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often looked on me with a sour countenance, which I would not seem to regard, but eat more than usual, in ho. nour to my dear country, as well as to fill the court with admiration. I have sorfie private reasons to believe, that thisvisitfrom his majesty gave Flimnap an opportunity of doing me ill offices to his master. That minister had always been my secret enemy, though he outwardly caressed me more than was usual to the moroseness of his nature. He represented to the emperor the low con. dition of his treasury; that he was forced to take up money at great dis. count; th4t exchequer bills would not circulate under nine f er cent, below par; that I had cost his majesty above a million and a half of sf rugs (their greatest gold coin, about the bigness of a spangle) and upon the whole, that it would be adviseable in the emperor to take the first fair occasion of dismiffing me.
I am here obliged to vindicate the reputation of an excellent lady, who was an innocent sufferer upon my account.% The treasurer took a fancy to be jealous of his wife, from the malice of some evil tongues, who informed him that her grace had taken a violent affection for my person ; and the court, scandal ran for some time, that she once came privately to my lodging. This I solemnly declare to be a most infamous falfhood, without any grounds, farther than that her grace was pleased to treat me with all innocent marks of freedom and friendship. I own she came often to my house, but always publicly, nor ever without three more in the coach, who were usually her sister and young daughter, and some particular acquaintance; but this was common to many other ladies of the court. And J still appeal to my servants round, whether they at any time sawacoach<u my door, without know, ing what persons were in it. On those occasions, whenaservant had given me notice, my custom was to go immediately to the door; and, after paying my respfcls, to take up the coach and two horses very carefully in my hands (for, if tiiere were six horses, the postilion always unharnessed four) and placed
them on a table, where I had fixed a mqveable rim quite round, of five inches high, to prevent accidents. And I have often had four coaches and#horses at once on my table full of company, while I fat in my chair, leaning my face towards them ; and, when I was engaged with one set, the coachmen would gently drive the others round my table. I have passed many an afternoon very agreeably in these conversations. But I defy the treasurer, or his two informers (I will name them, and,let them make their best of it) Clustriland Drunlo, to prove that any person ever came to me incognito, except the secretary Reldresal, who was sent by express command of his imperial majesty, as I have before related. I (hould not have dwelt so long upon this particular, if it had not been a point wherein the reputation of a great lady is so nearly concerned, to fay nothing of my own, tho' I then had the honour to be a no.)dat, which the treasurer himself is not; for all the world knows, that he is only a glumglum, a title inferior by one degree, as that of a marquis is to a duke in England; yet I allow be preceded me in right of his post. These falle informations, which 1 afterwards came to the knowledge of by an accident not proper to mention, made the treasurer shew his lady for some time an ill countenance, and me a worse; and altho' he was at last undeceived and reconciled, to her, yet I lost all credic with him, and found my interest decline very sell with the emperor himself, who was indeed too much governed by that favourite.
'The author, being informed of a design to accuse him cf high treason, maketh hit escape to Blesuscu. His reception there.
Before I proceed to give an- account of my leaving this kingdom, it may be prop»r to inform the reader of a private intrigue, which had been for two months forming against me.
I had been hitherto all my life a stranger to courts, for which 1 was unqualified by the meanness of my condition. 1 had indeed heard and read
3H 3 enough . enough of tlie dispositions of great princes and ministers; but never expected to have found such terrible effects of them in so remote a country, governed, as I thought, by very different maxims from those in Europe.
When I was just preparing to pay my attendance on the emperor of Blefuscu, a considerable person at court (to whom I had been very serviceable, at a time when he lay under the highest, displeasure of his imperial majesty) came to my house very privately at night in a close chair, and, without sending his name,'desired admittance: the chairmen were dismissed; I put the chair, with his lordship in it, into my coatpocket; and, giving orders to a trusty servant to say I was indisposed and gone to sleep, Ifastened thedoorosrr.y house, placed the chair on the table according to my usual custom, and sat down by it. After the common salutations were oyer, observing his lordship's countenance full of concern, and enquiring into the reason, he desired I would hear him with patience in a matter that highly concerned my honour and my life. His speech was to the following effect, for I took notes of it asjbon as he left me.
