Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

well to the proper places, that in three mean some of those in the great royal minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, park, the tops whereof I could but just and the rest of that noble pile, which had reach with my fist clenched. The other cost so many ages in erečting, preserved yegetables are in the same proportion; from destruction.

but this I leave to the reader's imaginaIt was now daylight, and I returned to tion. my house, without waiting to congratulate I shall say but little at present of their with the emperor; becaule, although I had learning, which for many ages hath floudone a very eminent piece of service, yet rished in all its branches among them: I could not tell how his majesty might re but their manner of writing is very pecusent the manner by which I had perform- liar, being neither from the left to the ed it: for, by the fundamental laws of the right, like the Europeans; nor from the realm, it is capital in any person, of what right to the left, like the Arabians; nor quality soever, to make water within the from up to down, like the Chinese; but precinêts of the palace. But I was a little aslant from one corner of the paper to the comforted by a message from his majesty, other, like ladies in England. that he would give orders to the grand They bury their dead with their heads justiciary for palling my pardon in form; directly downwards, because they hold an which, however, I could not obtain. And opinion, that in eleven thousand moons I was privately afured, that the empress, they are all to rise again, in which period conceiving the greatest abhorrence of what the earth (which they conceive to be fiat) I had done, removed to the most diftant will turn upside down, and by this means side of the court, firmly resolved that those they shall at their resurrection be found buildings should never be repaired for her ready standing on their feet. The learned use; and, in the presence of her chief con- among them confess the absurdity of this fidents, could not forbear vowing revenge. doctrine, but the practice ftill continues in

compliance to the vulgar. C H A P. VI.

There are some laws and customs in this Of the inhabitants of Lilliput; their learn- empire very peculiar; and, if they were

not so directly contrary to those of my own ing, laws, and customs; the manner of educating their children. The author's way

dear country, I should be tempted to say

a little in their justification. It is only to of living in that country. His vindication

be wished they were as well executed. The of a great lady.

first I shall mention relates to informers. Although I intend to leave the descrip- All crimes against the state are punished tion of this empire to a particular treatile, here with the utmost severity ; but, if the yet in the mean time I am content to gra person accused maketh his innocence plaiscify the curious reader with some general ly to appear upon his trial, the accuser is ideas. As the common size of the natives immediately put to an ignominious death: is somewhat under six inches high, so there and out of his goods or lands the innocen: is an exact proportion in all other animals, person is quadruply recompensed for the as well as plants and trees; for initance, loss of his time, for the danger he onderthe tallest horses and oxen are between went, for the hardships of his imprisonfour and five inches in heighth, the sheep ment, and for all the charges he hath been an inch and a half, more or less; their at in making his defence. Or, if that fund geefe about the bigness of a sparrow, and be deficient, it is largely supplied by the to the several gradations downwards, till crown. The emperor also confers on hina you come to the mallett, which to my fight some public mark of his favour, and prowere almost invisible; but nature hath clamation is made of his innocence through adapted the eyes of the Lilliputians to all the whole city. objects proper for their view: they fee with They look

upon fraud as a greater crime great exactness, but at no great distance, than theft, and therefore seldom fail to puAnd, to sew the Marpness of their fight nish it with death; for they alledge, that towards objects that are near, I have been care and vigilance, with a very common much pleased with observing a cook pul- understanding, may preserve a man's goods ling a lark, which was not to large as a from thieves, bụt honesty has no fence common fly; and a young girl threading against superior cunning; and înce it is an invisible needle with invisible folk. Their necessary that there should be a perpetual tallest trees are about seven feet high: I intercourse of buying and selling, and deal.

ing upon credit; where fraud is permitted, be in every man's power, the practice of and connived at, or hath no law to punish which virtues, afiiled by experience and a it, the honest dealer is always undone, and good intention, would qualify any man for the knave gets the advantage. I remem- the service of his country, except where a ber when I was once interceding with the course of Itudy is required. * But they king for a criminal, who had wronged his thought the want of moral virtues was so master of a great sum of money, which he far from being supplied by superior endow. had received by order, and ran away with ; ments of the mind, that employments could and happening to tell his majesty, by way never be put into fuch dangerous hands as of extenuation, that it was only a breach of those of persons so qualified; and at least, trust; the emperor thought it monstrous that the mistakes committed by ignorance in me to offer as a defence the greatest ag- in a virtuous disposition would never be of gravation of the crime; and truly I had such fatal consequence to the public weal, little to say in return, farther than the com as the practices of a man whose inclinations mon answer, that different nations had dif- led him to be corrupt, and who had great ferent customs; for, I confess, I was hearti- abilities to manage, to multiply, and de.' ly alhamed *.

