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Gulliver’s Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World
I hope you will be ready to own publicly, whenever you shall be called to it, that by your great and frequent urgency you prevailed on me to publish a very loose and incorrect account of my travels.
With directions to hire some young gentleman of either university to put them in order, and correct the style, as my cousin Dampier did, by my advice, in his book called “A Voyage round the world.”
But I do not remember I gave you the power to consent that anything should be omitted, and much less that anything should be inserted; therefore, as to the latter.
I do here renounce everything of that kind; particularly a paragraph about her majesty Queen Anne, of most pious and glorious memory.
Although I did reverence and esteem her more than any of the human species.
But you, or your interpolator, ought to have considered, that it was not my inclination, so was it not decent to praise any animal of our composition before my master Houyhnhnm.
And besides, the fact was altogether false; for to my knowledge, being in England during some part of her majesty’s reign, she did govern by a chief minister; nay even by two successively.
The first whereof was the lord of Godolphin, and the second the lord of Oxford; so that you have made me say the thing that was not.
Likewise in the account of the academy of projectors, and several passages of my discourse to my master Houyhnhnm, you have either omitted some material circumstances or minced or changed them in such a manner, that I do hardly know my own work.
When I formerly hinted to you something of this in a letter, you were pleased to answer that you were afraid of giving offense.
That people in power were very watchful over the press and apt not only to interpret but to punish everything which looked like an innuendo (as I think you call it).
But, pray how could that which I spoke so many years ago, and at about five thousand leagues distance, in another reign.
Be applied to any of the Yahoos, who now is said to govern the herd; especially at a time when I little thought, or feared, the unhappiness of living under them?
I answered in few words, but to no purpose, and made a sign with my hand that was loose, putting it to the other (but over his Excellency’s head, for fear of hurting him or his train) and then to my own head and bod} 7 , to signify that I desired my liberty.
It appeared that he understood me well enough, for he shook his head by way of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture, to shew that I must be carried as a prisoner.
However, he made other signs to let me understand that I should have meat and drink enough, and very good treatment.
Whereupon I once more thought of attempting to break my bonds; but again, when I felt the smart of their arrows, upon my face and hands, which were all in blisters, and many of the darts still sticking in them; and observing likewise that the number of my enemies increased, I gave tokens, to let them know that they might do with me what they pleased.
JJpon this, the Hurgo and his train withdrew, with much civility and cheerful countenances.
Soon after, I heard a general shout, with frequent repetitions of the words, Peplom selan, and I felt great numbers of people on my left side, relaxing the cords to such a degree, that I was able to turn upon my right.
But before this, they had daubed my face, and both my hands, with a sort of ointment very pleasant to the smell, which in a few minutes removed all the smart of their arrows.
These circumstances, added to the refreshment I had received by their victuals and drink, which were very nourishing, disposed me to sleep.
I slept about eight hours, as I was afterwards assured; and it was no wonder, for the physicians, by the Emperor’s order, had mingled a sleepy potion 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; and determined 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 drink should 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 confident, would 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, supposing these people had endeavoured to kill me with their spears and arrows, while I was 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 to break the strings wherewith I was tied ; after which, as they were not able to make resistance, so they could expect no mercy.
These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a great perfection in mechanics, by the countenance and encouragement of the Emperor, who is a renowned patron of learning.
This prince hath several machines fixed on wheels, for the carriage of trees, and other great weights.
He often builds his largest men-of-war, whereof some are nine feet long, in the woods where the timber grows, and has them carried on these engines three or four hundred yards to the sea.
Five hundred carpenters and engineers were immediately set at work to prepare the greatest engine they had. It was a frame of wood raised three inches from the ground, about seven feet long, and four wide, moving upon 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 brought parallel to me as I lay.
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