailed away into the unknown, generally very many years passed before he came back,—if ever he came back at all. For the dangers of the seas were then far greater than they now are, and if a ship was not wrecked some dark night on an unknown island or uncharted reef, there was always the probability of meeting a pirate vessel and of having to fight for life and liberty. Steam has nowadays nearly done away with pirates, except on the China coast and in a few other out of the way places. But things were different long ago, before steamers were, invented; and sailors then, when they came home, had many very surprising things to tell their friends, many astonishing adventures to speak of, amongst the strange peoples that they said they had met in far-off lands. One man, who saw more wonderful things than any one else, was named Lemuel Gulliver, and I will try to tell you a little about two of his voyages.

Gulliver was born in Nottinghamshire, and when he was only fourteen years old he was sent to Emanuel College, Cambridge. There he remained till he was seventeen, but his father had not money enough to keep him any longer at the University. So, as was then the custom for those who meant to become doctors, he was bound apprentice to a surgeon in London, under whom he studied for four years. But all the time, as often as his father sent him money, he spent some of it in learning navigation (which means the art of finding your way across the sea, far from land). He had always had a great longing to travel, and he thought that a knowledge of navigation would be of use to him if he should happen to go a voyage.

After leaving London, he went to Germany, and there studied medicine for some years, with the view of being appointed surgeon of a ship. And by the help of his late master in London, such a post he did get on board the Swallow, on which vessel he made several voyages. But tiring of this, he settled in London, and, having married, began practice as a doctor.

He did not, however, make much money at that, and so for six years he again went to sea as a surgeon, sailing both to the East and to the West Indies.

Again tiring of the sea, he once more settled on shore, this time at Wapping, because in that place there are always many sailors, and he hoped to make money by doctoring them.

But this turned out badly, and on May 4, 1699, he sailed from Bristol for the South Seas as surgeon of a ship named the Antelope.

Gulliver Sails for the South Seas, and is Wrecked on the Coast of Lilliput

At first, everything went well, but after leaving the South Seas, when steering for the East Indies, the ship was driven by a great storm far to the south. The gale lasted so long that twelve of the crew died from the effects of the hard work and the bad food, and all the others were worn out and weak. On a sailing ship, when the weather is very heavy, all hands have to be constantly on deck, and there is little rest for the men. Perhaps a sail, one of the few that can still be carried in such a gale, may be blown to ribbons by the furious wind, and a new one has to be bent on.

The night, perhaps, is dark, the tattered canvas is thrashing with a noise like thunder, the ship burying her decks under angry black seas every few minutes. The men's hands are numb with the cold and the wet, and the hard, dangerous work aloft. There is no chance of going below when their job is done, to "turn in" between warm, dry blankets in a snug berth. Possibly even those who belong to the "watch below" may have to remain on deck. Or, if they have the good fortune to be allowed to go below, they may no sooner have dropped off asleep (rolled round in blankets which perhaps have been wet ever since the gale began) than there is a thump, thump overhead, and one of the watch on deck bellows down the forecastle-hatch, "All hands shorten sail." And out they must tumble again, once more to battle with the hungry, roaring seas and the raging wind. So, when there has been a long spell of bad weather, it is no wonder that the men are worn out. And when, as was the case in Gulliver's ship, the food also is bad, it is easy to understand why so many of the crew had died.

It was on the 5th of November, the beginning of summer in latitudes south of the Equator. The storm had not yet cleared off, and the weather was very thick, the wind coming in furious squalls that drove the ship along at great speed, when suddenly from the lookout man came a wild cry—"Breakers ahead!"

But so close had the vessel come to the rocks before they were seen through the thick driving spray, that immediately, with a heavy plunge, she crashed into the reef, and split her bows.

Gulliver and six of the crew lowered a boat and got clear of the wreck and of the breakers. But the men were so weak from overwork that they could not handle the boat in such a sea, and very soon, during a fierce squall, she sank. What became of the men Gulliver never knew, for he saw none of them ever again. Probably they were drowned at once, for they were too weak to keep long afloat in a sea breaking so heavily.

And indeed, Gulliver himself was like to have been lost. He swam till no strength or feeling was left in his arms and legs, swam bravely, his breath coming in great sobs, his eyes blinded with the salt seas that broke over his head. Still he struggled on, utterly spent, until at last, in a part where the wind seemed to have less force, and the seas swept over him less furiously, on letting down his legs he found that he was within his depth. But the shore shelved so gradually that for nearly a mile he had to wade wearily through the shallow water, till, fainting almost with fatigue, he reached dry land.

By this time darkness was coming on, and there were no signs of houses or of people. He staggered forward but a little distance, and then, on the short, soft turf, sank down exhausted.

Before leaving the ship, Gulliver had drunk a large quantity of brandy. Perhaps that caused him to sleep more than usually sound.

When he woke, the sun was shining, and he tried to rise; but not by any means could he stir hand or foot. Gulliver had fallen asleep lying on his back, and now he found that his arms and legs were tightly fastened to the ground. Across his body were numbers of thin but strong cords, and even his hair, which was very long, was pegged down so securely that he could not turn his head.

All round about him there was a confused sound of voices, but he could see nothing except the sky, and the sun shone so hot and fierce into his eyes that he could scarcely keep them open.

Soon he felt something come gently up his left leg, and forward on to his breast almost to his chin. Looking down as much as possible, he saw standing there a very little man, not more than six inches high, armed with a bow and arrows.

Then many more small men began to swarm over him. Gulliver let out such a roar of wonder and fright that they all turned and ran, many of them getting bad falls in their hurry to get out of danger. But very quickly the little people came back again.

This time, with a great struggle Gulliver managed to break the cords that fastened his left arm, and at the same time, by a violent wrench that hurt him dreadfully, he slightly loosened the strings that fastened his hair, so that he was able to turn his head a little to one side. But the little men were too quick for him, and got out of reach before he could catch any of them.

Then he heard a great shouting, followed by a shrill little voice that called sharply,—"Tolgo phonac."  Immediately, arrows like needles were shot into his hand, and another volley struck him in the face. Poor Gulliver covered his face with his hand, and lay groaning with pain.

Gulliver in Lilliput


Again he struggled to get loose. But the harder he fought for freedom, the more the little men shot arrows into him, and some of them even tried to run their spears into his sides.

When he found that the more he struggled the more he was hurt, Gulliver lay still, thinking to himself that at night at least, now that his left hand was free, he could easily get rid of the rest of his bonds. As soon as the little people saw that he struggled no more, they ceased shooting at him; but he knew from the increasing sound of voices that more and more of the little soldiers were coming round him.

Soon, a few yards from him, on the right, he heard a continued sound of hammering, and on turning his head to that side as far as the strings would let him, he saw that a small wooden stage was being built. On to this, when it was finished, there climbed by ladders four men, and one of them (who seemed to be a very important person, for a little page boy attended to hold up his train) immediately gave an order. At once about fifty of the soldiers ran forward and cut the strings that tied Gulliver's hair on the left side, so that he could turn his head easily to the right.

Then the person began to make a long speech, not one word of which could Gulliver understand, but it seemed to him that sometimes the little man threatened, and sometimes made offers of kindness.

As well as he could, Gulliver made signs that he submitted. Then, feeling by this time faint with hunger, he pointed with his fingers many times to his mouth, to show that he wanted something to eat.

They understood him very well. Several ladders were put against Gulliver's sides, and about a hundred little people climbed up and carried to his mouth all kinds of bread and meat. There were things shaped like legs, and shoulders, and saddles of mutton. Very good they were, Gulliver thought, but very small, no bigger than a lark's wings; and the loaves of bread were about the size of bullets, so that he could take several at a mouthful. The people wondered greatly at the amount that he ate.

When he signed that he was thirsty, they slung up on to his body two of their biggest casks of wine, and having rolled them forward to his hand they knocked out the heads of the casks. Gulliver drank them both off at a draught, and asked for more, for they held only about a small tumblerful each. But there was no more to be had.

As the small people walked to and fro over his body, Gulliver was sorely tempted to seize forty or fifty of them and dash them on the ground, and then to make a further struggle for liberty. But the pain he had already suffered from their arrows made him think better of it, and he wisely lay quiet.

Soon another small man, who from his brilliant uniform seemed to be an officer of very high rank, marched with some others on to Gulliver's chest and held up to his eyes a paper which Gulliver understood to be an order from the King of the country. The officer made a long speech, often pointing towards something a long way off, and (as Gulliver afterwards learned) told him that he was to be taken as a prisoner to the city, the capital of the country.

Gulliver asked, by signs, that his bonds might be loosed. The officer shook his head and refused, but he allowed some of his soldiers to slack the cords on one side, whereby Gulliver was able to feel more comfortable. After this, the little people drew out the arrows that still stuck in his hands and face, and rubbed the wounds with some pleasant-smelling ointment, which so soothed his pain that very soon he fell sound asleep. And this was no great wonder, for, as he afterwards understood, the King's physicians had mixed a very strong sleeping draught with the wine that had been given him.

Gulliver awoke with a violent fit of sneezing, and with the feeling of small feet running away from off his chest.

Where was he? Bound still, without doubt, but no longer did he find himself lying on the ground. It puzzled him greatly that now he lay on a sort of platform. How had he got there?

Soon he began to realise what had happened; and later, when he understood the language, he learned all that had been done to him whilst he slept. Before he dropped asleep, he had heard a rumbling as of wheels, and the shouts of many drivers. This, it seemed, was caused by the arrival of a huge kind of trolly, a few inches high, but nearly seven feet long, drawn by fifteen hundred of the King's largest horses.

On this it was meant that he should be taken to the city. By the use of strong poles fixed in the ground, to which were attached many pulleys, and the strongest ropes to be found in the country, nine hundred men managed to hoist him as he slept. They then put him on the trolly, where they again tied him fast.

It was when they were far on their way to the City that Gulliver awoke. The trolly had stopped for a little to breathe the horses, and one of the officers of the King's Guard who had not before seen Gulliver, climbed with some friends up his body. Whilst looking at his face, the officer could not resist the temptation of putting the point of his sword up Gulliver's nose, which so tickled him that he woke, sneezing violently.