fend his corruptions. Although we usually call reward and In like manner, the disbelief of a divine punishment the two hinges upon which providence renders a man incapable of all government turns, yet I could never holding any public station; for, fince kings observe this maxim to be put in practice avowed themselves to be the deputies of by any nation, except that of Lilliput. providence, the Lilliputians think nothing Whoever can there bring sufficient proof, can be more absurd than for a prince to that he hath striály observed the laws of employ such men as disown the authority his country for seventy-three moons, hath under which he acteth. a claim to certain privileges, according to In relating these and the following laws, his quality and condition of life, with a I would only be understood to mean the proportionable sum of money out of a original institutions, and not the most fcanfund appropriated for that use : he like. dalous corruptions, into which these people wile acquires the title of Snilpall, or Legal, are fallen by the degenerate nature of man. which is added to his name, but doth not For as to that infamous practice of acquirdescend to his pofterity. And these peo- ing great employments by dancing on the ple thought it a prodigious defect of policy ropes, or badges of favour and distinction among us, when I told them, that our laws by leaping over sticks, and creeping under were enforced only by penalties, without them, the reader is to observe, that they any mention of reward. It is upon this were first introduced by the grandfather of account that the image of justice, in their the emperor now reigning, and grew to the courts of judicature, is formed with fix present heighth by the gradual encrease of eyes, two before, as many behind, and on party and faction. each fide one, to fignify circumípection; Ingratitude is among them a capital with a bag of gold open in her right hand, crime, as we read it to have been in some and a sword heathed in her left, to fhew other countries : for they reason thus, that she is more disposed to reward than pu- whoever makes ill returns to his benefactor, nish.

muft needs be a common enemy to the rest In chuâng persons for all employments of mankind, from whom he hath received they have more regard to good morals than no obligation, and therefore such a man is to great abilities;

for, since government is not fit to live. necessary to mankind, they believe that the Their notions relating to the duties of common size of human understandings is parents and children differ extremely from fitted to some station or other, and that ours. For, since the conjunction of male providence never intended to make the and female is founded upon the great law management of public affairs to be a mys of nature, in order to propagate and contery comprchended only by a few persons tinue the species, the Lilliputians will needs of sublime genius, of which there seldom

have it, that men and women are joined are three born in an age: but they suppose together like other animals by the motives truth, justice, temperance, and the like, to of concupiscence; and that their tenderAn act of parliament hath been fince passed,

ness towards their young proceeds from by which fome breaches of trust have been made the like natural principle: for which reacapital.

son they will never allow, that a child is

upder

under any obligation to his father for be- upon failure of due payment, is levied by getting him, or to his mother for bringing the emperor's officers. him into the world, which, considering the The nurseries for children of ordinary miseries of human life, was neither a bene- gentlemen, merchants, traders, and handifit in itself, nor intended so by his parents, crafts, are managed proportionably after whose thoughts in their love-encounters the same manner, only those designed for were otherwile employed. Upon these, trades are put out apprentices at eleven and the like reasonings, their opinion is years old, whereas those of persons of quathat parents are the lait of all others to be lity continue in their exercises till fifteen, trusted with the education of their own chil- which answers to twenty-one with us: but dren: and therefore they have in every town the confinement is gradually leilened for public nurseries, where all parents, except the last three years. cottagers and labourers, are obliged to send In the female nurseries, the young girls their infants of both sexes to be reared and of quality are educated much like the educated when they come to the age of males, only they are dressed by orderly fertwenty moons, at which time they are fup- vants of their own sex; but always in the posed to have some rudiments of docility. presence of a professor or deputy, till they These schools are of several kinds, suited, come to dress themselves, which is at five to different qualities, and to both sexe years old. And if it be found, that these They have certain professors weil skilled nurses ever presume to entertain the girls in preparing children for such a condition with frightful or foolish stories, or the conof life as befits the rank of their parents, mon follies practised by chambermaids and their own capacities as well as inclina- among us, they are publicly whipped tion. I fall first lay something of the male thrice about the city, imprisoned for a nurseries, and then of the female.

