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解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
       
解密文本:     《格列佛游记》   [英] 乔纳森·斯威夫特  著         
 

Gulliver's Travels
by   Jonathan Swift


      第1卷(Part 1)  |     第2卷(Part 2)   |     第3卷(Part 3)  |    第4卷(Part 4)

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PART I   A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT

CHAPTER I

The author gives some account of himself and family.  His first inducements to travel.  He is shipwrecked, and swims for his life.  Gets safe on shore in the country 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 I resided three years, and applied myself close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a very scanty allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years.  My father now and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in learning navigation, and other parts of the mathematics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I always believed it would be, some time or other, my fortune to do.  When I left Mr. Bates, I went down to my father: where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, and some other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds a year to maintain me at Leyden: there I studied physic two years and seven months, 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; with whom I continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, 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 to several patients.  I took part of a small house in the Old Jewry; and being advised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary Burton, second daughter to Mr. Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-street, with whom I received four hundred 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 imitate the bad practice of too many among my brethren.  Having therefore consulted with my wife, and some of my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea.  I was surgeon successively in two ships, and made several voyages, for six years, to the East and West Indies, by which I got some addition to my fortune.  My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors, ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I was ashore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well as learning their language; wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of my memory.

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 Old Jewry to Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping to get business among the sailors; but it would not turn to account.  After three years expectation that things would mend, I accepted an advantageous offer from Captain William Prichard, master of the Antelope, who was making a voyage to the South Sea.  We set sail from Bristol, May 4, 1699, and our voyage was at first very prosperous.