Gulliver is Taken as a Prisoner to the Capital of Lilliput

The city was not reached till the following day, and Gulliver had to spend the night lying where he was, guarded on each side by five hundred men with torches and bows and arrows, ready to shoot him if he should attempt to move.

In the morning, the King and all his court, and thousands of the people, came out to gaze on the wonderful sight. The trolly, with Gulliver on it, stopped outside the walls, alongside a very large building which had once been used as a temple, but the use of which had been given up owing to a murder having been committed in it.

The door of this temple was quite four feet high and about two feet wide, and on each side, about six inches from the ground, was a small window. Inside the building the King's blacksmiths fastened many chains, which they then brought through one of these little windows and padlocked round Gulliver's left ankle. Then his bonds were cut, and he was allowed to get up. He found that he could easily creep through the door, and that there was room inside to lie down.

His chains were nearly six feet long, so that he could get a little exercise by walking backwards and forwards outside. Always when he walked, thousands of people thronged around to look at him; even the King himself used to come and gaze by the hour from a high tower which stood opposite.

One day, just as Gulliver had crept out from his house and had got on his feet, it chanced that the King, who was a very fine-looking man, taller than any of his people, came riding along on his great white charger. When the horse saw Gulliver move it was terrified, and plunged and reared so madly that the people feared that a terrible accident was going to happen, and several of the King's guards ran in to seize the horse by the head. But the King was a good horseman, and managed the animal so well that very soon it got over its fright, and he was able to dismount.

Gulliver in Lilliput


Then he gave orders that food should be brought for Gulliver,—twenty little carts full, and ten of wine; and he and his courtiers, all covered with gold and silver, stood around and watched him eating. After the King had gone away the people of the city crowded round, and some of them began to behave very badly, one man even going so far as to shoot an arrow at Gulliver which was not far from putting out one of his eyes. But the officer in command of the soldiers who were on guard ordered his men to bind and push six of the worst behaved of the crowd within reach of Gulliver, who at once seized five of them and put them in his coat pocket. The sixth he held up to his mouth and made as if he meant to eat him, whereupon the wretched little creature shrieked aloud with terror, and when Gulliver took out his knife, all the people, even the soldiers, were dreadfully alarmed. But Gulliver only cut the man's bonds, and let him run away, which he did in a very great hurry. And when he took the others out of his pocket, one by one, and treated them in the same way, the crowd began to laugh. After that the people always behaved very well to Gulliver, and he became a great favourite. From all over the kingdom crowds flocked to see the Great Man Mountain.

In the meantime, as Gulliver learned later, there were frequent meetings of the King's council to discuss the question of what was to be done with him. Some of the councillors feared lest he might break loose and cause great damage in the city. Some were of opinion that to keep and feed so huge a creature would cause a famine in the land, or, at the least, that the expense would be greater than the public funds could bear; they advised, therefore, that he should be killed—shot in the hands and face with poisoned arrows. Others, however, argued that if this were done it would be a very difficult thing to get rid of so large a dead body, which might cause a pestilence to break out if it lay long unburied so near the city.

Finally, the King and his council gave orders that each morning the surrounding villages should send into the city for Gulliver's daily use six oxen, forty sheep, and a sufficient quantity of bread and wine.

It was also commanded that six hundred persons should act as his servants; that three hundred tailors were to make for him a suit of clothes; and that six professors from the University were to teach him the language of the country.

When Gulliver could speak the language, he learned a great deal about the land in which he now found himself. It was called Lilliput, and the people, Lilliputians. These Lilliputians believed that their kingdom and the neighbouring country of Blefuscu were the whole world. Blefuscu lay far over the sea, to these little people dim and blue on the horizon, though to Gulliver the distance did not seem to be more than a mile. The Lilliputians knew of no land beyond Blefuscu. And as for Gulliver himself, they believed that he had fallen from the moon, or from one of the stars; it was impossible, they said, that so big a race of men could live on the earth. It was quite certain that there could not be food enough for them. They did not believe Gulliver's story. He must have fallen from the moon!

Almost the first thing that Gulliver did when he knew the language fairly well, was to send a petition to the King, praying that his chains might be taken off and that he might be free to walk about. But this he was told could not then be granted. He must first, the King's council said, "swear a peace" with the kingdom of Lilliput, and afterwards, if by continued good behaviour he gained their confidence, he might be freed.

Meantime, by the King's orders, two high officers of state were sent to search him. Gulliver lifted up these officers in his hand and put them into each of his pockets, one after the other, and they made for the King a careful list of everything found there.

Gulliver afterward saw this inventory. His snuff-box they had described as a "huge silver chest, full of a sort of dust." Into that dust one of them stepped, and the snuff, flying up in his face, caused him nearly to sneeze his head off. His pistols they called "hollow pillars of iron, fastened to strong pieces of timber," and the use of his bullets, and of his powder (which he had been lucky enough to bring ashore dry, owing to his pouch being water-tight), they could not understand, whilst of his watch they could make nothing. They called it "a wonderful kind of engine, which makes an incessant noise like a water-wheel." But some fancied that it was perhaps a kind of animal. Certainly it was alive.

All these things, together with his sword, which he carried slung to a belt round his waist, Gulliver had to give up, first, as well as he could, explaining the use of them. The Lilliputians could not understand the pistols, and to show his meaning, Gulliver was obliged to fire one of them. At once hundreds of the little people fell down as if they had been struck dead by the noise. Even the King, though he stood his ground, was sorely frightened. Most of Gulliver's property was returned to him, but the pistols and powder and bullets, and his sword, were taken away and put, for safety, under strict guard.

As the King and his courtiers gained more faith in Gulliver, and became less afraid of his breaking loose and doing some mischief, they began to treat him in a more friendly way than they had hitherto done, and showed him more of the manners and customs of the country. Some of these were very curious.

One of the sports of which they were most fond was rope dancing, and there was no more certain means of being promoted to high office and power in the state than to possess great cleverness in that art. Indeed, it was said that the Lord High Treasurer had gained and kept his post chiefly through his great skill in turning somersaults on the tight rope. The Chief Secretary for private affairs ran him very close, and there was hardly a Minister of State who did not owe his position to such successes. Few of them, indeed, had escaped without severe accidents at one time or another, whilst trying some specially difficult feat, and many had been lamed for life. But however many and bad the falls, there were always plenty of other persons to attempt the same or some more difficult jump.

Taught by his narrow escape from a serious accident when his horse first saw Gulliver, the King now gave orders that the horses of his army, as well as those from the Royal stables, should be exercised daily close to the Man Mountain. Soon they became so used to the sight of him that they would come right up to his foot without starting or shying. Often the riders would jump their chargers over Gulliver's hand as he held it on the ground, and once the King's hunts-man, better mounted than most of the others, actually jumped over his foot, shoe and all,—a wonderful leap.

Gulliver saw that it was wise to amuse the King in this and other ways, because the more his Majesty was pleased with him the sooner was it likely that his liberty would be granted. So he asked one day that some strong sticks, about two feet in height, should be brought to him. Several of these he fixed firmly in the ground, and across them, near the top, he lashed four other sticks, enclosing a square space of about two and a half feet. Then to the uprights, about five inches lower than the crossed sticks, he tied his pocket handkerchief, and stretched it tight as a drum.

When the work was finished, he asked the King to let a troop of cavalry exercise on this stage. His Majesty was delighted with the idea, and for several days nothing pleased him more than to see Gulliver lift up the men and horses, and to watch them go through their drill on this platform. Sometimes he would even be lifted up himself and give the words of command; and once he persuaded the Queen, who was rather timid, to let herself be held up in her chair within full view of the scene. But a fiery horse one day, pawing with his hoof, wore a hole in the handkerchief, and came down heavily on its side, and after this Gulliver could no longer trust the strength of his stage.

Gulliver is Freed, and Captures the Blefuscan Fleet

By this time Gulliver's clothes were almost in rags. The three hundred tailors had not yet been able to finish his new suit, and he had no hat at all, for that had been lost as he came ashore from the wreck. So he was greatly pleased one day when an express message came to the King from the coast, saying that some men had found on the shore a great black, strangely-shaped mass, as high as a man; it was not alive, they were certain. It had never moved, though for a time they had watched, before going closer. After making certain that it was not likely to injure them, by mounting on each other's shoulders they had got on the top, which they found was flat and smooth, and, by the sound when stamped upon, they judged that it was hollow. It was thought that the object might possibly be something belonging to the Man Mountain, and they proposed by the help of five horses to bring it to the city.

Gulliver was sure that it must be his hat, and so it turned out. Nor was it very greatly damaged, either by the sea, or by being drawn by the horses over the ground all the way from the coast, except that two holes had been bored in the brim, to which a long cord had been fixed by hooks. Gulliver was much pleased to have it once more.

Two days after this the King took into his head a curious fancy. He ordered a review of troops to be held, and he directed that Gulliver should stand with his legs very wide apart, whilst under him both horse and foot were commanded to march. Over three thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry passed through the great arch made by his legs, colours flying and bands playing. The King and Queen themselves sat in their State Coach at the saluting point, near to his left leg, and all the while Gulliver dared not move a hairsbreadth, lest he should injure some of the soldiers.

Gulliver in Lilliput


Shortly after this, Gulliver was set free. There had been a meeting of the King's Council on the subject, and the Lord High Admiral was the only member in favour of still keeping him chained. This great officer to the end was Gulliver's bitter enemy, and though on this occasion he was out-voted, yet he was allowed to draw up the conditions which Gulliver was to sign before his chains were struck off.

The conditions were:

First, that he was not to quit the country without leave granted under the King's Great Seal.

Second, that he was not to come into the city without orders; at which times the people were to have two hours" notice to keep indoors,

Third, that he should keep to the high roads, and not walk or lie down in a meadow.

Fourth, that he was to take the utmost care not to trample on anybody, or on any horses or carriages, and that he was not to lift any persons in his hand against their will.

Fifth, that if at any time an express had to be sent in great haste, he was to carry the messenger and his horse in his pocket a six days" journey, and to bring them safely back.

Sixth, that he should be the King's ally against the Blefuscans, and that he should try to destroy their fleet, which was said to be preparing to invade Lilliput.

Seventh, that he should help the workmen to move certain great stones which were needed to repair some of the public buildings.

