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I have other complaints to make upon this vexatious occasion; but I forbeartroubling myself or you any further. I must freely confess, that since my lastreturn, some corruptions of my Yahoo nature have revived in me byconversing with a few of your species, and particularly those of my own family,by an unavoidable necessity; else I should never have attempted so absurd aproject as that of reforming the Yahoo race in this kingdom; but I havenow done with all such visionary schemes for ever.
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; withwhom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into theLevant, 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 toseveral patients. I took part of a small house in the Old Jewry; and beingadvised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary Burton, second daughter toMr. Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-street, with whom I received four hundredpounds for a portion.
I am here obliged to vindicate the reputation of an excellent lady, who was aninnocent sufferer upon my account. The treasurer took a fancy to be jealous ofhis wife, from the malice of some evil tongues, who informed him that her gracehad taken a violent affection for my person; and the court scandal ran for sometime, that she once came privately to my lodging. This I solemnly declare to bea most infamous falsehood, without any grounds, further than that her grace waspleased to treat me with all innocent marks of freedom and friendship. I ownshe came often to my house, but always publicly, nor ever without three more inthe coach, who were usually her sister and young daughter, and some particularacquaintance; but this was common to many other ladies of the court. And Istill appeal to my servants round, whether they at any time saw a coach at mydoor, without knowing what persons were in it. On those occasions, when aservant had given me notice, my custom was to go immediately to the door, and,after paying my respects, to take up the coach and two horses very carefully inmy hands (for, if there were six horses, the postillion always unharnessedfour,) and place them on a table, where I had fixed a movable rim quite round,of five inches high, to prevent accidents. And I have often had four coachesand horses at once on my table, full of company, while I sat in my chair,leaning my face towards them; and when I was engaged with one set, the coachmenwould gently drive the others round my table. I have passed many an afternoonvery agreeably in these conversations. But I defy the treasurer, or his twoinformers (I will name them, and let them make the best of it) Clustril andDrunlo, to prove that any person ever came to me incognito, except thesecretary Reldresal, who was sent by express command of his imperial majesty,as I have before related. I should not have dwelt so long upon this particular,if it had not been a point wherein the reputation of a great lady is so nearlyconcerned, to say nothing of my own; though I then had the honour to be anardac, 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 amarquis is to a duke in England; yet I allow he preceded me in right of hispost. These false informations, which I afterwards came to the knowledge of byan accident not proper to mention, made the treasurer show his lady for sometime an ill countenance, and me a worse; and although he was at last undeceivedand reconciled to her, yet I lost all credit with him, and found my interestdecline very fast with the emperor himself, who was, indeed, too much governedby that favourite.
Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the north-east coastof the island, I observed, about half a league off in the sea, somewhat thatlooked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and,wading two or three hundred yards, I found the object to approach nearer byforce of the tide; and then plainly saw it to be a real boat, which I supposedmight by some tempest have been driven from a ship. Whereupon, I returnedimmediately towards the city, and desired his imperial majesty to lend metwenty of the tallest vessels he had left, after the loss of his fleet, andthree thousand seamen, under the command of his vice-admiral. This fleet sailedround, while I went back the shortest way to the coast, where I firstdiscovered the boat. I found the tide had driven it still nearer. The seamenwere all provided with cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a sufficientstrength. When the ships came up, I stripped myself, and waded till I camewithin a hundred yards of the boat, after which I was forced to swim till Igot up to it. The seamen threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to ahole in the fore-part of the boat, and the other end to a man of war; but Ifound all my labour to little purpose; for, being out of my depth, I was notable to work. In this necessity I was forced to swim behind, and push the boatforward, as often as I could, with one of my hands; and the tide favouring me,I advanced so far that I could just hold up my chin and feel the ground. Irested two or three minutes, and then gave the boat another shove, and so on,till the sea was no higher than my arm-pits; and now, the most laborious partbeing over, I took out my other cables, which were stowed in one of the ships,and fastened them first to the boat, and then to nine of the vessels whichattended me; the wind being favourable, the seamen towed, and I shoved, untilwe arrived within forty yards of the shore; and, waiting till the tide was out,I got dry to the boat, and by the assistance of two thousand men, with ropesand engines, I made a shift to turn it on its bottom, and found it was butlittle damaged.
I fell into a high road, for so I took it to be, though it served to theinhabitants only as a foot-path through a field of barley. Here I walked on forsome time, but could see little on either side, it being now near harvest, andthe corn rising at least forty feet. I was an hour walking to the end of thisfield, which was fenced in with a hedge of at least one hundred and twenty feethigh, and the trees so lofty that I could make no computation of theiraltitude. There was a stile to pass from this field into the next. It had foursteps, and a stone to cross over when you came to the uppermost. It wasimpossible for me to climb this stile, because every step was six-feet high,and the upper stone about twenty. I was endeavouring to find some gap in thehedge, when I discovered one of the inhabitants in the next field, advancingtowards the stile, of the same size with him whom I saw in the sea pursuing ourboat. He appeared as tall as an ordinary spire steeple, and took about tenyards at every stride, as near as I could guess. I was struck with the utmostfear and astonishment, and ran to hide myself in the corn, whence I saw him atthe top of the stile looking back into the next field on the right hand, andheard him call in a voice many degrees louder than a speaking-trumpet: but thenoise was so high in the air, that at first I certainly thought it was thunder.Whereupon seven monsters, like himself, came towards him with reaping-hooks intheir hands, each hook about the largeness of six scythes. These people werenot so well clad as the first, whose servants or labourers they seemed to be;for, upon some words he spoke, they went to reap the corn in the field where Ilay. I kept from them at as great a distance as I could, but was forced to movewith extreme difficulty, for the stalks of the corn were sometimes not above afoot distant, so that I could hardly squeeze my body betwixt them. However, Imade a shift to go forward, till I came to a part of the field where the cornhad been laid by the rain and wind. Here it was impossible for me to advance astep; for the stalks were so interwoven, that I could not creep through, andthe beards of the fallen ears so strong and pointed, that they pierced throughmy clothes into my flesh. At the same time I heard the reapers not a hundredyards behind me. Being quite dispirited with toil, and wholly overcome by griefand dispair, I lay down between two ridges, and heartily wished I might thereend my days. I bemoaned my desolate widow and fatherless children. I lamentedmy own folly and wilfulness, in attempting a second voyage, against the adviceof all my friends and relations. In this terrible agitation of mind, I couldnot forbear thinking of Lilliput, whose inhabitants looked upon me as thegreatest prodigy that ever appeared in the world; where I was able to draw animperial fleet in my hand, and perform those other actions, which will berecorded for ever in the chronicles of that empire, while posterity shallhardly believe them, although attested by millions. I reflected what amortification it must prove to me, to appear as inconsiderable in this nation,as one single Lilliputian would be among us. But this I conceived was to be theleast of my misfortunes; for, as human creatures are observed to be more savageand cruel in proportion to their bulk, what could I expect but to be a morselin the mouth of the first among these enormous barbarians that should happen toseize me Undoubtedly philosophers are in the right, when they tell us thatnothing is great or little otherwise than by comparison. It might have pleasedfortune, to have let the Lilliputians find some nation, where the people wereas diminutive with respect to them, as they were to me. And who knows but thateven this prodigious race of mortals might be equally overmatched in somedistant part of the world, whereof we have yet no discovery. 153554b96e