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some weeks after, when I weht to pay my respects to the emperor of Blefuscu, which in the midst of great misfortunes, through the malice of my enemies, proved a very happy adventure to me, as I mall relate in its proper place. The reader may remember, that when • I signed those articles upon which I recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked upon account of their being too servile, neither could any thing but an extreme necessity have forced me to submit. But being now a nardac of the highest rank iri that empire, such offices were looked upon as below mv dignity, and the emperor (to do him justice) never once mentioned them to me. However, it was not long before I had an opportunity of doing his majesty, at least, as I then thought, a most signal service. I was alarmed at midnight with the cries of many hundred people at my door; by which being suddenly awaked, I was in some kind of terror. I heard the word burglum repeated incessantly: several of the emperor's court making their way through the crowd, intreated me to come immediately to the palace, where her imperial majesty's apartment was on sire by the carelessness of a maid of honour, who fell asleep while (he was reading a romance. I got up in an instant; and orders being given to clear the way before me, and it being likewise a moonshine night, I made a sliift to get to the palace without trampling on any of the people. I found they had already applied ladders to the walls of the apartment, and were well provided with buckets, but the water was ac some distance. These buckets were about the Uze of a large thimble, and the poor people supplied me with them as fast as they could ; but the flame was so violent that they did little good. I might easily have stifled it with my coat, which I unfortunately left behind me for halle, and came away only in my leathern jerkin. The cafe seemed wholly desperate and deplorable, and this magnificent palace would have infallibly been burnt down to the ground, if by a presence of mind unusual to me I hr.d not suddenly thought of an expedient. I had the evening before drank plenti
fully of a most delicious wine, called glimigrim (the Blefuscudians call it fiimec, but ours is esteemed the better sort) which is very diuretic. By the luckiest chance in the world I had not discharged myself of any part of it. The heat I had contracted by coming very near the flames, and by my labouring to quench them, made the wine begin to operate by urine; which I voided in such a quantity, and applied so well to the proper places, that in. three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from destruction.
It was now daylight, and I returned to my house without waiting to congratulate with the emperor; because, although I had done a very eminent piece of service, yet I could not tell how his majesty might resent the manner by which I had performed it: for, by the fundamental laws of therealm, it is capital in any person, of what quality soever, to make water within the precincts of the palace. But I was a little comforted by a message from his majesty, that he would give orders to the grand justiciary for passing my pardon in form; which, however, 1 could not obtain. And I was privately assured, that the empress, conceiving the greatest abhorrence of what I had done, removed to the most distant side of the court, firmly resolved that those buildings should never be repaired for her use; and, in the presence of her chief confidents, could not forbear vowing revenge.
Os the inhabitants ofLilliput ; their learning, laws, and customs; the manner of educating their children. The author's ittcy of living in that country. His 'vindication of a great lady. Although I intend to' leave the description of this empire to a particular treatise, yet in the mean time I am content to gratify the curicus reader with some general ideas. As the common size of the natives is somewhat under six inches high, so there is an exact proportion in all oiher animals, as well as plants and trees : for instance, the tallest horses and oxen are between four and five inches in heighth, the sheep an inch and a half, more or less; their geese about the bigness of a sparrow, and so the several gradations downwards, till you come to the smallest, which to my fight were almost invisible; but nature hath adapted the eyes of the Lilliputians to all objects proper for their view: they fee with great exactness, but as no great distance. And, to shew the sharpness of their fight towards objects that are near, I have been much pleased with observing a cook pulling a lark, which was not so large as a common fly; and a young girl threading an invisible needle with invisible silk. Their tallest trees are about seven feet high : I mean some of those in the great royal park, the tops whereof I could nut just reach with my fist clinched. The other vegetables are in the fame proportion; but this I leave to the reader's imagination.
I (hall fay but little at present of their learning, which for many ages hath flourished in all its branches among them: but their manner of writing is very peculiar, being neither from the left to the right, like the Europeans; nor from the right to the left, like the Arabians; nor from up to down, like the Chinese; but aflant from one corner of the paper to the other, like ladies iu England.
They bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion, that in eleven thousand .moons they are all to rife again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they (hall at their resurrection be found ready stand. >ng on their feet. The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues in compliance to the vulgar.
There are some laws and customs in this empire very peculiar; and, if they ■were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should be tempted to fay a little in their justification. It is only to be wished they were as well executed. The first I shall mention, relates to informers. All crimes against the state are punished here with the utmost severity; but, if the rerun
accused maketh his innocence plainly to appear upon his trial, the accuser is immediately put to an ignominious death: and out of his goods or lands the innocent'person is, quadruply recompensed for the loss of his time, for the danger he underwent, for the hardships of his imprisonment, and for all the charges he hath been at in making his defence. Or, if that fund be deficient, it is largely supplied by the crown. The emperor also confers on him some public mark of his favour, and proclamation is made of his innocence through the whole city.