Eighth, that he should in "two moons" time" make an exact survey of the kingdom, by counting how many of his own paces it took him to go all round the coast.

Lastly, on his swearing to the above conditions, it was promised that he should have a daily allowance of meat and drink equal to the amount consumed by seventeen hundred and twenty-four of the Lilliputians, for they estimated that Gulliver's size was about equal to that number of their own people.

Though one or two of the conditions did not please him, especially that about helping the workmen (which he thought was making him too much a servant), yet Gulliver signed the document at once, and swore to observe its conditions.

After having done so, and having had his chains removed, the first thing he asked was to be allowed to see the city (which was called Mildendo). He found that it was surrounded by a great wall of about two and a half feet high, broad enough for one of their coaches-and-four to be driven along, and at every ten feet there were strong flanking towers.

Gulliver took off his coat, lest the tails might do damage to the roofs or chimneys of the houses, and he then stepped over the wall and very carefully walked down the finest of the streets, one quite five feet wide.

Wherever he went, the tops of the houses and the attic windows were packed with wondering spectators, and he reckoned that the town must hold quite half a million of people.

In the centre of the city, where the two chief streets met, stood the King's Palace, a very fine building surrounded by a wall. But he was not able to see the whole palace that day, because the part in which were the royal apartments was shut off by another wall nearly five feet in height, which he could not get over without risk of doing damage.

Some days later he climbed over by the help of two stools which he made from some of the largest trees in the Royal Park, trees nearly seven feet high, which he was allowed to cut down for the purpose. By putting one of the stools at each side of the wall, Gulliver was able to step across. Then, lying down on his side, and putting his face close to the open windows, he looked in and saw the Queen and all the young Princes. The Queen smiled, and held her hand out of one of the windows, that he might kiss it. She was very pleasant and friendly.

One day, about a fortnight after this, there came to call on him, Reldresal, the King's Chief Secretary, a very great man, one who had always been Gulliver's very good friend. This person had a long and serious talk with Gulliver about the state of the country.

He said that though to the outward eye things in Lilliput seemed very settled and prosperous, yet in reality there were troubles, both internal and external, that threatened the safety of the kingdom.

There had been in Lilliput for a very long time two parties at bitter enmity with each other, so bitter that they would neither eat, drink, nor talk together, and what one party did, the other would always try to undo. Each professed to believe that nothing good could come from the other. Any measure proposed by the party in power was by the other always looked upon as foolish or evil. And any new law passed by the Government party was said by the Opposition to be either a wicked attack on the liberties of the people, or something undertaken solely for the purpose of keeping that party in, and the Opposition out, of power. To such a pitch had things now come, said the Chief Secretary, entirely owing to the folly of the Opposition, that the business of the kingdom was almost at a standstill.

Meantime the country was in danger of an invasion by the Blefuscans, who were now fitting out a great fleet, which was almost ready to sail to attack Lilliput. The war with Blefuscu had been raging for some years, and the losses by both nations of ships and of men had been very heavy.

This war had broken out in the following way. It had always been the custom in Lilliput, as far back as history went, for people when breaking an egg at breakfast to do so at the big end. But it had happened, said the Chief Secretary, that the present King's grandfather, when a boy, had once when breaking his egg in the usual way, severely cut his finger. Whereupon his father at once gave strict commands that in future all his subjects should break their eggs at the small end.

This greatly angered the people, who thought that the King had no right to give such an order, and they refused to obey. As a consequence no less than six rebellions had taken place: thousands of the Lilliputians had had their heads cut off, or had been cast into prison, and thousands had fled for refuge to Blefuscu, rather than obey the hated order.

These "Big-endians," as they were called, had been very well received at the Court of Blefuscu, and finally the Emperor of that country had taken upon himself to interfere in the affairs of Lilliput, thus bringing on war.

The Chief Secretary ended the talk by saying that the King, having great faith in Gulliver's strength, and depending on the oath which he had sworn before being released, expected him now to help in defeating the Blefuscan fleet.

Gulliver was very ready to do what he could, and he at once thought of a plan whereby he might destroy the whole fleet at one blow. He told all his ideas on the subject to the King, who gave orders that everything he might need should be supplied without delay. Then Gulliver went to the oldest seamen in the navy, and learned from them the depth of water between Lilliput and Blefuscu. It was, they said, nowhere deeper than seventy glumgluffs  (which is equal to about six feet) at high water, and there was no great extent so deep.

After this he walked to the coast opposite Blefuscu, and lying down there behind a hillock, so that he might not be seen should any of the enemy's ships happen to be cruising near, he looked long through a small pocket telescope across the channel. With the naked eye he could easily see the cliffs of Blefuscu, and soon with his telescope he made out where the fleet lay—fifty great men-of-war, and many transports, waiting for a fair wind.

Coming back to the city, he gave orders for a great length of the strongest cable, and a quantity of bars of iron. The cable was little thicker than ordinary pack-thread, and the bars of iron much about the length and size of knitting-needles. Gulliver twisted three of the iron bars together and bent them to a hook at one end. He trebled the cable for greater strength, and thus made fifty shorter cables, to which he fastened the hooks.

Then, carrying these in his hand, he walked back to the coast and waded into the sea, a little before high water. When he came to mid-channel, he had to swim, but for no great distance.

As soon as they noticed Gulliver coming wading through the water towards their ships, the Blefuscan sailors all jumped over-board and swam ashore in a terrible fright. Never before had any of them seen or dreamt of so monstrous a giant, nor had they heard of his being in Lilliput.

Gulliver then quietly took his cables and fixed one securely in the bows of each of the ships of war, and finally he tied the cables together at his end. But whilst he was doing this the Blefuscan soldiers on the shore plucked up courage and began to shoot arrows at him, many of which stuck in his hands and face. He was very much afraid lest some of these might put out his eyes; but he remembered, luckily, that in his inner pocket were his spectacles, which he put on, and then finished his work without risk to his eyes.

On pulling at the cables, however, not a ship could he move. He had forgotten that their anchors were all down. So he was forced to go in closer and with his knife to cut the vessels free. Whilst doing this he was of course exposed to a furious fire from the enemy, and hundreds of arrows struck him, some almost knocking off his spectacles. But again he hauled, and this time drew the whole fifty vessels after him.

The Blefuscans had thought that it was his intention merely to cast the vessels adrift, so that they might run aground, but when they saw their great fleet being steadily drawn out to sea, their grief was terrible. For a great distance Gulliver could hear their cries of despair.

When he had got well away from the land, he stopped in order to pick the arrows from his face and hands, and to put on some of the ointment that had been rubbed on his wounds when first the Lilliputians fired into him. By this time the tide had fallen a little, and he was able to wade all the way across the channel.

The King and his courtiers stood waiting on the shore. They could see the vessels steadily drawing nearer, but they could not for some time see Gulliver, because only his head was above water. At first some imagined that he had been drowned, and that the fleet was now on its way to attack Lilliput.

There was great joy when Gulliver was seen hauling the vessels; and when he landed, the King was so pleased that on the spot he created him a Nardac, the highest honour that it was in his power to bestow.

His great success over the Blefuscans, however, turned out to be but the beginning of trouble for Gulliver. The King was so puffed up by the victory that he formed plans for capturing in the same way the whole of the enemy's ships of every kind. And it was now his wish to crush Blefuscu utterly, and to make it nothing but a province depending on Lilliput. Thus, he thought, he himself would then be monarch of the whole world.

In this scheme Gulliver refused to take any part, and he very plainly said that he would give no help in making slaves of the Blefuscans. This refusal angered the King very much, and more than once he artfully brought the matter up at a State Council. Now, several of the councillors, though they pretended to be Gulliver's friends so long as he was in favour with the King, were really his secret enemies, and nothing pleased these persons better than to see that the King was no longer pleased with him. So they did all in their power to nurse and increase the King's anger, and to make him believe that Gulliver was a traitor.

About this time there came to Lilliput ambassadors from Blefuscu, suing for peace. When a treaty had been made and signed (very greatly to the advantage of Lilliput), the Blefuscan ambassadors asked to see the Great Man Mountain, of whom they had heard so much, and they paid Gulliver a formal call. After asking him to give them some proofs of his strength, they invited him to visit their emperor, which Gulliver promised to do.

Accordingly, the next time that he met the King, he asked, as he was bound to do by the paper he had signed, for permission to leave the country for a time, in order to visit Blefuscu. The King did not refuse, but his manner was so cold that Gulliver could not help noticing it. Afterwards he learned from a friend that his enemies in the council had told the King lying tales of his meetings with the Blefuscan ambassadors, which had had the effect of still further rousing his anger.

It happened too, most unfortunately, at this time, that Gulliver had offended the Queen by a well-meant, but badly-managed, effort to do her a service, and thus he lost also her friendship. But though he was now out of favour at Court, he was still an object of great interest to every one.

Gulliver's Escape from Lilliput and Return to England

Gulliver had three hundred cooks to dress his food, and these men, with their families, lived in small huts which had been built for them near his house.

He had made for himself a chair and a table. On to this table it was his custom to lift twenty waiters, and these men then drew up by ropes and pulleys all his food, and his wine in casks, which one hundred other servants had in readiness on the ground. Gulliver would often eat his meal with many hundreds of people looking on.

One day the King, who had not seen him eat since this table had been built, sent a message that he and the Queen desired to be present that day whilst Gulliver dined. They arrived just before his dinner hour, and he at once lifted the King and Queen and the Princes, with their attendants and guards, on to the table.

Their Majesties sat in their chairs of state all the time, watching with deep interest the roasts of beef and mutton, and whole flocks of geese and turkeys and fowls disappear into Gulliver's mouth. A roast of beef of which he had to make more than two mouthfuls was seldom seen, and he ate them bones and all. A goose or a turkey was but one bite.

Certainly, on this occasion, Gulliver ate more than usual, thinking by so doing to amuse and please the court.

But in this he erred, for it was turned against him. Flimnap, the Lord High Treasurer, who had always been one of his enemies, pointed out to the King the great daily expense of such meals, and told how this huge man had already cost the country over a million and a half of sprugs  (the largest Lilliputian gold coin). Things, indeed, were beginning to go very ill with Gulliver.

Now it happened about this time that one of the King's courtiers, to whom Gulliver had been very kind, came to him by night very privately in a closed chair, and asked to have a talk, without any one else being present.

Gulliver gave to a servant whom he could trust orders that no one else was to be admitted, and having put the courtier and his chair upon the table, so that he might better hear all that was said, he sat down to listen.

Gulliver in Lilliput


Gulliver was told that there had lately been several secret meetings of the King's Privy Council, on his account. The Lord High Admiral (who now hated him because of his success against the Blefuscan Fleet), Flimnap, the High Treasurer, and others of his enemies, had drawn up against him charges of treason and other crimes. The courtier had brought with him a copy of these charges, and Gulliver now read them.

It was made a point against him that, when ordered to do so by the King, he had refused to seize all the other Blefuscan ships. It was also said that he would not join in utterly crushing the Empire of Blefuscu, nor give aid when it was proposed to put to death not only all the Bigendians who had fled for refuge to that country, but all the Blefuscans themselves who were friends of the Bigendians. For this he was said to be a traitor.

He was also accused of being over-friendly with the Blefuscan ambassadors; and it was made a grave charge against him that though his Majesty had not given him written leave to visit Blefuscu, he yet was getting ready to go to that country, in order to give help to the Emperor against Lilliput.

There had been many debates on these charges, said the courtier, and the Lord High Admiral had made violent speeches, strongly advising that the Great Man Mountain should be put to death. In this he was joined by Flimnap, and by others, so that actually the greater part of the council was in favour of instant death by the most painful means that could be used.

The less unfriendly members of the council, however, whilst saying that they had no doubt of Gulliver's guilt, were yet of opinion that, as his services to the Kingdom of Lilliput had been great, the punishment of death was too severe. They thought it would be enough if his eyes were put out. This, they said, would not prevent him from still being made useful.

Then began a most excited argument, the Admiral and those who sided with him insisting that Gulliver should be killed at once.

At last the Secretary rose and said that he had a middle course to suggest. This was, that Gulliver's eyes should be put out, and that thereafter his food should be gradually so reduced in quantity that in the course of two or three months he would die of starvation. By which time, said the Secretary, his body would be wasted to an extent that would make it easy for five or six thousand men, in a few days, to cut off the flesh and take it away in cart loads to be buried at a distance. Thus there would be no danger of a pestilence breaking out from the dead body lying near the city. The skeleton, he said, could then be put in the National Museum.

It was finally decided that this sentence should be carried out, and twenty of the King's surgeons were ordered to be present in three days" time to see the operation of putting out Gulliver's eyes properly done. Sharp pointed arrows were to be shot into the balls of his eyes.

The courtier now left the house, as privately as he had come, and Gulliver was left to decide what he should do.

At first he thought of attacking the city, and destroying it. But by doing this he must have destroyed, with the city, a great many thousands of innocent people, which he could not make up his mind to do.

At last he wrote a letter to the Chief Secretary, saying that as the King had himself told him that he might visit Blefuscu, he had decided to do so that morning.

Without waiting for an answer, he set out for the coast, where he seized a large man-of-war which was at anchor there, tied a cable to her bow, and then putting his clothes and his blanket on board, he drew the ship after him to Blefuscu. There he was well received by the Emperor. But as there happened to be no house big enough for him, he was forced, during his stay, to sleep each night on the ground, wrapped in his blanket.

Three days after his arrival, when walking along the sea-shore, he noticed something in the water which looked not unlike a boat floating bottom up. Gulliver waded and swam out, and found that he was right. It was a boat. By the help of some of the Blefuscan ships, with much difficulty he got it ashore. When the tide had fallen, two thousand of the Emperor's dockyard men helped him to turn it over, and Gulliver found that but little damage had been done.

He now set to work to make oars and mast and sail for the boat, and to fit it out and provision it for a voyage.

Whilst this work was going on, there came from Lilliput a message demanding that Gulliver should be bound hand prisoner, foot and returned to that country as a there to be punished as a traitor. To this message the Emperor replied that it was not possible to bind him; that moreover the Great Man Mountain had found a vessel of size great enough to carry him over the sea, and that it was his purpose to leave the Empire of Blefuscu in the course of a few weeks.

Gulliver did not delay his work, and in less than a month he was ready to sail.

He put on board the boat the carcasses of one hundred oxen and three hundred sheep, with a quantity of bread and wine, and as much meat ready cooked as four hundred cooks could prepare.

He also tools with him a herd of six live black cows acid two bulls, and a flock of sheep, meaning to take them with him to England, if ever he should get there. As food for these animals he took a quantity of hay and corn.

Gulliver would have liked to take with him some of the people, but this the Emperor would not permit.

Everything being ready, he sailed from Blefuscu on 24th September 1701, and the same night anchored on the lee side of an island which seemed to be uninhabited. Leaving this island on the following morning, he sailed to the eastward for two days. On the evening of the second day he sighted a ship, on reaching which, to his great joy, he found that she was an English vessel on her way home from Japan.

Putting his cattle and sheep in his coat pockets, he went on board with all his cargo of provisions. The captain received him very kindly, and asked him from whence he had come, and how he happened to be at sea in an open boat.

Gulliver told his tale in as few words as possible. The captain stared with wonder, and would not believe his story. But Gulliver then took from his pockets the black cattle and the sheep, which of course clearly showed that he had been speaking truth. He also showed gold coins which the Emperor of Blefuscu had given to him, some of which he presented to the captain.

The vessel did not arrive at the port of London till April 1702, but without loss of any of the live stock, excepting that the rats on board carried off and ate one of the sheep. All the others were got safely ashore, and were put to graze on a bowling-green at Greenwich, where they throve very well.

Gulliver is Left Ashore in a Strange Land, and is Captured by a Giant

Gulliver was not a man who liked to stop at home, or in one place, for any length of time, and he had been but little more than two months in England with his wife and family, when the old longing to travel in far-away lands again came over him.

He had made money by showing the cattle and sheep which he had brought from Blefuscu, and he now sold them for six hundred pounds. He had also, through the death of an uncle, received some other property, and was able to leave with his wife a sum of about fifteen hundred pounds, besides a small yearly amount. His mind being thus free from care as to the well-being of his family, he said good-bye to them, and went on board the Adventure, a small ship which was about to sail for Surat, in the East Indies.

From the time of leaving England until they reached the Cape of Good Hope, the wind was almost constantly fair, and the vessel made a very good passage. At the Cape, however, the ship's casks needed to be filled with fresh water, and whilst this was being done it was found that the vessel was leaking so badly that most of the cargo had to be taken out of her. Before the leak could be stopped and the cargo re-shipped, the captain fell ill. Thus many months passed before the ship could continue her voyage.

Leaving the Cape of Good Hope, they sailed through the Straits of Madagascar on their way to India, and a few days after passing the Straits a wind which is called the South-West Monsoon sprang up. This wind each year begins to blow in the Indian Ocean in May, and it blows without ceasing for several months. The time when Gulliver's ship was there, was at what is called the Break of the Monsoon, when the wind is very furious, and the rain falls in blinding sheets, such as are never seen in England.

The storm struck the Adventure  very severely, and raised a most dangerous sea. For weeks this continued, and never a sight of the sun could be got. The vessel drove before the wind until no man on board could guess in what part of the world they were. Every day the captain sent a man up to the fore topmast to look out for land, and every night sail was taken off the ship, so that she should go more slowly, lest in the dark she might run on some unknown rock.

One morning, very early, the lookout man spied land far off, and the Adventure ran in towards it as close as the captain dared, and cast anchor. Then a boat with twelve men was sent to the shore, which was about three miles away, to try to get water to fill the ship's casks. Gulliver asked that he might be allowed to go ashore with the men. When they reached the land, no river or spring of water was to be seen, and the sailors went a great way along the beach looking for it. Gulliver went by himself, inland, thinking that from a hill he might discover some signs of people or of houses. But all the country within sight was rocky and bare, without trees or grass.

He was soon weary, and began to return towards the place where the boat had been left.

When at last he came in sight of the sea, to his horror, already far from the shore, he beheld the boat, the men rowing with frantic haste towards the Adventure. On the ship herself, the anchor was being got up, sails let fall, and everything made ready to be off in a hurry as soon as the boat should join her.

Gulliver in Brobdingnag


Nearer land, wading knee-deep through the waves, with great strides that set the water foaming, stumbling sometimes as his feet came against the sharp pointed rocks, but always gaining on the boat, was an enormous man, bigger even than a giant in a fairy tale.

Gulliver looked for a moment, his knees giving way with fear. Then he turned and ran for his life. It seemed to him as if his feet were weighted with lead; as if at every step something were dragging him back. It must be a dream, sometimes he thought, and he would wake presently to find himself snug in his hammock on board ship.

But it was no dream, and ever as he ran, over his shoulder he could see the head of the monster showing above the cliff, as he still kept up his chase of the boat.

At length, with hard-drawn breath and thumping heart, Gulliver scrambled up and over a high and very steep hill. On the side farthest from the sea, to his great surprise he found cultivated fields, fields of huge size, and the grass in them, which looked as if it were meant for hay, was fully twenty feet high.

Presently he came to what seemed to be a wide road, though afterwards he found that it was but a footpath which the people used, through a field of barley. Along this he walked for quite an hour. On each side the ripe crop rose above his head between thirty and forty feet, and he could see nothing else but the sky overhead. It was like walking along a cutting in a dense forest.

At last he came to the end of the field, which was fenced with a hedge near one hundred and twenty feet in height. The trees by the hedgerow were taller than anything he had ever seen or imagined. Between this field and the next was a stile with four steps, each step six feet high, and on top a stone of over twenty feet.

Gulliver could not get over, and he began to look for a gap in the hedge through which to creep. But as he looked he heard a noise.

Coming through the other field towards the stile was a monstrous man, as tall as that one from whom he had just fled. To Gulliver's eyes he seemed to be as high as a steeple, and he stepped about ten yards at every stride.

Sick with fear, and with sinking heart, Gulliver ran and hid in the corn. From there he watched the giant come to the top of the stile, turn round, and in a gruff, roaring voice that filled the air like thunder, call back to some one in the other field.

At his call there came seven other great men, each with a gigantic reaping-hook, as big as half a dozen scythes, in his hand. These men seemed to be farm labourers, for presently, having sharpened their hooks, they began to reap the corn in which Gulliver lay hid.

This frightened him still more, and he crept as far as he possibly could from the reapers. But the stalks of corn were so close together, seldom more than a foot apart, that sometimes it was with great difficulty that he could squeeze his body between them.

Soon he came to a place where the crop had been laid by wind and rain, and now he could go forward no farther, whilst on either side was the same tangled jungle. The stalks of the corn were so twisted together that it was not possible to force his way through, and the heads of the fallen barley-ears ran through his clothes and pierced his body like thorns. And ever the swish of the reapers" hooks drew nearer.

Now truly the fear of death was on him, and too late he wished that he had listened to his wife and to his friends when they advised him to stop at home.

Swish, swish, came the hooks; and the foot of one of the reapers was so close to him that in one other stride he must be crushed, like a frog under the hoof of an ox. Or, maybe, the hook would cut him in two. Gulliver crouched close to the ground, but as the great foot began to move, fear overcame him, and in his agony of mind he cried aloud, a shrill, long-drawn yell. The huge foot stopped short. Everywhere round about him the giant peered in wonder, and at last spied Gulliver.

Very cautiously, and as if he feared to be bitten, the giant seized him behind, under the arms, and held him up, the better to look at him. It was useless to struggle, and though his ribs were pinched so that it was hardly possible to breathe, Gulliver kept quite still, feeling indeed as helpless and despairing as a rabbit in the fangs of a weasel.

Every second he expected to be dashed to the ground, as one might throw down some reptile or noxious beast that one wished to destroy. And as he was held at a height from the ground of nearly sixty feet, he knew that even if by accident he were to slip through the giant's fingers, and fall that distance, he must be killed.

So, though Gulliver could breathe only with great difficulty, he kept still. But the pain of the squeezing of his ribs caused him to groan piteously, and even at last to weep. He could only clasp his hands together and gasp out a few humble words. To his wonder and relief, the giant seemed to understand that he was being hurt, and appeared pleased and interested to find that so small a creature could speak, even though it was not possible to make any meaning out of the little thing's words. Handling him now more gently, the giant ran and showed Gulliver to his master.

The farmer looked long and with great interest at him, lifting up the lappets of his coat with a straw, and with his breath blowing aside Gulliver's hair, which had fallen over his face, that he might better examine him. Then putting him on the ground, the farmer and his men sat round in a circle, laughingly watching his movements, and all loudly talking at the same time.

It was best to put a bold face on the matter, thought Gulliver, and he marched backwards and forwards very bravely. Then going up to the farmer and making a low bow, he offered him his purse, in which were some Spanish gold coins.

The man took the purse in the palm of his hand, and turned it over two or three times with the point of a pin which he took out of his sleeve; then he shook his head, as if to say that this was beyond him, and handed it back. Gulliver thereupon opened the purse, and making a sign to the farmer to put his hand on the ground, poured into his palm all the gold.

But it was no use. The farmer wet the tip of his little finger on his tongue, picked up one coin after the other, and looked at them, shook his head with a puzzled look, and gave them back.

Presently the farmer sent his men back to their work, and taking his handkerchief out of his pocket, spread it, doubled, on his hand, which he held on the ground so that Gulliver might step on to it. Gulliver walked on, and for greater safety lay down, when the farmer covered him up all but his head, and carried him home.

"Look!" said he to his wife, "see what I"ve brought you!" But the woman screamed, and jumped back as if her husband had offered to put an ugly spider on her neck. This hurt Gulliver's feelings a good deal, for he had always thought himself to be a man pleasing to look at.

However, when dinner was brought in, the woman minced up some meat and crumbled a little bread for him, and soon with the greatest delight she was watching him eat. So pleased was she that presently she got for him her smallest wine-glass, and filled it with a kind of cider.

With difficulty Gulliver raised the glass (for it held nearly as much as a horse could drink in England), and drank the woman's health, making her a low bow as he set the glass down. Thereat everybody at table laughed so loud that Gulliver's ears rang with the sound, and he was almost deafened.

The table was of great height from the ground, nearly thirty feet, and Gulliver kept well away from the edge, in fear that he might fall over. But one of the children, seeing this, seized him by the legs and held him high in air, whereat poor Gulliver trembled with fright, lest by accident he should be dropped. But to this sort of play the farmer put a speedy stop by soundly boxing his son's ears.

Presently Gulliver heard behind him a curious rumbling noise, very loud and disagreeable. Turning round, he found that this was caused by a huge cat, which sat purring in its mistress's lap. Its great yellow eyes were watching him, and from the size of its head he judged that the animal must be at least three times as big as a bullock.

This upset Gulliver's nerves somewhat, but thinking it wise to pretend that he felt no fear, he walked steadily up to the cat's head. It was a relief to find that she shrank from him, and seemed to be much more afraid of him than he of her. Dogs too there were in the room, great beasts many times larger than an elephant, but of them he did not have the same distrust as of the cat.

After dinner, a nurse brought in the youngest child, one not more than a year old. No sooner did the infant set eyes on Gulliver than it began to bawl to have him as a plaything. The mother very foolishly put him into its hand, whereupon the baby at once crammed Gulliver's head into its mouth, which caused him to let out such a yell of dismay that the frightened infant dropped him. This was a very narrow escape, for had it not chanced that the mother caught him in her apron, Gulliver would most certainly have had his neck broken in the fall.

Gulliver is Shown All Over the Country, and at Last is Bought by the Queen

The farmer now went back to his fields, to look after the workmen, and left Gulliver to the care of his wife. By this time, what with the excitement he had undergone, and the amount of running he had done when trying to escape, Gulliver was very tired and sleepy. The woman, noticing that he yawned a great deal, put him in her own bed, a huge thing nearly sixty feet wide and over twenty feet from the floor. On this she left him, and he lay alone in the vast room, covered up by one of the woman's handkerchiefs.

Soon he fell asleep, and dreamt of home and of his wife, which but made his grief the greater when he awoke.

As he lay there, longing for home, and very wretched, a movement of the curtains disturbed him. Raising himself on his elbow, he saw two enormous rats, as big as mastiffs, which had run up the curtains, and were hunting about over the bed. Soon one of them came up to him, and as Gulliver jumped up, placed its paws on his shoulders, and made a dash to seize him by the throat with its teeth.

Fortunately Gulliver still had his sword by his side, and drawing it he struck with all his strength. By great good luck the sword ripped up the brute's stomach, and it fell helpless and bleeding. The other rat, seeing its companion fall, fled with a loud squeak of fear, but before it got out of reach Gulliver gave it a tremendous slash on the back, which brought torrents of blood. Gulliver measured the dead rat's tail. It was two yards long all but one inch.

Gulliver in Brobdingnag


As he walked about on the bed, rather short of breath after this fight, and not a little nervous lest the other rat should return, the farmer's wife came in, and seeing him splashed all over with blood, she screamed loudly and took him in her hand, expecting to find that he had been badly hurt. But Gulliver, smiling, made signs that no harm had come to him, and pointed to the dead rat. The woman was greatly pleased to find him safe and unhurt, and one of the maids took up the rat with a pair of tongs and threw it out of the window.

Amongst the farmer's children was a girl of about nine years of age. This child took so great a fancy for Gulliver that she was never happy except when playing with him; indeed she treated him very much as if he were a live doll. The first night that he passed in the farmer's house, the girl fitted up for him the baby's cradle. This she put on a hanging shelf, in order to keep him safe from the rats, with which the place swarmed. After a few alterations had been made in it, this was Gulliver's bed as long as he remained with that family.

The girl also took great pleasure in making clothes for him, being very clever with her needle, and she constantly used to wash these clothes, and even sometimes insisted on putting them on him with her own hands. From her, too, he quickly learnt enough of the language to make himself understood. Gulliver always called the child "Glumdalclitch," which in the tongue of the country means "little nurse." As long as he remained in that land she had the care of him.

Amongst his neighbours there was much talk about the strange little creature that the farmer had found in his fields. Gulliver was to them a never-ending wonder. They were never weary of telling each other the latest news of him,—how tame he was; how he never attempted to bite nor to run away; how he certainly had a language of his own, and had even learned already to speak a few words in their tongue; how beautifully made he was, just, in fact, like a human being, though he was so ridiculously small.

One of those neighbours was an old man, a miser, who one night came to look at Gulliver. To this man nothing was of any interest unless money could be made out of it, and he was the cause of much future misery and trouble to Gulliver. No sooner did the old man set eyes on him, peering in a short-sighted way through his spectacles, than it was easy to see that some scheme was in his mind.

Presently said he to Gulliver's master—"Now, here is a great chance. If you were to show this little creature next market-day, and make each person pay to look at him, you would certainly get a lot of money. Hundreds of people would be willing to pay to see him."

Gulliver could see that the farmer and the old man were talking about him, and next morning Glumdalclitch told him all her father's plans. She was very angry, for she wanted to keep Gulliver all to herself. But her father had been greatly taken by the old miser's idea of thus making money.

"Tut! Tut! Tut!" said he, "run away, like a good little girl, and don't bother me. You don't understand such things."

Glumdalclitch wept so much at this that Gulliver was made almost as wet as if he had been out in a heavy thunderstorm. It was very uncomfortable and damp. Even his shoes were wet.

The idea that he was to be made a peep-show was most distressing to Gulliver, but it was quite useless to say anything.

The farmer lived not far from a big town, and next market-day off he set on horseback, with Glumdalclitch sitting behind him on a pillion (which is a sort of pad fixed behind the saddle).

Glumdalclitch carried Gulliver with her in a box, which she had lined with a thick quilt from the baby's bed. There was a little door for him to go in and out by, and there were holes bored for air; but it was a most uncomfortable journey. The horse went nearly forty feet at each step, and Gulliver was dreadfully bumped about and shaken in his box, and he felt very sick. It was worse than going to sea for the first time.

At the inn where they stopped, the farmer hired a large room. Then he sent the town crier round with his bell to give notice to the people that "a most wonderful little creature had been picked up, and was to be seen at the "Green Eagle" Inn, a creature looking like a human being and able to speak a few words, and which could perform a hundred funny tricks." Gulliver felt that he was being treated with as little respect as if he had been a monkey.