It would not be proper, for some reasons, to trouble the reader with the particulars 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 a violent storm to the north-west of Van Diemen’s Land.  By an observation, we found ourselves in the latitude of 30 degrees 2 minutes south.  Twelve of our crew were dead by immoderate labour and ill food; the rest were in a very weak condition.  On the 5th of November, which was the beginning of summer in those parts, the weather being very hazy, the seamen spied a rock within half a cable’s length of the ship; but the wind was so strong, that we were driven directly 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 ship and the rock.  We rowed, by my computation, about three leagues, till we were able to work no longer, being already spent with labour while we were in the ship.  We therefore trusted ourselves to the mercy of the waves, and in about half an hour the boat was overset by a sudden flurry from the north.  What became of my companions in the boat, as well as of those who escaped on the rock, or were left in the vessel, I cannot tell; but conclude they were all lost.  For my own part, I swam as fortune directed me, and was pushed forward by wind and tide.  I often let my legs drop, and could feel no bottom; but when I was almost gone, and able to struggle no longer, I found myself within my depth; 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 was about 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 so weak a condition, that I did not observe them.  I was extremely tired, and with that, and the heat of the weather, and about half a pint of brandy that I drank as I left the ship, I found myself much inclined to sleep.  I lay down on the grass, which was very short and soft, where I slept sounder than ever I remembered to have done in my life, and, as I reckoned, about nine hours; for when I awaked, it was just day-light.  I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for, as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down in the same manner.  I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my arm-pits to my thighs.  I could only look upwards; the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended my eyes.  I heard a confused noise about me; but in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky.  In a little time I felt something alive moving on my left leg, which advancing gently forward over my breast, came almost up to my chin; when, bending my eyes downwards as much as I could, I perceived it to be a human creature not six 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 I conjectured) following the first.  I was in the utmost astonishment, and roared so loud, that they all ran back in a fright; and some of them, as I was afterwards told, were hurt with the falls they got by leaping from my sides upon the ground.  However, they soon returned, and one of them, who ventured so far as to get a full sight of my face, lifting up his hands and eyes by way of admiration, cried out in a shrill but distinct voice, Hekinah degul: the others repeated the same words several times, but then I knew not what they meant.  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, by lifting 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 a little loosened the strings that tied down my hair on the left side, so that I was just able to turn my head about two inches.  But the creatures ran off a second time, before I could seize them; whereupon there was a great shout in a very shrill accent, and after it ceased I heard one of them cry aloud Tolgo phonac; when in an instant I felt above a hundred arrows discharged on my left hand, which, pricked me like so many needles; and besides, they shot another flight into the air, as we do bombs in Europe, whereof many, I suppose, fell on my body, (though I felt them not), and some on my face, which I immediately covered with my left hand.  When this shower of arrows was over, I fell a groaning with grief and pain; and then striving again to get loose, they discharged another volley larger than the first, and some of them attempted with 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 lie still, and my design was to continue so till night, when, my left hand being already loose, I could easily free myself: and as for the inhabitants, I had reason to believe I might be a match for the greatest army they could bring against me, if they were all of the same size with him that I saw.  But fortune disposed otherwise of me.  When the people observed I was quiet, they discharged no more arrows; but, by the noise I heard, I knew their numbers increased; and about four yards from me, over against my right ear, I heard a knocking for above an hour, like that of people at work; when turning my head that way, as well as the pegs and strings would permit me, I saw a stage erected about a foot and a half from the ground, capable of holding four of the inhabitants, with two or three ladders to mount it: from whence one of them, who seemed to be a person of quality, made me a long speech, whereof I understood not one syllable.  But I should have mentioned, that before the principal 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 the strings that fastened the left side of my head, which gave me the liberty of turning it to the right, and of observing the person and gesture of him that was to speak.  He appeared to be of a middle age, and taller than any of the other three who attended him, whereof one was a page that held up his train, and seemed to be somewhat longer than my middle finger; the other two stood one on each side to support him.  He acted every part of an orator, and I could observe many periods of threatenings, and others of promises, pity, and kindness.  I answered in a few words, but in the most submissive manner, lifting up my left hand, and both my eyes to the sun, as calling him for a witness; and being almost famished with hunger, having not eaten a morsel for some hours before I left the ship, I found the demands of nature so strong upon me, that I could not forbear showing my impatience (perhaps against the strict rules of decency) by putting my finger frequently to my mouth, to signify that I wanted food.  The hurgo (for so they call a great lord, as I afterwards learnt) understood me very well.  He descended from the stage, and commanded that several ladders should be applied to my sides, on which above a hundred of the inhabitants mounted and walked towards my mouth, laden with baskets full of meat, which had been provided and sent thither by the king’s orders, upon the first intelligence he received of me.  I observed there was the flesh of several animals, but could not distinguish them by the taste.  There were shoulders, legs, and loins, shaped like those of mutton, and very well dressed, but smaller than the wings of a lark.  I ate them by two or three at a mouthful, and took three loaves at a time, about the bigness of musket bullets.  They supplied me as fast as they could, showing a thousand marks of wonder and astonishment at my bulk and appetite.  I then made another sign, that I wanted drink.  They found by my eating that a small quantity would not suffice me; and being a most ingenious people, they slung up, with great dexterity, one of their 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 a pint, and tasted like a small wine of Burgundy, but much more delicious.  They brought me a second hogshead, which I drank in the same manner, and made signs for 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 as they did at first, Hekinah degul.  They made me a sign that I should throw down the 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, there was a universal shout of Hekinah degul.  I confess I was often tempted, while they were passing backwards and forwards on my body, to seize forty or fifty of the first that came in my reach, and dash them against the ground.  But the remembrance of what I had felt, which probably might not be the worst they could do, and the promise of honour I made them—for so I interpreted my submissive behaviour—soon drove out these imaginations.  Besides, I now considered myself as bound by the laws of hospitality, to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence.  However, in my thoughts I could 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 at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creature as I must appear to them.  After some time, when they observed that I made no more demands for meat, there appeared before me a person of high rank from his imperial 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; and producing his credentials under the signet royal, which he applied close to my eyes, spoke about ten minutes without any signs of anger, but with a kind of determinate resolution, often pointing forwards, which, as I afterwards found, was towards the capital city, about half a mile distant; whither it was agreed by 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 to the other (but over his excellency’s head for fear of hurting him or his train) 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 of disapprobation, and held his hand in a posture to show 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.  Upon 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, and to ease myself with making water; which I very plentifully did, to the great astonishment of the people; who, conjecturing by my motion what I was going to do, immediately opened to the right and left on that side, to avoid the torrent, which fell with such noise and violence from me.  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 has 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.  But the principal difficulty was to raise and place me in this vehicle.  Eighty poles, each of one foot high, were erected for this purpose, and very strong cords, of the bigness of packthread, were fastened by hooks to many bandages, which the workmen had girt round my neck, my hands, my body, and my legs.  Nine hundred of the strongest men were employed to draw up these cords, by many pulleys fastened on the poles; and thus, in less than three hours, I was raised and slung into the engine, and there tied fast.  All this I was told; for, while the operation was performing, I lay in a profound sleep, by the force of that soporiferous medicine infused into my liquor.  Fifteen hundred of the emperor’s largest horses, each about four inches and a half 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 ridiculous accident; for the carriage being stopped a while, to adjust something that was out of order, two or three of the young natives had the curiosity to see how I looked when I was asleep; they climbed up into the engine, and advancing very softly to my face, one of them, an officer in the guards, put the sharp end of his half-pike a good way up into my left nostril, which tickled my nose like a straw, and made me sneeze violently; whereupon they stole off unperceived, and it was three weeks before I knew the cause of my waking so suddenly.  We made a long march the remaining part of the day, and, rested at night with five hundred guards on each side of me, half with torches, and half with bows and arrows, 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 city gates about noon.  The emperor, and all his court, came out to meet us; but his great officers would by no means suffer his majesty to endanger his person by mounting 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 polluted some years before by an unnatural murder, was, according to the zeal of those people, looked upon as profane, and therefore had been applied to common use, and all the ornaments and furniture carried away.  In this edifice it was determined I should lodge.  The great gate fronting to the north was about four feet high, and almost two feet wide, through which I could easily creep.  On each side of the gate was a small window, not above six inches from the ground: into that on the left side, the king’s smith conveyed fourscore and eleven chains, like those that hang to a lady’s watch in Europe, and almost as large, which were locked to my left leg with six-and-thirty padlocks.  Over against this temple, on the other side of the great highway, at twenty feet distance, there was a turret at least five feet high.  Here the emperor ascended, with many principal lords of his court, to have an opportunity of viewing me, as I was told, for I could not see them.  It was reckoned that above a hundred thousand inhabitants came out of the town upon the same errand; and, in spite of my guards, I believe there could not be fewer than ten thousand at several times, who mounted my body by the help of ladders.  But a proclamation was soon issued, to forbid it upon pain of death.  When the workmen found it was impossible for me to break loose, they cut all the strings that bound me; whereupon I rose up, with as melancholy a disposition as ever I had in my life.  But the noise and astonishment of the people, at seeing me rise and walk, are not to be expressed.  The chains that held my left leg were about two yards long, and gave me not only the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in a semicircle, but, being fixed within four inches of the gate, allowed me to creep in, and lie at my full length in the temple.