year, and banished for life to the most deThe nurseries for males of noble or emi. folate part of the country. Thus the young nent birth are provided with grave and ladies there are as much alaamed of being learned professors, and their several depu· cowards and fools as the men, and despise ties. The clothes and food of the children all personal ornaments beyond decency and are plain and simple. They are bred up cleanliness: neither did I perceive any difin the principles of honour, justice, courage, ference in their education, made by their modefty, clemency, religion, and love of difference of sex, only that the exercises their country; they are always employed of the females were not altogether fo roin some business, except in the times of eat- buit; and that some rules were given them ing, and sleeping, which are very short, and relating to domestic life, and a smaller comtwo hours for diversions, consisting of bo- pass of learning was enjoined them: for dily exercises. They are dressed by men their maxim is, that, among people of till four years of age, and then are obliged quality, a wife should be always a reason. to dress themselves, although their quality able and agreeable companion, because be ever so great, and the women attendants, she cannot always be young. When the who are aged proportionably to ours at fif- girls are twelve years old, which amor.g ty, perform only the most menial offices. them is the marriageable age, their pa. They are never suffered to converse with rents or guardians take them home with fervants, but go together in smaller or great expresions of gratitude to the progreater numbers to take their diversions, feffors, and seldom without tears of the and always in the presence of a professor, young lady and her companions. or one of his depaties; whereby they avoid In the nurseries of females of the mean. those early bad impressions of folly and er fort, the children are instructed in all vice, to which our children are subject. kinds of works proper for their sex, and Their parents are suffered to see them only their several degrees: those intended for twice a year; the visit is to last but an apprentices are dismissed at seven years hour; they are allowed to kiss the child old, the rest are kept to eleven. at meeting and parting; but a professor, The meaner families, who have children who always stands by on those occasions, at these nurseries, are obliged, besides their will not suffer them to whisper, or use any annual pension, which is as low as posible, fondling expressions, or bring any presents to return to the steward of the nursery of toys, sweetmeats, and the like. a small monthly share of their gettings to

The pension from each family for the be a portion for the child; and therefore education and entertainment of a child, all parents are limited in their expences by

the

the law. For the Lilliputians think nothing (for the largest of theirs would not have can be more unjust, than for people, in sub- been able to hold them) they looked like fervience to their own appetites, to bring the patch-work made by the ladies in Engchildren into the world, and leave the bur- land, only that mine were all of a colour. den of supporting them on the public. As I had three hundred cooks to dress my to persons of quality, they give security to victuals in little convenient huts built about appropriate a certain sum for each child, my house, where they and their families suitable to their condition ; and these funds lived, and prepared me two dishes a-piece. are always managed with good husbandry, I took up twenty waiters in my hand, and and the most exact justice.

- placed them on the table; an hundred The cottagers and labourers keep their more attended below on the ground, some children at home, their business being only with dishes of meat, and some with barrels to till and cultivate the earth, and there- of wine and other liquors, llung on their fore their education is of little consequence fhoulders; all which the waiters above to the public: but the old and diseased drew up, as I wanted, in a very ingenious among them are supported by hospitals: manner, by certain cords, as we draw the for begging is a trade unknown in this bucket up a well in Europe. A dish of empire.

their meat was a good mouthful, and a And here it may perhaps divert the cu- barrel of their liquor a reasonable draught. rious reader, to give some account of my Their mutton yields to ours, but their beef domestics, and my manner of living in this is excellent. I have had a firloin so large, country, during a residence of nine months that I have been forced to make three bits and thirteen days. Having a head me- of it; but this is rare. My servants were chanically turned, and being likewise astonished to see me eat it

, bones and all, forced by neceflity, I had made for my- as in our country we do the leg of a lark. self a table and chair convenient enough Their geele and turkies I usually eat at a out of the largest trees in the royal park. mouthful, and I must confess they far exTwo hundred sempitreiles were employed ceed ours. Of their finaller fowl I could to make me shirts, and linen for my bed take up twenty or shirty at the end of my and table, all of the strongest and coarfest knife. kind they could get; which however they One day his imperial majesty, being inwere forced to quilt together in several formed of my way of living, defired that folds, for the thickest was some degrees himself and his royal confort, with the finer than lawn. Their linen is usually young princes of the blood of both sexes, three inches wide, and three feet make a might have the happiness (as he was pleaspiece. The fempstresses took my measure ed to call it) of dining with me. They as I lay on the ground, one standing on my came accordingly, and I placed them in neck, and another at my mid-leg, with a chairs of state upon my table, just overtrong cord extended, that each held by against me, with their guards about them. the end, while a third measured the length Flimnap, the lord high treasurer, attended of the cord with a rule of an inch long, there likewise with his white staff; and I Then they measured my right thumb, and observed he often looked on me with a sour defred no more; for by a mathematical countenance, which I would not seem to computation, that twice round the thumb regard, but eat more than usual, in honour is once round the wrist, and so on to the to my dear country, as well as to fill the neck and the waist, and by the help of my court with admiration. I have some priold shirt, which I displayed on the ground vate reasons to believe, that this visit from before them for a pattern, they fitted me his majesty gave Flimnap an opportunity exactly. Three hundred taylors were em- of doing me ill offices to his master. That ployed in the fame manner to make me minister had always been my secret enemy, clothes ; but they had another contrivance though he outwardly caressed me more for taking my measure. I kneeled down, than was usual to the moroseness of his and they raiscú a ladder from the ground nature. He represented to the emperor to my neck; upon this ladder one of them the low condition of his treasury; that he mounted, and let fall a plum-line from my was forced to take up money at great dif. collar to the floor, which just answered the count; that exchequer bills would not cir. length of my coat; but my waist and arms culate under nine per cent. below