The old miser was right. People flocked in hundreds to see him, and the crowd became so large that the farmer refused at last to allow more than thirty people in the room at one time. Even then, their curiosity was so great that he had to make with benches a kind of fence round the table on which Gulliver went through his performances. Over and over, hour after hour, he had to let the spectators see him go through cutlass drill with his hanger, till he was almost dead from fatigue.

But there was little rest now for Gulliver, even when at the farmer's house. People, with their families, came from hundreds of miles around to see him, and for each set of people there was the same weary performance, bowing to the audience, saying in their own tongue, "Ladies and Gentlemen you are very welcome," then drawing his hanger, and going through his cutlass drill. It was very weary work, and the close air of the crowded rooms began to tell on Gulliver's health.

But so much money did his master make by these performances, and by those on market-days, that he now made up his mind to take Gulliver to the capital of the country, a city three thousand miles away, to exhibit him there. They started on horseback in the same way they had gone to the market town, Glumdalclitch sitting on a pillion behind her father. But this time she had a better box for Gulliver, comfortably padded inside, and with a bed in it for him to lie on. This she strapped round her waist.

At every town and village that they passed through, Gulliver had to give an exhibition, so that by the time the city was reached he was little better than a skeleton, quite worn out with the hard work and the constant bumping about whilst they travelled.

But the more money the fanner made out of him, the more he wanted to get. At last Gulliver grew so thin that his master feared that he was certainly going to die. This would be a very serious loss, and the man began to wonder if it might not be possible to sell him to some one else whilst he was not yet too ill to move about.

It happened just at this time, after Gulliver had been shown a few times in the city, that the Queen of the country, having heard of him from some of the court ladies, sent a message commanding the farmer to bring him to the palace. Her Majesty, when she saw him, was charmed with his looks and manners, and asked him if he would be content to live at Court.

Gulliver bowed very low, and most politely answered that if it were left to himself, nothing could make him more proud than to devote his life to the service of so beautiful a lady. The Queen was greatly pleased, and at once asked his master if he would care to sell.

The farmer cunningly replied that he was a very poor man, as her Majesty could see, and that to part with Gulliver would mean the loss of his chief means of living. If, however, her Most Gracious Majesty wanted to buy, he would sell, to her, for no more than one thousand pieces of gold.

The bargain was quickly made, and it was also arranged that Glumdalclitch was to remain in the Queen's service, in order to take care of Gulliver. Then the farmer, thinking that Gulliver could not live a month, went away full of joy at having made so good a bargain.

After this there was rest, and Gulliver very quickly regained his health.

Many were the disputes between the learned men of the country as to what Gulliver really was, and how he had lived before being picked up by the farmer. He was too feeble, they said, to defend himself against the attacks of wild animals; too slow of foot to catch even field-mice for his food. Yet his teeth showed that he was a flesh-eating animal. How then had he lived?

Some argued that his chief food had been snails, and various insects. But this idea was rejected with scorn by other scholars, and the quarrel did not seem likely soon to end.

Each side thought the arguments of the other to be hardly worth answering, and their own side of the question to be unanswerable. On but one point could they agree, and this was that certainly Gulliver was not a dwarf, because the Queen's favourite dwarf, who was by far the smallest that had ever been known in the country, was quite thirty feet in height, whilst this little creature was barely six.

To Gulliver's own explanation of where he came from, they scarcely listened; they only smiled with contempt. "It was absurd," they said; "quite impossible." Finally, they gave it as their opinion that he was a freak of nature.

Gulliver's Life at Court, and Some of the Accidents that Befell Him

The king, however, was inclined to believe that what Gulliver said might have some truth in it. He had begun to take much interest in the little creature that the Queen had bought, and he requested her Majesty to give orders that the greatest care should be taken in attending to all his wants.

The Queen's cabinet-maker was set to make a box for him to live in, and in three weeks he finished a very neat little affair, with two windows and a door. The ceiling, or roof, could be raised on hinges. Into this little room were put a bed, some chairs, a table, and a little cabinet for his clothes, all so small as to be looked on as toys. The room was quilted all over, ceiling and floor and walls, so that there might be no danger of an accident when he was carried about in it.

From this time onward, Gulliver was a great favourite with all the members of the Royal Family, and at meals his little table and chair were always set on the Queen's own table, near her left hand.

But for all these marks of favour he had to pay. The Queen's dwarf became jealous of the attention that was shown to Gulliver, and constantly played spiteful and nasty tricks on him, for which, of course, Gulliver was too small to take any revenge, except by means of his tongue. Often he made the dwarf perfectly furious by the things he said, for, like most dwarfs, this one had a very irritable temper, which was easily roused. He could not bear to be laughed at.

One day, at dinner, the dwarf was so angered by some remark made by Gulliver that he jumped up on the frame of the Queen's chair, seized Gulliver by the middle, before any one could interfere, dropped him into a bowl of cream, and then ran away. Gulliver struck out, but the cream was so thick that it was hardly possible for him to swim in it, and when he struggled to the side, choking and spitting, the bowl was so smooth and slippery that there was nothing to hold on by, and he was like to drown. For the Queen was so frightened that she lost her head, and instead of snatching him out, only screamed. Luckily, Glumdalclitch was not far off, and she saved him, but not before he had swallowed nearly a quart of cream. For this trick the dwarf got a sound thrashing, and was made to drink up all the cream in which Gulliver had swum.

Another day the dwarf played him a particularly nasty trick. The Queen was very fond of marrow-bones, and had had one for supper. She knocked out the marrow, and had stood the bone on its end in her plate. The dwarf watched his chance. When no one was looking, and Glumdalclitch had gone to the sideboard, he jumped on to the stool on which she usually stood when attending Gulliver at meals, took him up in both hands, and squeezing his feet together, thrust him into the marrow-bone as far as he could go, and there left him.

At the moment no one noticed, and Gulliver was too proud to cry out. There he stuck in the bone for some time, struggling vainly to get out. Luckily the marrow that remained was not very hot, but his clothes were completely spoiled. What hurt him, however, was the fact that everybody laughed loud and long at this trick, because he looked so ridiculous sticking out at the end of the bone.

After this the Queen got rid of the dwarf. It was feared that he might some time really injure Gulliver.

As summer drew on, the flies, always troublesome in that country, became a perfect pest to Gulliver, especially when he was at meals. These flies were nearly as big as larks, and they swarmed over his food, buzzed about his ears till they nearly drove him crazy, and sometimes they bit him. He was for ever slashing at them with his knife, till the Queen made jokes on the subject, and asked if all his countrymen were afraid of flies.

One fine hot morning, it chanced that Glumdalclitch had put Gulliver's box on the window-sill, in order that he might have more air. He had opened the windows of his room, and it happened that on a plate on his table there was a large piece of sweet cake. This attracted wasps, and they came swarming in by the open window, as big as partridges, and humming louder than bag-pipes. Some carried off lumps of his cake, whilst others buzzed around his head till he was terrified lest they should sting.

Gulliver in Brobdingnag


At last, in a sort of frenzy, he drew his sword and attacked them. Four he cut down, and stamped on till they were dead; the others were driven out by the windows. Gulliver had the curiosity to take out the stings of these wasps and measure them. They were nearly one and a half inches in length. Some of them he afterwards brought home to England, where they were long preserved in a museum at Cambridge University.

Whilst he was attached to the Court, Gulliver saw much of the country in which he now found himself. It was called Brobdingnag, and the capital of the kingdom, the city in which he lived, Lorbrulgrud.

It was the custom of the King to visit even the most distant parts of his dominions, but the Queen, whom Gulliver always attended, never went further with the King than about two thousand miles from the capital.

Brobdingnag, Gulliver learned, is a great peninsula, whose communication with the rest of the world is cut off by a range of mighty mountains, many miles high, and which are impossible to cross because of terrible volcanoes. As there are in the kingdom no seaports, the people of Brobdingnag had no dealings with the outside world, and were ignorant that any other nations lived on the earth.

There are many great rivers in this country, but outside the mouth of each river is a bar of sand, which prevents vessels from ever coming nearer this land than Gulliver's ship had come.

These rivers are full of huge fish, which the people eat, but they do not trouble to catch the fishes of the sea, for these are but similar in size to European fish, and are thought to be too small to be fit for food.

Sometimes, indeed, Gulliver knew them to eat a whale which had been cast ashore, but this was considered a coarse fish, and was seldom eaten except by the poorer people. Hampers of the smaller kinds of whale were sometimes brought to market, but there was no great sale for them.

For use on these journeys that he went with the Queen, Gulliver had another box built, somewhat smaller than the one in which he lived. He called it his travelling closet. It was square, with a window on each of three sides latticed with iron wire outside to prevent the risk of accident on a journey. On the fourth side two iron staples were fixed, through which a belt was passed so that the box could be fastened round the waist of a person on horseback. All his furniture in this room was screwed to the floor, and when in it at night, he slept in a hammock slung between two of the sides.

But travelling thus at its best was not a great pleasure, though as long as there was not too much of it, his life was happy and contented enough, except for the fact that his smallness, in that country of giant people and giant things, continually exposed him to accidents.

Many of these mishaps were absurd enough, though at the time to him they were very serious. There was one occasion when the dwarf, before he was sent away from Court, seeing Glumdalclitch carry Gulliver into the garden, followed them. Gulliver had been set down to have a walk, and the dwarf joined him.

They were walking near some dwarf apple trees, and Gulliver was foolish enough to make some silly joke about these trees, which made the dwarf very angry. He said nothing, however, but watched his chance, and when Gulliver happened to be right under one of the trees, the dwarf seized hold of it and shook down a shower of the ripe fruit. One huge apple, as big as half a dozen foot-balls, struck Gulliver between the shoulders and dashed him violently to the ground, knocking all the breath out of his body. He was not badly hurt, but had the apple struck him fair on the head the result must have been serious.

Another day, Glumdalclitch left Gulliver on a lawn in the garden, whilst she herself went for a walk with her governess. He was strolling about, thinking of home, and wondering if ever again he should see his wife and family, and he did not notice that the sky had darkened and that clouds were breaking up.