 

CHAPTER II.

The emperor of Lilliput, attended by several of the nobility, comes to see the author in his confinement.  The emperor’s person and habit described.  Learned men appointed to teach the author their language.  He gains favour by his mild disposition.  His pockets are searched, and his sword and pistols taken from him.

When I found myself on my feet, I looked about me, and must confess I never beheld a more entertaining prospect.  The country around appeared like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally forty feet square, resembled so many beds of flowers.  These fields were intermingled with woods of half a stang, [301] and the tallest trees, as I could judge, appeared to be seven feet high.  I viewed the town on my left hand, which looked like the painted scene of a city in a theatre.

I had been for some hours extremely pressed by the necessities of nature; which was no wonder, it being almost two days since I had last disburdened myself.  I was under great difficulties between urgency and shame.  The best expedient I could think of, was to creep into my house, which I accordingly did; and shutting the gate after me, I went as far as the length of my chain would suffer, and discharged my body of that uneasy load.  But this was the only time I was ever guilty of so uncleanly an action; for which I cannot but hope the candid reader will give some allowance, after he has maturely and impartially considered my case, and the distress I was in.  From this time my constant practice was, as soon as I rose, to perform that business in open air, at the full extent of my chain; and due care was taken every morning before company came, that the offensive matter should be carried off in wheel-barrows, by two servants appointed for that purpose.  I would not have dwelt so long upon a circumstance that, perhaps, at first sight, may appear not very momentous, if I had not thought it necessary to justify my character, in point of cleanliness, to the world; which, I am told, some of my maligners have been pleased, upon this and other occasions, to call in question.