They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with death; for they alledge, that care and vigilance, with a very common understanding, may preserve a man's goods from thieves, but honesty has no fence against superior cunning; and since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit; where fraud is permitted, and connived at, or hath no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage. I remember when I was once interceding with the king for a criminal, who had wronged his master of a great sum of money, which he had received hy order, and ran away with; and happening to tell his majesty, by way of extenuation, that it was only a breach of trust; the emperor thought it monstrous in me to offer as a defence the greatest aggravation of the crime; and truly I had little to fay in return, farther than the common answer, that different nations had different customs ; for, I confess, I was heartily ashamed ••
Although we usually call reward and punishment the two hinges, upon which all government turns, yet I could never observe this maxim to be put in practice by any nation, except that of Lilliput. Whoever can there bring sufficient proof, that he h«:th strictly observed the laws of his country for seventy-three moons, hath a claim to certain privileges, according to his quality
* An act of parliament hath been since passed, by which some breachei or' trust have been niadc capital,
3 H and and condition of life, with a proportionable sum of money out of a fund appropriated for that use: he likewise acquires the title of Snilpall, or Legal, which is added to his name, but doth not descend to his posterity] And these people thought it a prodigious defect of policy among us, when I told them, that our laws were enforced only by penalties, without any mention of reward. It is upon this account that the image of justice, in their courts of judicature, is formed with six eyes, two before, as many behind, and on each side one, to signify circumspection; with a bag of gold open in her right hand, and a sword sheathed in her lest, to shew she is more disposed to reward than punish. «
In chusing persons £gg all employments they have more regard to good morals than to great abilities; for, since government is necessary to mankind, they believe that the common size of human understandings is fitted to some station or other, and that providence never intended to make the manage, ment of public affairs to be a mystery comprehended only by a few persons of sublime genius, of which there seldom are three born in ah age: but they sup. pose truth, justice, temperance, and th« like, to be in every man's power, the practice of which virtues, assisted by experience and a good intention, would qualify any man for the service of his country, except where a course of study is required. But they thought the want of moral virtues was so far from being supplied by superior endowments of the mind, that employments could never be put into such dangerous hands as those of persons so qualified; and at least, that the mistakes committed by ignorance in a virtuous disposition would never be of such fatal consequence to the public weal, as the practices of a man whose inclinations led him to be corrupt, and who had great abilities to manage, to multiply, and defend his corruptions.
In like manner, the disbelief of a divine providence renders a man incapable of holding anv public station; for, since kings avowed themselves to be the deputies of providence, the Lil
liputians think nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such men as disown the authority under which he acteth.
In relating these and the following laws, I would' only be understood to mean the original institutions, and not the most scandalous corruptions, into which these people are fallen by the degenerate nature of man. For as to that infamous practice of acquiring great employments by dancing on the ropes, or badges of favour and distinction by leaping over sticks, and creeping under them, the reader is to observe, that they were first introduced by the grandfather of the emperor now reigning, and grew to the present heighth by the gradual encrease of party and faction.
Ingratitude is among them a capital crime, as we read it to have been in some other countries ; for they reason thus, that whoever makes ill returns to his benefactor, mult needs be a common enemy to the rest of mankind, from whom he hath received no obligation, and therefore such a man is not fit to live.
Their notions relating to the duties of parents and children differ extremely from ours. For, since the conjunc- . tion of male and female is founded upon the great law of nature, in order to propagate and continue the species, the Lilliputians will needs have it, that men and women are joined together like other animals by the motives of concupiscence; and that their tenderness towards their young proceeds from the like natural principle: for which reason they will never allow, that a child is under any obligation to his father for begetting him, or to his mother for bringing him into the world, which, considering the miseries of human life, was neither a benefit in itself, nor intended so by his parents, whose thoughts in their love-encounters were otherwise employed. Upon these, and the like reasonings, their opinion is, thai parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the education of their own children: and therefore they havein every town public nurseries, where all parents, except cottagers and labourers,
bourers, are obliged to fend their in- tionably after the fame manner, only fants of both sexes to be 'reared and those designed for trades are put out educated when they come to the age of apprentices at eleven years old, where
twenty moons, at which time they are supposed to have some rudiments of docility. These schools are of. several kinds, suited to different qualities, and to both sexes. They have certain prpfessors well (killed in preparing children for such a condition of life as befits the rank of their parents, and their own capacities as well as inclination. I shall first fay something of the male nurseries, and then of the female.
The nurseries for males of noble or eminent birth are provided with grave and learned professors, and their several deputies. The clones and food of the children are plain and simple. They are bred up in the principles of honour, justice, courage, modesty, clemency, religion, and love of theircountry ; they are always employed in some business, except in the times of eating and steeping, which are very short, and two hours for diversions, consisting of bodily exercises. They are dressed by men till four years of age, and then are obliged to dress themselves, altho' their quality be ever so great, and the women attendants, who are aged proportionably to ours at fifty, perform only the most menial offices. They are never suffered to converse with servant*, but go together in smaller or greater numbers to take their diversions, and always in the presence of a professor, or one of his deputies; whereby they avoid those early bad impressions of folly and vice, to which our children are subject. Their parents are suffered to see them only twice a year; the visit is to last but an hour; they are allowed to kiss the child at meeting and parting; but a professor, who always stands by on those occasions, will not suffer them to whisper, or use any fondling expressions, or bring.any presents of in all kinds of works proper for their
as those of persons of quality continue in their exercises till fifteen, which answers to twenty-one with us: but the confinement is gradually lessened for the last three years.
In the female nurseries, the young girls of quality are educated much like the males, only they are dressed by orderly servants of their own sex; but always in the presence of a professor or deputy, till they come to dress themselves, which is at five years old. And if it be found, that these nurses ex'er presume to entertain the girls with, frightful or foolish stories, or the common follies practised by chambermaids among us, tRty are publicly whipped thrice about the city, imprisoned for a year, and banished for life to the most desolate part of the country. Thus the young ladies there areas much ashamed of being cowards and fools as the men, and despise all personal ornaments be. yond decency and cleanliness: neither did I perceive any difference in their education, made by their difference of sex, only that the exercises of the females were not altogether so robust; and that some rules were given them relating to domestic life, and a smaller com pals of learning was enjoined them; for their maxim is, that, among people of quality, a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because (he cannot always be young. When the girls are twelve years old, which among them is the marriageable age, their parents' or guardians take them home with great expressions of gratitude to the professors, and scldorn without tears of the young lady and her companions.
In the nurseries of females of the meaner sort, the children are instructed
toys, sweetmeats, and the like.
The pension from each family for the education and entertainment of a child, upon failure of due payment, is levied by the emperor's officers.
The nurseries for children of ordinary gentlemen, merchants, traders, and handicrafts, are managed propor
sex, and their several degrees: those intended for apprentices are dismissed at seven years old, the rest are kept to eleven.
The meaner families, who have children at these nurseries, are obliged, besides their annual pension, which is as low as possible, to return to the stew
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ard of the nursery a small monthly share of their gettings to be a portion for the child; and therefore all parents are limited in their expences by the l.iw. For the Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than for people, in subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the world, and leave the burden of supporting thorn on the public. As to persons of quality, they give security to appropriate a certain sum for each child, suitable to their condition ; and these funds are always managed with good husbandry, and the most exact justice.
The cottagers and labourers keep their children at home, their business being only to tHl and cultivate theearth, and therefore their education is of little consequence to the public: but the old and diseased among them are sup. ported by wn in this for begging is a trade unknohofpitals : empire.
And here it may perhaps divert the curious reader, to give some account of my domestics, and my manner of living in thiscountry, duringaresidence of nine months and thirteen days. Having a head mechanically turned, and being likewise forced by necessity, I had made for myself a table and chair convenient enough out of the largest trees in the royal park. Two hundred sempstresses were employed to make me shirts, and linen for my bed and table, all of the strongest and coarsest kind they could get; which however they were forced to quilt together in several folds, for the thickest was some degrees finer than lawn. Their linen is usually th
hundred ttylors were employed in the fame manner to make me clothes; but they had another contrivance for taking my measure. I kneeled down, and they raised a ladder from the ground to my neck; upon this ladder one of them mounted, and let fall a plum-line from my collar to the floor, which just answered the length of my coat ; but my waist and arms I measured myself. When my clothes were finished, which was done in my house (for the largest of theirs would not have been able to hold them) they looked like the patchwork made by the ladies in England, only that mine were all of a colour.
I had three hundred cooks to dress my victuals in little convenient huts built about my house, where they and their families lived, and prepared me two dishes a-piece. I took up twenty waiters in my hand, and placed them on the table ; an hundred more attended below on the ground, some with, dishes of meat, and some with barrels . of wine and other liquors, flung on their shoulders; all which the waiter* above diew up, as I wanted, in a very ingenious manner, by certain cords, as we draw the bucket up a well in Europe. A dish of their meat was agoed mouthful, and a barrel of their liquor a reasonable draught. Their mutton yields to ours, but the^r beef is excellent. I have had a sirloin so large, thatl have been forced to make three bits of it; but this is rare. My servants were astonished to see me eat it, bones and all, as in our country we do the leg of a lark. Their geese and turkies I usually eat at a
ree inches wide, and three feet make mouthful, and I must confess they far
a piece. The sempstresses took my measure as I lay on the ground, one standing on my neck, ana another at my mid-leg, with a strong cord extended, that each held by the end, while a third measured the length of the cord with a rule of an inch long. Then they measured my right thumb, and
exceed ours. Of their smaller fowl I could take up twenty or thirty at the end of my knife.
One day his imperial majesty, being informed of my way of living, desired that himself and his royal consort, with the young princes of the blood of both sexes, might have the happiness (as he
desired no more ; for by a mathematical was pleased to call it) of dining with *' "' '' me. They came accordingly, and I
placed them in chairs of state upon my table, just over-against me, with their guards about them. Flimnap, th« lord" high treasurer, attended there likewise w,ith his white staff; and I observed he
computation, that twice round the thumb is once round the wrist, and so on to the neck and the waist, and by the help of my old shirt, which I displayed on the ground before them for a pattern, they fitted me exactly, Three