Suddenly it began to hail, and before he could get to shelter he was beaten to the earth and badly bruised. For a time he lay where he had fallen, the hail scourging down, and cruelly hurting him. At last, with great difficulty he crawled to the sheltered side of a border of lemon thyme, where he lay till Glumdalclitch found him.

For many days after this Gulliver had to stay in bed, so battered and bruised was he by the huge hailstones. In that country everything is big in proportion, and hail-stones there are more than a thousand times the size of hailstones in England. To be quite sure of this, Gulliver measured and weighed some that fell in another storm.

Many, indeed, were the accidents that befell him. Once when walking alone, he tripped and broke his shins badly over the shell of a snail, which he had not noticed in the grass. And another day, having climbed to the top of a freshly-cast mole-hill, it suddenly gave way with him and he sank to his chin through the soft earth into the hole the mole had left. It was with difficulty that he scrambled out, with earth down his neck, and in all his pockets.

Even the thrushes and robins and linnets of Brobdingnag were so large that they had no fear of Gulliver, but would hop about within a yard of him, looking for worms and other food. Once a thrush snatched a piece of cake out of his hand; and if ever he tried to catch any of the birds, even the smallest of them would turn and peck at his fingers.

One day, however, with a thick stick he made a good shot at a linnet, and knocked it over. Rushing up, he seized it round the neck and dragged it off in triumph to Glumdalclitch.

But the bird was only stunned. Quickly it recovered and began to struggle, buffeting him on the head and body with its wings till he could not see, and held on to it only with great difficulty. He stuck to it, however, and one of the servants seeing the struggle, came up and wrung the linnet's neck. Gulliver had it for dinner and supper next day and found it very good eating. It was rather larger than an English swan.

But one of the most unpleasant accidents that befell him, one which caused Glumdalclitch to vow that never again would she allow him to go out of her sight, was this.

The head gardener owned a small spaniel. Though dogs were never allowed in the gardens, this animal one day managed to follow its master in, unknown to him. Gulliver had been carried at that very time into the garden by Glumdalclitch, and left by her where she imagined that he would be perfectly safe.

The dog, however, hunting about, came on his scent, and following it up, soon pounced on him. Luckily, it was a very well-broken and soft-mouthed dog, and it carried him straight to its master, wagging its little stump of a tail, and greatly pleased with itself.

When the gardener saw Gulliver set gently at his feet by the dog, he was horrified, for Gulliver had lost all his breath, and for some time could not stand up nor speak a word. The gardener feared that he must have been badly hurt by the dog's teeth, and that he himself would certainly lose his position as head gardener.

Gulliver in Brobdingnag


But there was no damage done whatever, even to his clothes, and for the sake of the gardener, who was his very good friend, Gulliver asked Glumdalclitch to say nothing about the matter. Besides, to tell the truth, Gulliver did not care to be humiliated by hearing people laugh at him for having been carried about in a dog's mouth.

These are a few of the little accidents that happened to him, but Gulliver never told Glumdalclitch how very narrow an escape he had from being caught by a large hawk, which one day swooped at him. If he had not struck at it with his sword, and then run under a tree, he would certainly have been carried off and eaten.

Gulliver is Carried off by a Monkey and has a Very Narrow Escape. He Plays On The Spinet To The King And Queen

It happened that the Queen, who liked to hear Gulliver talk about the sea, and about his voyages, one day asked him if he understood boat sailing, and if he did not think that a little rowing exercise would be good for his health. Gulliver replied that he understood boats very well, and that if such a thing were possible nothing would please him more than to take boating exercise.

But, he said, even if a boat small enough for him could be got, he did not think that she could live in the rushing rivers of Brobdingnag. The Queen replied that she could very easily find a place for him to sail in, if he would give one of her workmen instructions how to build the boat.

In about ten days a most excellent skiff was finished, and fitted with mast and sail, and with everything necessary for a pleasure boat. The Queen was charmed when she saw it, and ran with it in her lap to the King, who ordered it to be tried in a big cistern of water. But the tank was much too small; Gulliver could not use his oars in it.

The Queen, however, had made her own plans. She had ordered a carpenter to make a wooden trough of over one hundred yards long, and nearly twenty broad. This was placed on the floor, along one of the walls of an outer room in the Palace, and two servants could fill it in less than half an hour. The trough had a tap at one end by which it could be quickly emptied, so that the water need never be allowed to grow dirty or stale.

In this Gulliver used to row about daily, to the great delight of the Queen and the ladies of the Court, who often came to watch him. Sometimes they would get him to hoist his sail, and then with their fans they would make a breeze by means of which he could sail about very pleasantly.

But here, too, he was not free from accident. Once when one of the Court pages had put the boat in the water, Glumdalclitch's governess, who was rather a clumsy-handed woman, lifted him up to put him on board, and by accident dropped him. By the greatest good luck, as he fell, his waistband caught on a large-headed pin which stuck out from this lady's dress. Otherwise he must have fallen forty feet on to the floor, and would probably have been killed.

Another day, it chanced that one of the servants, when filling the trough, poured in with one of the buckets of water a large frog. The animal was not seen by any one till Gulliver was sailing about in his boat, when the beast, wanting something to rest on (after the manner of frogs), climbed up over one side of the boat, and would have certainly upset it if Gulliver had not thrown all his weight on to the other side. The frog jumped backwards and forwards over Gulliver several times, nearly smothering him, but with an oar he banged it over the head till it jumped overboard.

But perhaps the very narrowest of all Gulliver's many escapes was from a tame monkey which had escaped from its master. Glumdalclitch had left him in her room, sitting in the big box in which he generally lived, and for greater safety she had locked the door of her room. The day was very hot, and the windows of the room were all open.

Gulliver was sitting thinking, when he heard a sound as if something had come through the window and was jumping about the room. Cautiously looking out of the door of his box, he saw the brute, a huge monkey almost as bulky as an elephant, pulling things about, tearing to pieces everything it could lay its paws on, and skipping over tables and chairs, chattering to itself the while.

At last it spied Gulliver's box, and came and peeped in. Gulliver hid behind the table, but his fright when the monkey put in its hand caused him to move, and the animal saw him. Had he hid at first under the bed, and lain quite still, probably he would have escaped altogether. But now the monkey made repeated snatches at him as he darted from place to place in the room, at last catching him by the coat tails and dragging him out, struggling vainly to escape, and clinging to everything that he could grasp.

Evidently the monkey imagined that Gulliver was a young one of its own kind, for it began to nurse him quite tenderly, gently stroking his face. But Gulliver struggled, and then the monkey squeezed him so hard that he thought his ribs were breaking.

Whilst this was going on, there came a noise at the door as if some one were coming in; whereupon the monkey at once jumped out of the window, carrying Gulliver with it in one of its paws. The noise at the door was caused by Glumdalclitch coming in. No sooner did she see what had happened than she set up such a screaming that soon the whole Palace was in an uproar.

Everybody rushed this way and that, bawling out directions how best to catch the monkey. Meanwhile the animal fled to the roof, where it sat on the very highest part, stuffing Gulliver's mouth full of nuts and all kinds of food which it took out of the bags inside its cheeks, patting him gently when it found that he did not eat. At this the people who were standing below in the court-yard watching, shrieked with laughter, though it was anything but funny for Gulliver, who was nearly choked with the rubbish that the brute crammed into his mouth.

Presently some men got ladders long enough to reach the roof, and as soon as the monkey saw that it was likely to be caught, it dropped Gulliver on the ridge tiles and fled, chattering.

Gulliver was now in a very terrifying position. The place to which he clung was not easy for the men to reach, and the height from the ground was so great (almost nine hundred feet) that it made him giddy. The wind was blowing in strong gusts, and sometimes he feared that he must let go and come rolling over and over, to be dashed to pieces on the flags of the courtyard.

One of the footmen, however, managed to climb up, and putting Gulliver in his pocket, got him down in safety. But so badly bruised was he by the squeezing the monkey had given him that he was forced to lie in bed for some weeks. By the Queen's orders the animal was killed.

Great sympathy was shown to Gulliver by every one at Court, and many were the inquiries made during his illness. But when he was again well, the King was quite unable to keep from asking him sly questions:—how he liked the monkey's way of feeding; what he thought of the food that monkeys ate; and whether the fresh air on the roof had not given him a good appetite.

Gulliver did not take this kind of fun very well. Clapping his hand on the hilt of his sword, and looking very fierce, and, as he imagined, very dignified, he answered that if he had had that sword by his side at the time, he would soon have taught the monkey a lesson that it would not readily have for-gotten. This he said in a very loud and determined tone, thinking to show how brave he really was, but with the sole result that everybody, from the King downward, roared with laughter.

The Royal Family of Brobdingnag were great patrons of music, and frequent concerts were given at court by the King's band. To Gulliver the noise was so great as to be quite deafening, and he found it impossible to follow the tunes. The only way in which he could listen with any degree of pleasure was to have his box placed at the far end of the great Concert Room, then to get inside, close the door and windows, and draw the curtains. In this way the noise was tolerable. But he often wished that he could treat the King and Queen to some real English music.

It happened that in Glumdalclitch's room there was a spinet (which is a kind of old-fashioned piano), on which her governess used daily to give Glumdalclitch lessons. Gulliver had learned in his boyhood to play upon an English spinet, and it struck him that he might manage to knock out a tune on the instrument in Glumdalclitch's room.

But the difficulty was great, for the spinet was sixty feet in length, and each key was a foot wide, so that Gulliver could not, from one place cover more than five keys. Moreover, to get any sound out of them, it was necessary to give a hard bang with his fist. This meant much work, with little result, and he set about planning how he might get over the difficulty.

He made a couple of strong and very heavy drumsticks, the thick ends of which he covered with the skin of a mouse, so that he might thump the keys without damaging them. Then he had a bench fixed along the front of the spinet, about four feet below the keys. On this bench he was placed, and by running as fast as he could from side to side, banging on the keys with his drumsticks, he was able after some practice to play something that he told the King was an English jig. The King and Queen were polite enough to say that they enjoyed it very much.

But Gulliver found that the exercise was too violent and exhausting, and he did not give many performances, which, perhaps, was fortunate. The King might have got tired if he had gone on too long.

The people of Brobdingnag were not great readers, though the art of printing was known to them. Even the King's library, which was the largest in the country, did not hold more than a thousand volumes. After Gulliver had learned the language, he used to go very often to this library, where a carpenter had made for him a wide kind of step-ladder, about twenty-five feet high, on which he could stand at any level he pleased, and on which there was room to walk backwards and forwards eight or ten paces.

When Gulliver wished to read one of the books, the librarian had orders to prop it against the wall, and place the step-ladder so that the lowest step was about ten feet distant from the book. Then Gulliver would mount to the top of his ladder, and so, walking backwards and forwards and coming gradually down, he would read a page. With both hands he would then turn the leaf. This was easy to do even when the book was as high as twenty feet, for the paper was not much thicker than paste-board. Then he would again mount to the top step of his ladder, and so continue his studies. In this way he got through a great deal of reading.

Thus he learned much of the history of Brobdingnag, and made acquaintance with their traditions. Of these, one, he found, was that the present inhabitants of the country, big as they were in his eyes, were but pigmies compared to what they had been in former ages. This was proved, said the books by the huge bones and skulls which were constantly being dug up in various parts of the kingdom.

About this time Gulliver had broken his pocket-comb, and he had nothing wherewith to comb his hair, nor could he find anything with which to repair the comb. At last he went to the King's barber one day after the man had shaved his Majesty, and he asked for some of the lather which the barber had scraped off the King's face.

From this he picked out about forty of the strongest bristles. These were both long and strong, for the King did not shave oftener than twice a week. Gulliver then took a bit of fine wood, and shaped it like the back of a comb. In this he bored holes with a needle that Glumdalclitch lent him, and in the holes he fixed the stumps of the King's beard. When they had been whittled and scraped to a point, this made a most useful comb, which he used during all the time he remained in Brobdingnag. Afterwards he took it back with him to England.

Gulliver's Last Days in Brobdingnag, and How He Got Away

Gulliver had now been in Brobdingnag for nearly two years, and he had become quite used to the people and to their ways. Nor was he often unhappy.

Yet he did not quite give up hope that some day he should again see England, though how this great good fortune was to come to him he could not foresee. The ship in which he had come was the first that had ever been known to be driven within sight of that coast, and it was not likely that another would soon appear. Moreover, if one should ever be seen, the King had given strict orders that it was at once to be taken out of the water, and, with all its crew and passengers, brought to him.

He was most anxious that Gulliver should, if possible, marry some woman of his own size and nation, and should settle in Brobdingnag, and it did not seem to concern the King that Gulliver already had a wife at home.

Gulliver, however, felt that he would rather die than leave children to be carried about the country in cages, like so many canary-birds, or perhaps to be sold to rich persons as curiosities. So he began again to weary for a chance of escape, and a great yearning to see the wife and children he had left in England came over him. He longed to see, and once more to speak to, people of his own size; to walk in fields or streets without fear of being trodden under foot by some huge mountain of a man.

And at last there came deliverance from his bondage in a very surprising way.

The King and Queen made a journey to the south coast of the country, and as was always the case in their shorter journeys, Gulliver and Glumdalclitch were taken with them. In preparation for this journey, Gulliver had some alterations and improvements made in his box, one of which was a sliding window in the roof, which he could open at pleasure, so as to give him more air when the weather was hot. He had also had a silken hammock slung from corner to corner, so that he might sleep with less discomfort when his box was strapped to a servant's waist during a journey.

But in spite of these improvements, when the end of their journey to the coast was reached, Gulliver was very tired, and he had, besides, caught a feverish cold.

A great longing came over him once more to look on the ocean, for that way lay home.

He pretended that his cold was worse than it really was, and he said that if they would but carry him down to the sea-shore he thought the air would do him good.

Glumdalclitch at this time was also unwell, and was thus unable herself to carry him, so she handed him and his box to a page, telling him, with tears, to be very careful. The boy carried him to the shore and set the box down.

There Gulliver sat, gazing wistfully across the yellow sand and over the rocks to the great cape that lay dim in the distance, whilst his thoughts travelled far over the sea to his home and all that he feared he had lost for ever.

Feeling very depressed and out of spirits, he told the page that he meant to have a sleep in his hammock, and as soon as he had gone into his box the boy shut down the window in the roof, and probably went off bird-nesting.

Gulliver never knew exactly what happened.

He had not been long asleep when he was awakened by a violent jerk at his box, followed by the feeling that he was being carried through the air at great speed. There was no bumping, after the first jerk; the motion was quite smooth.

Gulliver called out at the top of his voice, several times, but got no answer. He rushed to one of the windows, but from there could see nothing but clouds and sky.

Overhead there was the continual sound of the beat of wings. Then he guessed that whilst the page was away, some huge eagle must have swooped down and picked up his box by the ring on top.

Soon the noise of the wings became louder and quicker, and the box began to be tossed up and down so violently that he had to cling to his hammock. Then two or three furious bangs, as if the eagle that had carried him off were being attacked by another, and suddenly he felt himself falling, falling, down, down, down. A minute of horrible suspense, a sickening crash; then darkness.

After a few seconds, the light came back, and he found that his box was floating in the sea, right side up. The iron plates on the bottom, and the weight of his body and of the various things in his room, kept the box floating at a depth sufficient to prevent it upsetting. But the woodwork had been strained when the box pitched in the sea from so great a height, and the water began to ooze in.

Gulliver stopped the leaks in the sides and bottom of the box fairly well, and the water never got very deep inside. He slid open the window in the roof, to give himself more air, but try as he might, he could not climb out of the box on to the roof, and for hours he sat, feeling that in a very little time he must certainly be drowned, like a rat in a cage. How he longed for Glumdalclitch to come to his rescue.

After many hours, when he had come almost to wish that the worst might happen, and an end be put to his misery and suspense, he heard a kind of grating noise on the side of the box where the staples were fixed. This was followed by a tugging and a heeling over of the box, so that sometimes the water reached nearly to the top of the windows. What could be the reason, he wondered!

Gulliver mounted on a chair, and having put his handkerchief on the end of a stick, waved it out of the window in the roof, and shouted as loud as he could. But all to no purpose.

Still the feeling continued that the box was moving. The water seemed to slide slowly past the windows, and presently the box bumped against something hard, and was tossed about a good deal. Then again came the sound as of a cable being passed through an iron ring, and Gulliver felt as if his house was being raised out of the water; the sea no longer washed against the windows.

"Help!" shouted Gulliver, and again waved his handkerchief through the hole in the roof. This time there was an answer. "Below! Ahoy!" roared a voice. It was a joyful sound to Gulliver. English words met his ears once more!

The owner of the voice told him that he was quite safe, and alongside a British ship. The carpenter was coming to saw a hole by which he could be got out.

"There is no need for that," said Gulliver. "Just tell one of your crew to put his finger in the ring at top, and lift the box out of the sea, and carry it into the captain's cabin. It will be quite easy to raise the lid then."

It never occurred to Gulliver that he was no longer in Brobdingnag; that he was now amongst people of his own size.

Presently the carpenter came and cut a large hole in the roof, down which a ladder was put. Gulliver climbed out, feeling very weak and shaken. His box was alongside a large ship, the crew of which had been trying, by means of the capstan and a hawser rove from the end of one of the yard-arms, to hoist the box on deck.

He was taken on board, and the Captain seeing his condition, and, like all the crew, believing from his way of speaking that he was mad, gave him brandy and made him lie down in his own cabin.

After a long sleep, Gulliver went on deck, where he found that the crew of the ship had got all his property out of the box, and after Breaking up as many of its timbers as they could use on board, had let the remainder float astern, where it had now sunk.

A good supper did much to improve Gulliver's condition. Whey they were alone, the Captain asked him by what accident he came to be adrift at sea in that huge chest. He also said that about noon that day he had noticed something floating in the sea a long way from the ship, and that he had sent a boat to discover what it was. The men, however, when they found that it was a floating house, were afraid to touch it, and had returned to ship.

The captain had then himself gone in the boat, and had been rowed several times round the box, and had finally ordered the men to pass a hawser through the staples in the side and tow it alongside his ship. There they had noticed his handkerchief waved from the hole in the roof and had heard his shout.

Gulliver asked whether he or any of the crew had seen one or more enormous birds flying in the air about the time that the box was first sighted. Three eagles, the captain said, had been seen by one of the crew, but they were no larger than is usual.

"How far are we from land?" then asked Gulliver. To which the Captain replied that to the best of his reckoning they were at least three hundred miles from the nearest coast. Gulliver assured him that this must be a mistake, for when he dropped into the sea it was not more than two hours from the time when he left the land. Whereupon the Captain looked very gravely at him, and advised him to go back to bed. He thought Gulliver was raving.

Then Gulliver told the Captain all his story, from the time he had last left England. The Captain stared very hard, without saying anything. But when Gulliver showed him various things that he had brought away from Brobdingnag,—the comb made from the bristles of the King's beard; a collection of pins, each about a foot long; some wasps" stings; combings from the Queen's hair; a gold ring from her finger which she had one day thrown over Gulliver's neck; and other things (including his breeches, which were made from the skin of a mouse), the Captain could no longer help believing that he heard only the truth.

Gulliver offered him the gold ring, but the Captain would accept nothing but a tooth which a doctor had drawn from the jaw of one of the Queen's footmen in mistake for a decayed one in which the man had toothache. The Captain had taken a great fancy to this tooth, which was about a foot long and four inches in thickness.

Nine months after Gulliver came on board, the ship reached England. But it was long ere he became accustomed to the small size of the people at home. Indeed, when first he landed, more than once he got into serious quarrels by calling out to persons whom he saw coming towards him, "Hi! Get out of the way!"

"Get out of the way yourself," they answered. And then there was trouble.

To Gulliver they looked so small, after being for years used to see only Brobdingnagians, that he could not rid his mind of the fear that he might crush them under his feet.

His whole conduct was so strange, that at first even his wife and daughter thought that he was mad.

But soon he fell into his old ways, and before he went away again from home he was quite like other people.

These are not the only voyages that Gulliver made. He saw afterwards many other surprising things, but about these you may learn later.