When this adventure was at an end, I came back out of my house, having occasion for fresh air.  The emperor was already descended from the tower, and advancing on horseback towards me, which had like to have cost him dear; for the beast, though very well trained, yet wholly unused to such a sight, which appeared as if a mountain moved before him, reared up on its hinder feet: but that prince, who is an excellent horseman, kept his seat, till his attendants ran in, and held the bridle, while his majesty had time to dismount.  When he alighted, he surveyed me round with great admiration; but kept beyond the length of my chain.  He ordered his cooks and butlers, who were already prepared, to give me victuals and drink, which they pushed forward in a sort of vehicles upon wheels, till I could reach them.  I took these vehicles and soon emptied them all; twenty of them were filled with meat, and ten with liquor; each of the former afforded me two or three good mouthfuls; and I emptied the liquor of ten vessels, which was contained in earthen vials, into one vehicle, drinking it off at a draught; and so I did with the rest.  The empress, and young princes of the blood of both sexes, attended by many ladies, sat at some distance in their chairs; but upon the accident that happened to the emperor’s horse, they alighted, and came near his person, which I am now going to describe.  He is taller by almost the breadth of my nail, than any of his court; which alone is enough to strike an awe into the beholders.  His features are strong and masculine, with an Austrian lip and arched nose, his complexion olive, his countenance erect, his body and limbs well proportioned, all his motions graceful, and his deportment majestic.  He was then past his prime, being twenty-eight years and three quarters old, of which he had reigned about seven in great felicity, and generally victorious.  For the better convenience of beholding him, I lay on my side, so that my face was parallel to his, and he stood but three yards off: however, I have had him since many times in my hand, and therefore cannot be deceived in the description.  His dress was very plain and simple, and the fashion of it between the Asiatic and the European; but he had on his head a light helmet of gold, adorned with jewels, and a plume on the crest.  He held his sword drawn in his hand to defend himself, if I should happen to break loose; it was almost three inches long; the hilt and scabbard were gold enriched with diamonds.  His voice was shrill, but very clear and articulate; and I could distinctly hear it when I stood up.  The ladies and courtiers were all most magnificently clad; so that the spot they stood upon seemed to resemble a petticoat spread upon the ground, embroidered with figures of gold and silver.  His imperial majesty spoke often to me, and I returned answers: but neither of us could understand a syllable.  There were several of his priests and lawyers present (as I conjectured by their habits), who were commanded to address themselves to me; and I spoke to them in as many languages as I had the least smattering of, which were High and Low Dutch, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, and Lingua Franca, but all to no purpose.  After about two hours the court retired, and I was left with a strong guard, to prevent the impertinence, and probably the malice of the rabble, who were very impatient to crowd about me as near as they durst; and some of them had the impudence to shoot their arrows at me, as I sat on the ground by the door of my house, whereof one very narrowly missed my left eye.  But the colonel ordered six of the ringleaders to be seized, and thought no punishment so proper as to deliver them bound into my hands; which some of his soldiers accordingly did, pushing them forward with the butt-ends of their pikes into my reach.  I took them all in my right hand, put five of them into my coat-pocket; and as to the sixth, I made a countenance as if I would eat him alive.  The poor man squalled terribly, and the colonel and his officers were in much pain, especially when they saw me take out my penknife: but I soon put them out of fear; for, looking mildly, and immediately cutting the strings he was bound with, I set him gently on the ground, and away he ran.  I treated the rest in the same manner, taking them one by one out of my pocket; and I observed both the soldiers and people were highly delighted at this mark of my clemency, which was represented very much to my advantage at court.

Towards night I got with some difficulty into my house, where I lay on the ground, and continued to do so about a fortnight; during which time, the emperor gave orders to have a bed prepared for me.  Six hundred beds of the common measure were brought in carriages, and worked up in my house; a hundred and fifty of their beds, sewn together, made up the breadth and length; and these were four double: which, however, kept me but very indifferently from the hardness of the floor, that was of smooth stone.  By the same computation, they provided me with sheets, blankets, and coverlets, tolerable enough for one who had been so long inured to hardships.