par; that I measured myself. When my clothes I had cost his majeity above a million and were finished, which was done in my house a half of sprugs (their greatest gold coin,

about

about the bigness of a spangle) and upon me in right of his post. These false, inthe whole, that it would be adviseable in formations, which I afterwards came to the emperor to take the first fair occasion the knowledge of by an accident noi proof dismifting me.

per to mention, made the treasurer few his I am here obliged to vindicate the re. lady for some time an ill countenance, and putation of an excellent lady, who was an me a worse ; and although he was at laft innocent sufferer upon my account. The undeceived and reconciled to her, yet I loft treasurer took a fancy to be jealous of his all credit with him, and found my interest wife, from the malice of some evil congues, decline very fast with the emperor himself, who informed him that her grace had taken who was indeed too much governed by that a violent affection for my person; and the favourite. court-scandal ran for some time, that she once came privately to my lodging. This

CHAP. VII. I solemnly declare to be a most infamous falfood, without any grounds, farther than The author, being informed of a design 10 acthat her grace was pleased to treat me with

cuse him of high treason, maketb bis escape all innocent marks of freedom and friend.

to Blefufcu. His reception there. ship, I own the came often to my house, Before I proceed to give an account of but always publicly, nor ever without three my leaving this kingdom, it may be promore in the coach, who were usually her per to inform the reader of a private infifter and young daughter, and some parti- trigue, which had been for two months cular acquaintance; but this was common forming against me. to many other ladies of the court. And I I had been hitherto all my life a stranger till appeal to my servants round, whether to courts, for which I was unqualified by they at any time faw a coach at my door, the meanness of my condition. I had inwithout knowing what persons were in it. deed heard and read enough of the dispoOn those occasions, when a servant had fitions of great princes and ministers.; but given me notice, my custom was to go im- never expected to have found such terrible mediately to the door; and, after paying effects of them in so remote a country, gomy respects, to take up the coach and two verned, as I thought, by very different max. horses very carefully in my hands (for, if ims from those in Europe. there were fix horses, the poftilion always When I was just preparing to pay my unharnessed four) and placed them on a attendance on the emperor of Blefuscu, a table, where I had fixed a moveable rim considerable person at court (to whom I quite round, of five inches high, to prevent had been very serviceable, at a time when accidents. And I have often had four he lay under the highest displeasure of his coaches and horses at once on my table full imperial majesty) came to my house very of company, while I sat in my chair, lean- privately at night in a close chair

, and, ing my face towards them; and, when I was without fending his name, desired admitengaged with one set, the coachmen would tance: the chairmen were dismissed; I put gently drive the others round my table. I the chair, with his lordship in it, into my have passed many an afternoon very agree. coat-pocket; and, giving orders to a truffy ably in these conversations. But I defy servant to say I was indisposed and gone the treasurer, or his two informers (I will to sleep, I fastened the door of my house, name them, and let them make their best of placed the chair on the table according to it) Cluftril and Drunlo, to prove that any my usual custom, and sat down by it. Afperson ever came to me incognito, excepc ter the common falutations were over, obthe secretary Reldrefal, who was sent by serving his lordship's countenance fall of express command of his imperial majesty, concern, and enquiring into the reason, he as I have before related. I mould not have defired I would hear him with patience in dwelt so long upon this particular, if it had a matter that highly concerned my honour not been a point wherein the reputation of and my life. His speech was to the followa great lady is so nearly concerned, to say ing effect, for I took notes of it as soon as nothing of my own, though I then had the he left me. honour to be a nardac, which the treasurer You are to know, said he, that several himself is not; for all the world knows, committees of council have been lately callthat he is only a glumglu, a title inferior ed in the most private manner on your acby one degree, as that of a marquis is to a count; and it is but two days fince his maduke in England; yet I allow he preceded jesty came to a full resolution.

You

[ocr errors][merged small]
« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »