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Chapter 1

  • The author gives some account of himself and family. His first inducements t_ravel. He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life. Gets safe on shore in th_ountry of Lilliput; is made a prisoner, and carried up the country.
  • My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire: I was the third of five sons.
  • He sent me to Emanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old, where _esided three years, and applied myself close to my studies; but the charge o_aintaining me, although I had a very scanty allowance, being too great for _arrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeo_n London, with whom I continued four years. My father now and then sending m_mall sums of money, I laid them out in learning navigation, and other part_f the mathematics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believe_t would be, some time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates, _ent down to my father: where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, an_ome other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds _ear to maintain me at Leyden: there I studied physic two years and seve_onths, knowing it would be useful in long voyages.
  • Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master, Mr.
  • Bates, to be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannel, commander; wit_hom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into th_evant, and some other parts. When I came back I resolved to settle in London;
  • to which Mr. Bates, my master, encouraged me, and by him I was recommended t_everal patients. I took part of a small house in the Old Jewry; and bein_dvised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary Burton, second daughter t_r. Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-street, with whom I received fou_undred pounds for a portion.
  • But my good master Bates dying in two years after, and I having few friends,
  • my business began to fail; for my conscience would not suffer me to imitat_he bad practice of too many among my brethren. Having therefore consulte_ith my wife, and some of my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea. _as surgeon successively in two ships, and made several voyages, for si_ears, to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to m_ortune. My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors, ancient an_odern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I wa_shore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well a_earning their language; wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of m_emory.
  • The last of these voyages not proving very fortunate, I grew weary of the sea,
  • and intended to stay at home with my wife and family. I removed from the Ol_ewry to Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping to get business amon_he sailors; but it would not turn to account. After three years expectatio_hat things would mend, I accepted an advantageous offer from Captain Willia_richard, master of the Antelope, who was making a voyage to the South Sea. W_et sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699, and our voyage was at first ver_rosperous.
  • It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with th_articulars of our adventures in those seas; let it suffice to inform him,
  • that in our passage from thence to the East Indies, we were driven by _iolent storm to the north-west of Van Diemen's Land. By an observation, w_ound ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south. Twelve of ou_rew were dead by immoderate labour and ill food; the rest were in a very wea_ondition. On the 5th of November, which was the beginning of summer in thos_arts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock within half _able's length of the ship; but the wind was so strong, that we were drive_irectly upon it, and immediately split. Six of the crew, of whom I was one,
  • having let down the boat into the sea, made a shift to get clear of the shi_nd the rock. We rowed, by my computation, about three leagues, till we wer_ble to work no longer, being already spent with labour while we were in th_hip. We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy of the waves, and in abou_alf an hour the boat was overset by a sudden flurry from the north. Wha_ecame of my companions in the boat, as well as of those who escaped on th_ock, or were left in the vessel, I cannot tell; but conclude they were al_ost. For my own part, I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forwar_y wind and tide. I often let my legs drop, and could feel no bottom; but whe_ was almost gone, and able to struggle no longer, I found myself within m_epth; and by this time the storm was much abated. The declivity was so small,
  • that I walked near a mile before I got to the shore, which I conjectured wa_bout eight o'clock in the evening. I then advanced forward near half a mile,
  • but could not discover any sign of houses or inhabitants; at least I was in s_eak a condition, that I did not observe them. I was extremely tired, and wit_hat, and the heat of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that _rank as I left the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep. I lay down o_he grass, which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever _emembered to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, about nine hours; fo_hen I awaked, it was just day-light. I attempted to rise, but was not able t_tir: for, as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs wer_trongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long an_hick, tied down in the same manner. I likewise felt several slender ligature_cross my body, from my arm-pits to my thighs. I could only look upwards; th_un began to grow hot, and the light offended my eyes. I heard a confuse_oise about me; but in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky. I_ little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancin_ently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when, bending m_yes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature no_ix inches high, with a bow and arrow in his hands, and a quiver at his back.
  • In the mean time, I felt at least forty more of the same kind (as _onjectured) following the first. I was in the utmost astonishment, and roare_o loud, that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I wa_fterwards told, were hurt with the falls they got by leaping from my side_pon the ground. However, they soon returned, and one of them, who ventured s_ar as to get a full sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way o_dmiration, cried out in a shrill but distinct voice, Hekinah degul: th_thers repeated the same words several times, but then I knew not what the_eant. I lay all this while, as the reader may believe, in great uneasiness.
  • At length, struggling to get loose, I had the fortune to break the strings,
  • and wrench out the pegs that fastened my left arm to the ground; for, b_ifting it up to my face, I discovered the methods they had taken to bind me,
  • and at the same time with a violent pull, which gave me excessive pain, I _ittle loosened the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that _as just able to turn my head about two inches. But the creatures ran off _econd time, before I could seize them; whereupon there was a great shout in _ery shrill accent, and after it ceased I heard one of them cry aloud Tolg_honac; when in an instant I felt above a hundred arrows discharged on my lef_and, which, pricked me like so many needles; and besides, they shot anothe_light into the air, as we do bombs in Europe, whereof many, I suppose, fel_n my body, (though I felt them not), and some on my face, which I immediatel_overed with my left hand. When this shower of arrows was over, I fell _roaning with grief and pain; and then striving again to get loose, the_ischarged another volley larger than the first, and some of them attempte_ith spears to stick me in the sides; but by good luck I had on a buff jerkin,
  • which they could not pierce. I thought it the most prudent method to li_till, and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left hand bein_lready loose, I could easily free myself: and as for the inhabitants, I ha_eason to believe I might be a match for the greatest army they could brin_gainst me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw. But fortun_isposed otherwise of me. When the people observed I was quiet, the_ischarged no more arrows; but, by the noise I heard, I knew their number_ncreased; and about four yards from me, over against my right ear, I heard _nocking for above an hour, like that of people at work; when turning my hea_hat way, as well as the pegs and strings would permit me, I saw a stag_rected about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four o_he inhabitants, with two or three ladders to mount it: from whence one o_hem, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long speech, whereof _nderstood not one syllable. But I should have mentioned, that before th_rincipal person began his oration, he cried out three times, Langro dehul san
  • (these words and the former were afterwards repeated and explained to me);
  • whereupon, immediately, about fifty of the inhabitants came and cut th_trings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty o_urning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him tha_as to speak.
  • He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of the other three wh_ttended him, whereof one was a page that held up his train, and seemed to b_omewhat longer than my middle finger; the other two stood one on each side t_upport him. He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe man_eriods of threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness. _nswered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up my lef_and, and both my eyes to the sun, as calling him for a witness; and bein_lmost famished with hunger, having not eaten a morsel for some hours before _eft the ship, I found the demands of nature so strong upon me, that I coul_ot forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules o_ecency) by putting my finger frequently to my mouth, to signify that I wante_ood. The hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learnt)
  • understood me very well. He descended from the stage, and commanded tha_everal ladders should be applied to my sides, on which above a hundred of th_nhabitants mounted and walked towards my mouth, laden with baskets full o_eat, which had been provided and sent thither by the king's orders, upon th_irst intelligence he received of me. I observed there was the flesh o_everal animals, but could not distinguish them by the taste. There wer_houlders, legs, and loins, shaped like those of mutton, and very wel_ressed, but smaller than the wings of a lark. I ate them by two or three at _outhful, and took three loaves at a time, about the bigness of muske_ullets.
  • They supplied me as fast as they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder an_stonishment at my bulk and appetite. I then made another sign, that I wante_rink. They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me; an_eing a most ingenious people, they slung up, with great dexterity, one o_heir largest hogsheads, then rolled it towards my hand, and beat out the top;
  • I drank it off at a draught, which I might well do, for it did not hold half _int, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, but much more delicious. The_rought me a second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner, and made sign_or more; but they had none to give me. When I had performed these wonders,
  • they shouted for joy, and danced upon my breast, repeating several times a_hey did at first, Hekinah degul. They made me a sign that I should throw dow_he two hogsheads, but first warning the people below to stand out of the way,
  • crying aloud, Borach mevolah; and when they saw the vessels in the air, ther_as a universal shout of Hekinah degul. I confess I was often tempted, whil_hey were passing backwards and forwards on my body, to seize forty or fift_f the first that came in my reach, and dash them against the ground. But th_emembrance of what I had felt, which probably might not be the worst the_ould do, and the promise of honour I made them—for so I interpreted m_ubmissive behaviour—soon drove out these imaginations. Besides, I no_onsidered myself as bound by the laws of hospitality, to a people who ha_reated me with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts _ould not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals,
  • who durst venture to mount and walk upon my body, while one of my hands was a_iberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature as _ust appear to them. After some time, when they observed that I made no mor_emands for meat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from hi_mperial majesty. His excellency, having mounted on the small of my right leg,
  • advanced forwards up to my face, with about a dozen of his retinue; an_roducing his credentials under the signet royal, which he applied close to m_yes, spoke about ten minutes without any signs of anger, but with a kind o_eterminate resolution, often pointing forwards, which, as I afterwards found,
  • was towards the capital city, about half a mile distant; whither it was agree_y his majesty in council that I must be conveyed. I answered in few words,
  • but to no purpose, and made a sign with my hand that was loose, putting it t_he other (but over his excellency's head for fear of hurting him or hi_rain) and then to my own head and body, to signify that I desired my liberty.
  • It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head by way o_isapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show that I must be carrie_s a prisoner. However, he made other signs to let me understand that I shoul_ave meat and drink enough, and very good treatment. Whereupon I once mor_hought of attempting to break my bonds; but again, when I felt the smart o_heir arrows upon my face and hands, which were all in blisters, and many o_he darts still sticking in them, and observing likewise that the number of m_nemies increased, I gave tokens to let them know that they might do with m_hat they pleased. Upon this, the hurgo and his train withdrew, with muc_ivility and cheerful countenances. Soon after I heard a general shout, wit_requent repetitions of the words Peplom selan; and I felt great numbers o_eople on my left side relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able t_urn upon my right, and to ease myself with making water; which I ver_lentifully did, to the great astonishment of the people; who, conjecturing b_y motion what I was going to do, immediately opened to the right and left o_hat side, to avoid the torrent, which fell with such noise and violence fro_e. But before this, they had daubed my face and both my hands with a sort o_intment, very pleasant to the smell, which, in a few minutes, removed all th_mart of their arrows. These circumstances, added to the refreshment I ha_eceived by their victuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed m_o sleep. I slept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured; and it wa_o wonder, for the physicians, by the emperor's order, had mingled a sleep_otion in the hogsheads of wine.
  • It seems, that upon the first moment I was discovered sleeping on the ground,
  • after my landing, the emperor had early notice of it by an express; an_etermined in council, that I should be tied in the manner I have related,
  • (which was done in the night while I slept;) that plenty of meat and drin_hould be sent to me, and a machine prepared to carry me to the capital city.
  • This resolution perhaps may appear very bold and dangerous, and I am confiden_ould not be imitated by any prince in Europe on the like occasion. However,
  • in my opinion, it was extremely prudent, as well as generous: for, supposin_hese people had endeavoured to kill me with their spears and arrows, while _as asleep, I should certainly have awaked with the first sense of smart,
  • which might so far have roused my rage and strength, as to have enabled me t_reak the strings wherewith I was tied; after which, as they were not able t_ake resistance, so they could expect no mercy.
  • These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a grea_erfection in mechanics, by the countenance and encouragement of the emperor,
  • who is a renowned patron of learning. This prince has several machines fixe_n wheels, for the carriage of trees and other great weights. He often build_is largest men of war, whereof some are nine feet long, in the woods wher_he timber grows, and has them carried on these engines three or four hundre_ards to the sea. Five hundred carpenters and engineers were immediately se_t work to prepare the greatest engine they had. It was a frame of wood raise_hree inches from the ground, about seven feet long, and four wide, movin_pon twenty-two wheels. The shout I heard was upon the arrival of this engine,
  • which, it seems, set out in four hours after my landing. It was brough_arallel to me, as I lay. But the principal difficulty was to raise and plac_e in this vehicle. Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for thi_urpose, and very strong cords, of the bigness of packthread, were fastened b_ooks to many bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, m_ody, and my legs. Nine hundred of the strongest men were employed to draw u_hese cords, by many pulleys fastened on the poles; and thus, in less tha_hree hours, I was raised and slung into the engine, and there tied fast. Al_his I was told; for, while the operation was performing, I lay in a profoun_leep, by the force of that soporiferous medicine infused into my liquor.
  • Fifteen hundred of the emperor's largest horses, each about four inches and _alf high, were employed to draw me towards the metropolis, which, as I said,
  • was half a mile distant.
  • About four hours after we began our journey, I awaked by a very ridiculou_ccident; for the carriage being stopped a while, to adjust something that wa_ut of order, two or three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how _ooked when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and advancing ver_oftly to my face, one of them, an officer in the guards, put the sharp end o_is half-pike a good way up into my left nostril, which tickled my nose like _traw, and made me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole off unperceived, an_t was three weeks before I knew the cause of my waking so suddenly. We made _ong march the remaining part of the day, and, rested at night with fiv_undred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and half with bows an_rrows, ready to shoot me if I should offer to stir. The next morning at sun-
  • rise we continued our march, and arrived within two hundred yards of the cit_ates about noon. The emperor, and all his court, came out to meet us; but hi_reat officers would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person b_ounting on my body.
  • At the place where the carriage stopped there stood an ancient temple,
  • esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom; which, having been pollute_ome years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to the zeal of thos_eople, looked upon as profane, and therefore had been applied to common use,
  • and all the ornaments and furniture carried away. In this edifice it wa_etermined I should lodge. The great gate fronting to the north was about fou_eet high, and almost two feet wide, through which I could easily creep. O_ach side of the gate was a small window, not above six inches from th_round: into that on the left side, the king's smith conveyed fourscore an_leven chains, like those that hang to a lady's watch in Europe, and almost a_arge, which were locked to my left leg with six-and-thirty padlocks. Ove_gainst this temple, on the other side of the great highway, at twenty fee_istance, there was a turret at least five feet high. Here the empero_scended, with many principal lords of his court, to have an opportunity o_iewing me, as I was told, for I could not see them. It was reckoned tha_bove a hundred thousand inhabitants came out of the town upon the sam_rrand; and, in spite of my guards, I believe there could not be fewer tha_en thousand at several times, who mounted my body by the help of ladders. Bu_ proclamation was soon issued, to forbid it upon pain of death. When th_orkmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, they cut all th_trings that bound me; whereupon I rose up, with as melancholy a dispositio_s ever I had in my life. But the noise and astonishment of the people, a_eeing me rise and walk, are not to be expressed. The chains that held my lef_eg were about two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walkin_ackwards and forwards in a semicircle, but, being fixed within four inches o_he gate, allowed me to creep in, and lie at my full length in the temple.