As the news of my arrival spread through the kingdom, it brought prodigious numbers of rich, idle, and curious people to see me; so that the villages were almost emptied; and great neglect of tillage and household affairs must have ensued, if his imperial majesty had not provided, by several proclamations and orders of state, against this inconveniency.  He directed that those who had already beheld me should return home, and not presume to come within fifty yards of my house, without license from the court; whereby the secretaries of state got considerable fees.

In the mean time the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what course should be taken with me; and I was afterwards assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties concerning me.  They apprehended my breaking loose; that my diet would be very expensive, and might cause a famine.  Sometimes they determined to starve me; or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which would soon despatch me; but again they considered, that the stench of so large a carcass might produce a plague in the metropolis, and probably spread through the whole kingdom.  In the midst of these consultations, several officers of the army went to the door of the great council-chamber, and two of them being admitted, gave an account of my behaviour to the six criminals above-mentioned; which made so favourable an impression in the breast of his majesty and the whole board, in my behalf, that an imperial commission was issued out, obliging all the villages, nine hundred yards round the city, to deliver in every morning six beeves, forty sheep, and other victuals for my sustenance; together with a proportionable quantity of bread, and wine, and other liquors; for the due payment of which, his majesty gave assignments upon his treasury:—for this prince lives chiefly upon his own demesnes; seldom, except upon great occasions, raising any subsidies upon his subjects, who are bound to attend him in his wars at their own expense.  An establishment was also made of six hundred persons to be my domestics, who had board-wages allowed for their maintenance, and tents built for them very conveniently on each side of my door.  It was likewise ordered, that three hundred tailors should make me a suit of clothes, after the fashion of the country; that six of his majesty’s greatest scholars should be employed to instruct me in their language; and lastly, that the emperor’s horses, and those of the nobility and troops of guards, should be frequently exercised in my sight, to accustom themselves to me.  All these orders were duly put in execution; and in about three weeks I made a great progress in learning their language; during which time the emperor frequently honoured me with his visits, and was pleased to assist my masters in teaching me.  We began already to converse together in some sort; and the first words I learnt, were to express my desire “that he would please give me my liberty;” which I every day repeated on my knees.  His answer, as I could comprehend it, was, “that this must be a work of time, not to be thought on without the advice of his council, and that first I must lumos kelmin pesso desmar lon emposo;” that is, swear a peace with him and his kingdom.  However, that I should be used with all kindness.  And he advised me to “acquire, by my patience and discreet behaviour, the good opinion of himself and his subjects.”  He desired “I would not take it ill, if he gave orders to certain proper officers to search me; for probably I might carry about me several weapons, which must needs be dangerous things, if they answered the bulk of so prodigious a person.”  I said, “His majesty should be satisfied; for I was ready to strip myself, and turn up my pockets before him.”  This I delivered part in words, and part in signs.  He replied, “that, by the laws of the kingdom, I must be searched by two of his officers; that he knew this could not be done without my consent and assistance; and he had so good an opinion of my generosity and justice, as to trust their persons in my hands; that whatever they took from me, should be returned when I left the country, or paid for at the rate which I would set upon them.”  I took up the two officers in my hands, put them first into my coat-pockets, and then into every other pocket about me, except my two fobs, and another secret pocket, which I had no mind should be searched, wherein I had some little necessaries that were of no consequence to any but myself.  In one of my fobs there was a silver watch, and in the other a small quantity of gold in a purse.  These gentlemen, having pen, ink, and paper, about them, made an exact inventory of every thing they saw; and when they had done, desired I would set them down, that they might deliver it to the emperor.  This inventory I afterwards translated into English, and is, word for word, as follows:

Imprimis: In the right coat-pocket of the great man-mountain” (for so I interpret the words quinbus flestrin,) “after the strictest search, we found only one great piece of coarse-cloth, large enough to be a foot-cloth for your majesty’s chief room of state.  In the left pocket we saw a huge silver chest, with a cover of the same metal, which we, the searchers, were not able to lift.  We desired it should be opened, and one of us stepping into it, found himself up to the mid leg in a sort of dust, some part whereof flying up to our faces set us both a sneezing for several times together.  In his right waistcoat-pocket we found a prodigious bundle of white thin substances, folded one over another, about the bigness of three men, tied with a strong cable, and marked with black figures; which we humbly conceive to be writings, every letter almost half as large as the palm of our hands.  In the left there was a sort of engine, from the back of which were extended twenty long poles, resembling the pallisados before your majesty’s court: wherewith we conjecture the man-mountain combs his head; for we did not always trouble him with questions, because we found it a great difficulty to make him understand us.  In the large pocket, on the right side of his middle cover” (so I translate the word ranfulo, by which they meant my breeches,) “we saw a hollow pillar of iron, about the length of a man, fastened to a strong piece of timber larger than the pillar; and upon one side of the pillar, were huge pieces of iron sticking out, cut into strange figures, which we know not what to make of.  In the left pocket, another engine of the same kind.  In the smaller pocket on the right side, were several round flat pieces of white and red metal, of different bulk; some of the white, which seemed to be silver, were so large and heavy, that my comrade and I could hardly lift them.  In the left pocket were two black pillars irregularly shaped: we could not, without difficulty, reach the top of them, as we stood at the bottom of his pocket.  One of them was covered, and seemed all of a piece: but at the upper end of the other there appeared a white round substance, about twice the bigness of our heads.  Within each of these was enclosed a prodigious plate of steel; which, by our orders, we obliged him to show us, because we apprehended they might be dangerous engines.  He took them out of their cases, and told us, that in his own country his practice was to shave his beard with one of these, and cut his meat with the other.  There were two pockets which we could not enter: these he called his fobs; they were two large slits cut into the top of his middle cover, but squeezed close by the pressure of his belly.  Out of the right fob hung a great silver chain, with a wonderful kind of engine at the bottom.  We directed him to draw out whatever was at the end of that chain; which appeared to be a globe, half silver, and half of some transparent metal; for, on the transparent side, we saw certain strange figures circularly drawn, and thought we could touch them, till we found our fingers stopped by the lucid substance.  He put this engine into our ears, which made an incessant noise, like that of a water-mill: and we conjecture it is either some unknown animal, or the god that he worships; but we are more inclined to the latter opinion, because he assured us, (if we understood him right, for he expressed himself very imperfectly) that he seldom did any thing without consulting it.  He called it his oracle, and said, it pointed out the time for every action of his life.  From the left fob he took out a net almost large enough for a fisherman, but contrived to open and shut like a purse, and served him for the same use: we found therein several massy pieces of yellow metal, which, if they be real gold, must be of immense value.

“Having thus, in obedience to your majesty’s commands, diligently searched all his pockets, we observed a girdle about his waist made of the hide of some prodigious animal, from which, on the left side, hung a sword of the length of five men; and on the right, a bag or pouch divided into two cells, each cell capable of holding three of your majesty’s subjects.  In one of these cells were several globes, or balls, of a most ponderous metal, about the bigness of our heads, and requiring a strong hand to lift them: the other cell contained a heap of certain black grains, but of no great bulk or weight, for we could hold above fifty of them in the palms of our hands.

“This is an exact inventory of what we found about the body of the man-mountain, who used us with great civility, and due respect to your majesty’s commission.  Signed and sealed on the fourth day of the eighty-ninth moon of your majesty’s auspicious reign.

Clefrin Frelock, Marsi Frelock.”

When this inventory was read over to the emperor, he directed me, although in very gentle terms, to deliver up the several particulars.  He first called for my scimitar, which I took out, scabbard and all.  In the mean time he ordered three thousand of his choicest troops (who then attended him) to surround me at a distance, with their bows and arrows just ready to discharge; but I did not observe it, for mine eyes were wholly fixed upon his majesty.  He then desired me to draw my scimitar, which, although it had got some rust by the sea water, was, in most parts, exceeding bright.  I did so, and immediately all the troops gave a shout between terror and surprise; for the sun shone clear, and the reflection dazzled their eyes, as I waved the scimitar to and fro in my hand.  His majesty, who is a most magnanimous prince, was less daunted than I could expect: he ordered me to return it into the scabbard, and cast it on the ground as gently as I could, about six feet from the end of my chain.  The next thing he demanded was one of the hollow iron pillars; by which he meant my pocket pistols.  I drew it out, and at his desire, as well as I could, expressed to him the use of it; and charging it only with powder, which, by the closeness of my pouch, happened to escape wetting in the sea (an inconvenience against which all prudent mariners take special care to provide,) I first cautioned the emperor not to be afraid, and then I let it off in the air.  The astonishment here was much greater than at the sight of my scimitar.  Hundreds fell down as if they had been struck dead; and even the emperor, although he stood his ground, could not recover himself for some time.  I delivered up both my pistols in the same manner as I had done my scimitar, and then my pouch of powder and bullets; begging him that the former might be kept from fire, for it would kindle with the smallest spark, and blow up his imperial palace into the air.  I likewise delivered up my watch, which the emperor was very curious to see, and commanded two of his tallest yeomen of the guards to bear it on a pole upon their shoulders, as draymen in England do a barrel of ale.  He was amazed at the continual noise it made, and the motion of the minute-hand, which he could easily discern; for their sight is much more acute than ours: he asked the opinions of his learned men about it, which were various and remote, as the reader may well imagine without my repeating; although indeed I could not very perfectly understand them.  I then gave up my silver and copper money, my purse, with nine large pieces of gold, and some smaller ones; my knife and razor, my comb and silver snuff-box, my handkerchief and journal-book.  My scimitar, pistols, and pouch, were conveyed in carriages to his majesty’s stores; but the rest of my goods were returned me.

I had as I before observed, one private pocket, which escaped their search, wherein there was a pair of spectacles (which I sometimes use for the weakness of mine eyes,) a pocket perspective, and some other little conveniences; which, being of no consequence to the emperor, I did not think myself bound in honour to discover, and I apprehended they might be lost or spoiled if I ventured them out of my possession.

 

CHAPTER III.

The author diverts the emperor, and his nobility of both sexes, in a very uncommon manner.  The diversions of the court of Lilliput described.  The author has his liberty granted him upon certain conditions.

My gentleness and good behaviour had gained so far on the emperor and his court, and indeed upon the army and people in general, that I began to conceive hopes of getting my liberty in a short time.  I took all possible methods to cultivate this favourable disposition.  The natives came, by degrees, to be less apprehensive of any danger from me.  I would sometimes lie down, and let five or six of them dance on my hand; and at last the boys and girls would venture to come and play at hide-and-seek in my hair.  I had now made a good progress in understanding and speaking the language.  The emperor had a mind one day to entertain me with several of the country shows, wherein they exceed all nations I have known, both for dexterity and magnificence.  I was diverted with none so much as that of the rope-dancers, performed upon a slender white thread, extended about two feet, and twelve inches from the ground.  Upon which I shall desire liberty, with the reader’s patience, to enlarge a little.

This diversion is only practised by those persons who are candidates for great employments, and high favour at court.  They are trained in this art from their youth, and are not always of noble birth, or liberal education.  When a great office is vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happens,) five or six of those candidates petition the emperor to entertain his majesty and the court with a dance on the rope; and whoever jumps the highest, without falling, succeeds in the office.  Very often the chief ministers themselves are commanded to show their skill, and to convince the emperor that they have not lost their faculty.  Flimnap, the treasurer, is allowed to cut a caper on the straight rope, at least an inch higher than any other lord in the whole empire.  I have seen him do the summerset several times together, upon a trencher fixed on a rope which is no thicker than a common packthread in England.  My friend Reldresal, principal secretary for private affairs, is, in my opinion, if I am not partial, the second after the treasurer; the rest of the great officers are much upon a par.

These diversions are often attended with fatal accidents, whereof great numbers are on record.  I myself have seen two or three candidates break a limb.  But the danger is much greater, when the ministers themselves are commanded to show their dexterity; for, by contending to excel themselves and their fellows, they strain so far that there is hardly one of them who has not received a fall, and some of them two or three.  I was assured that, a year or two before my arrival, Flimnap would infallibly have broke his neck, if one of the king’s cushions, that accidentally lay on the ground, had not weakened the force of his fall.