You are to know, said he, that se, veral committees of council have been lately called in the moll private manner on your account; and it is but two days since his majesty came to a full resolu, tion.
You are very sensible that Skvresh Bolgolam (galbet, or high-admiral) hath been your mortal enemy almost ever since your arrival: his original reasons I know not; but his hatred is increased since your great success against Blefuscu, by which his glory, as admiral, is much obscured. This lord, in conjunction with Flimnap the hightreasurer, whose enmity against you is notorious on account of his lady, Limtoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain, and BalmufF the grand justiciary, have prepared articles of impeachment against you for treason, and other capital crimes.
This preface made me so impatient, being conscious of my own merits and innocence, that I was going to inter
rupt: when he entreated me to be silent, and thus proceeded:
Out of gratitude for the favours yoq have done me, I procured information of the whole proceedings, and a copy of the articles; wherein I venture toy head for your service.
■Articles of impeachment against Qninbus Flestrin, the Man-mountain.
Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his imperial majesty Calin DeffarPlune,it is enacted,that whoever fhalj make water'within the precincts of the royal palace, shall be liable to the pains and penalties of high-treason: notwithstanding the said Quinbus Flcstrin, in open breach of the said law, under colour of extinguishing the sire kindled in the apartment os his majesty's most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, traiterously, and devilishly, by discharge of his urine, put out thesaid fire kindled in the said apartment, lying and being within the precincts of che said royal palace, against the statute in that case provided, CSV. against the duty, lie.
That the said Quinbus Flestrin having brought the imperial fleet of Blefuscu into the royal port, and being afterwards commanded by his imperial majesty to seize all the other ships of the said empire of Blefuscu, and reduce that empire to a province to be governed by a vice-roy from hence, and to destroy and put to death no: only all the big-endian exiles, but likewise all the people of that empire, who would not immediately forsake the big-tndian heresy: he the said Flestrin, like a false traitor against his most auspicious, serene,, imperial majesty, did petition to be excused from the said service, upon pretence of unwillingness to force the consciences, or destroy the liberties and lives of an innocent people •.
• A lawyer thinks himself honest if he doe« the best he can for his client, and a statesman if he promotes the interest of bis country j but the dean here inculcates an higher notion of right and wrong, and obligation! to a larger community.
That, whereas certain ambassadors arrived from the court of Blefuseu to sue for peace in his majesty's court: he the said Flestrin did, like a false traitor, aid, abet, comfort, and divert the said ambassador?, although he knew them to be servants to a prince who was lately an open enemy to his imperial majesty, and in open war against his said majesty.
Article IV. That the said Quinbus Flestrin, contrary to the duty of a faithful subject, is now preparing to make a voyage to the court and empire of Blefuseu, for which he halh received only verbal licence from his imperial majesty; and under colour of the said licence doth falsely and traiteroufly intend to take the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the emperor of Blefuseu, so late an enemy, and in open war with his imperial majesty aforesaid .
was commanded by the emperor to deliver his opinion, which he accordingly did : and therein justified the good thoughts you have ofhim. He allowed your crimes to be great, but that still there was room for mercy, the most; commendable virtue in a prince, and for which his majesty was so justly celebrated. He said, the friendship between you and him was so well known to the world, that perhaps the most honourable board might think him partial: however, in obedience to the command he had received, he would freely offer his sentiments. That if his majesty, in consideration of your services, and pursuant to his own merciful disposition, would please to spare your life, and only give order to put out both your eyes, he humbly conceived, that by this expedient justice might in some measure be satisfied, and all the world would applaud the lenity of the emperor, as well as the fair and generous proceedings of those who have the honour to be his counsellors. That the loss of your eyes would be no im* pediment to your bodily strength, by
There are some other articles, but these are the most important, of which which you might still be useful to his I have read you an abstract. majesty: that blindness is an addition
In the several debates upon this im- to courage, by concealing dangers from pcachment it must be confessed that his us; that the fear you had for your majesty gave many marks of his great eyes, was the greatest difficulty in bring lenity, often urging the services you ing over the enemy's fleet; and ■ had done him, and endeavouring to extenuate your crimes. The treasurer and admiral insisted th.it you should be put to the most painful and ignominiousdeath, by setting fire on yourhouse at night, and the general was to attend with twenty thousand men armed with
would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of the ministers, since the greatest: princes do no more.
This proposal was received with the utmost disapprobation by the whole board. Bolgolam the admiral could not preserve his temper; but rising up poisoned arrows to (hoot you on the face in fury said, he wondered how the scand hands. Some of your servants were cretary durst presume to give his opito have private orders to strew a poi- nion for preserving the life of a traitor: sonous juice on your shirts and sheets, that the services you had performed which would soon make you tear your were, by all true reasons of state, the own flesh, and die in the utmost tor- great aggravation of your crimes; that ture. The general came into the fame you, whowas able to extinguish the fire opinion; so that for a long time there by discharge of urine in her majesty's was a majority against you: but his apartment (which he mentioned with majesty resolving-, if possible, to spare horror) might at another time raise an your life, at last brought off the cham- inundation by the fame means to drown
Upon this incident Reldresa], principal secretary for private affairs, who always approved himself your true friend,
the whole palace; and the fame strength which enabled you to bring over the enemy's fleet, might serve upon the first discontent to carry them back: that 3H4
he had good reasons to think you were so dangerous, when it should become
a Big-endian in your heart; and as more than half diminished; and imme
treason begins in the heart before it diately upon your death five or six
appears in overt-acts, so he accused thousand os his majesty's subjects might
you as a traitor on that account, and in two or three days cut your flesh from
therefore insisted you should be put to your bones, take it away by cart-loads,
death. . and bury it in distant parts to prevent
The treasurer was of the fame opi- infection, leaving the skeleton as a morion: he shewed to what streights his nument of admiration to posterity. majesty's revenue was reduced by the Thus by the great friendship of the chargeof maintaining you, which would secretary the whole affair was comprosoon grow insupportable: that the se- mised. It was strictly enjoined, that crer'ary's expedient of putting out your the project of starving you by degrees eyes was so far from being a remedy should be kept a secret, but the senagainlt this evil, that it would probably tenee of putting out your eyes was enincrease it, as is manifest from the com- tered on the books; none dissenting exmon practice of blinding some kind of cept Bolgolam the admiral, who, being fowl, after which they fed the faster, a creature of the empress's, was perpeand grew sooner fat: that his sacred tually instigated by her majesty to inmajesty and the council, who are your fist upon your death, she having borne judges, were in their own consciences perpetual malice against you on account fully convinced of your guilt, which of that infamous and illegal method you was a sufficient argument to condemn took to extinguish the fire in her apartyou to death, without the formal proofs required by the strict letter of the law *.
But his imperial majesty, fully determined against capital punishment, was graciously pleased to say, that since
In three days, your friend the secretary will be directed to come to your house, and read before you the articles of impeachment; and then to signify the great lenity and favour of his mathe council thought the loss of your jesty and council, whereby you are on
eyes ton easy a censure, some other may be indicted hereafter. And yoursriend the secretary, humbly desiring to be heard again, in answer to what the treasurer had objected concerning the
ly condemned to the loss of your eyes, which his majesty doth not question you will gratefully and humbly submit to; and twenty of his majesty's surgeons will attend in order to fee the operation
great charge his majesty was at in main- well performed, by discharging very taining you, said, that his excellency, sharp-pointed arrows into the balls of who had the sole disposal of the em- your eyes, as-you lie on the ground, peror's revenue, might easily provide I leave to your prudence what mcaagainst that evil, by gradually lessening surcs you will take; and, to avoid susyour establishment; by which, for want picion, I must immediately return in as of sufficient food, you would grow weak private a manner as I came, and faint, and lose your appetite, and His lordship did so, and I remained consume in a few months; neither alone under many doubts and perplexiwould the stench of your carcase be then tics of mind.
It was a custom introduced by this prince and his ministry (very different, as 1 have been assured, from the practices of former times) that after the, court had decreed any cruel execution, either to gratify the monarch's relentment, or the malice of a favourite, the emperor always made a speech to his whole council, expressing his great lenity and tenderness, as qualities known and confessed by all the world.
* There is something so odious in whatever is wrorg, that even thole whom it dees not subject to punishment endeaviur to a hur it with an appearance of right j hut the ahtempt is always unsuccessful, and (inly betiays a consciousness of deformity by (hewing a delnc to hide it. Thus the Lilliputian cou:t pretended a r'ght to dispense vlth th-- itrict letter of the law to put Gulliver to dea«.h, thoug"; by the ft ici letter of the law only be could be tonv'ctcd of a crime; the intention, of the (bate n,u being tj suffer the palace rather to be burnt than pilled upon,
This speech was immediately published through the kingdom; nor did any thing terrify the people so much as those encomiums on his majesty's mercy; because it was observed, that, the more these praises were enlarged and insisted on, the more inhuman was the punishment, and the sufferer more innocent. Yet as to myself, I must confess, having never been designed for a courtier, either by my birth or education, I was so ill a judge of things, that I could not discover the lenity and favour of this sentence, but conceived it (perhaps erroneously) rather to be rigorous than gentle. I sometimes thought of standing my trial; for, although I could not deny the facts alledged in the several articles, yet I hoped they would admit of some extenuation. But hav. ing in my life perused many state-trials, which I ever observed to terminate as the judges thought fit to direct, I durst not rely on so dangerous a decision, in so critical a juncture, and against such powerful enemies. Once I was strongly bent upon resistance, for, while I had liberty, the whole strength of that empire could hardly subdue me, and I might easily with stones pelt the metropolis to pieces; but I soon rejected that project with horror, by remembering the oath I had made to the emperor, the favours I had received from him, and the high title of nardac he conferred upon me. Neither had I so soon learned the gratitude of courtiers, to persuade myself, that his majesty's present severities acquitted me of all past obligations.
At last I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is probable I may incur some censure, and not unjustly; forl confess I owe the preserving mine eyes, and consequently my liberty, to my own great rashness, and want of experience; because, if I had then known the nature of princes and ministers, which I have since observed in many other courts, and their methods of treating criminals less obnoxious than myself, I mould with great alacrity and readiness bayc submitted to so easy a punishment. But hurried on by the precipitancy os youth, and having his imperial majesty's licence to pay my at
tendance upon the emperor of Blefuscu, I took this opportunity, before the three days were elapsed, to send a letter to my friend the secretary, signifying my resolution of setting out that morning for Blefuscu, pursuant to the leave 1 had got; and, without waiting for anyinswer, I went to that side of the islancPwhere our fleet lay. I seized" a large man of war, tied a cable to the prow, and, listing up the anchors, I stript myself, put my cloaths (together with my coverlet, which I carried under my arm) into the vessel, and drawing it after me, between wading and swimming arrived at the royal port of Blefuscu, where the people had long expected me; they lent me two guides to'direct me to the capital city, which i3 of the fame name. I held them in my hands, till I came within two hundred yards of the gate, and desired them to signify my arrival to one of the secretaries, and let him know, I there waited his majesty's command. . I had an answer in about an hour, that his majesty, attended by the royal family and great officers of the court, was coming out to receive me. I advanced a hundred yards. The emperor and his train alighted from their horses, the empress and ladies from their coaches, and I did not perceive they were in any fright or concern. I lay on the ground to kiss his majesty's and the empress's hand. I told his majesty that I was come according to my promise, and with the licence os the emperor my master, to have the honour of seeing so mighty a monarch, and to offer him any service in my power consistent with my duty to my own prince; not mentioning a word of my disgrace, because I had hitherto no regular information of it, and might suppose myself wholly ignorant of any such design; neither could I reasonably conceive that the emperor would discover the secret, while I was out of his power; wherein however it soon appeared I was deceived.
J (hall not trouble the reader with the particular account of my reception at this court, which was suitable to tne generosity of so great a prince; nor of the difficulties I was in for want of a