There is likewise another diversion, which is only shown before the emperor and empress, and first minister, upon particular occasions.  The emperor lays on the table three fine silken threads of six inches long; one is blue, the other red, and the third green.  These threads are proposed as prizes for those persons whom the emperor has a mind to distinguish by a peculiar mark of his favour.  The ceremony is performed in his majesty’s great chamber of state, where the candidates are to undergo a trial of dexterity very different from the former, and such as I have not observed the least resemblance of in any other country of the new or old world.  The emperor holds a stick in his hands, both ends parallel to the horizon, while the candidates advancing, one by one, sometimes leap over the stick, sometimes creep under it, backward and forward, several times, according as the stick is advanced or depressed.  Sometimes the emperor holds one end of the stick, and his first minister the other; sometimes the minister has it entirely to himself.  Whoever performs his part with most agility, and holds out the longest in leaping and creeping, is rewarded with the blue-coloured silk; the red is given to the next, and the green to the third, which they all wear girt twice round about the middle; and you see few great persons about this court who are not adorned with one of these girdles.

The horses of the army, and those of the royal stables, having been daily led before me, were no longer shy, but would come up to my very feet without starting.  The riders would leap them over my hand, as I held it on the ground; and one of the emperor’s huntsmen, upon a large courser, took my foot, shoe and all; which was indeed a prodigious leap.  I had the good fortune to divert the emperor one day after a very extraordinary manner.  I desired he would order several sticks of two feet high, and the thickness of an ordinary cane, to be brought me; whereupon his majesty commanded the master of his woods to give directions accordingly; and the next morning six woodmen arrived with as many carriages, drawn by eight horses to each.  I took nine of these sticks, and fixing them firmly in the ground in a quadrangular figure, two feet and a half square, I took four other sticks, and tied them parallel at each corner, about two feet from the ground; then I fastened my handkerchief to the nine sticks that stood erect; and extended it on all sides, till it was tight as the top of a drum; and the four parallel sticks, rising about five inches higher than the handkerchief, served as ledges on each side.  When I had finished my work, I desired the emperor to let a troop of his best horses twenty-four in number, come and exercise upon this plain.  His majesty approved of the proposal, and I took them up, one by one, in my hands, ready mounted and armed, with the proper officers to exercise them.  As soon as they got into order they divided into two parties, performed mock skirmishes, discharged blunt arrows, drew their swords, fled and pursued, attacked and retired, and in short discovered the best military discipline I ever beheld.  The parallel sticks secured them and their horses from falling over the stage; and the emperor was so much delighted, that he ordered this entertainment to be repeated several days, and once was pleased to be lifted up and give the word of command; and with great difficulty persuaded even the empress herself to let me hold her in her close chair within two yards of the stage, when she was able to take a full view of the whole performance.  It was my good fortune, that no ill accident happened in these entertainments; only once a fiery horse, that belonged to one of the captains, pawing with his hoof, struck a hole in my handkerchief, and his foot slipping, he overthrew his rider and himself; but I immediately relieved them both, and covering the hole with one hand, I set down the troop with the other, in the same manner as I took them up. The horse that fell was strained in the left shoulder, but the rider got no hurt; and I repaired my handkerchief as well as I could: however, I would not trust to the strength of it any more, in such dangerous enterprises.

About two or three days before I was set at liberty, as I was entertaining the court with this kind of feat, there arrived an express to inform his majesty, that some of his subjects, riding near the place where I was first taken up, had seen a great black substance lying on the around, very oddly shaped, extending its edges round, as wide as his majesty’s bedchamber, and rising up in the middle as high as a man; that it was no living creature, as they at first apprehended, for it lay on the grass without motion; and some of them had walked round it several times; that, by mounting upon each other’s shoulders, they had got to the top, which was flat and even, and, stamping upon it, they found that it was hollow within; that they humbly conceived it might be something belonging to the man-mountain; and if his majesty pleased, they would undertake to bring it with only five horses.  I presently knew what they meant, and was glad at heart to receive this intelligence.  It seems, upon my first reaching the shore after our shipwreck, I was in such confusion, that before I came to the place where I went to sleep, my hat, which I had fastened with a string to my head while I was rowing, and had stuck on all the time I was swimming, fell off after I came to land; the string, as I conjecture, breaking by some accident, which I never observed, but thought my hat had been lost at sea.  I entreated his imperial majesty to give orders it might be brought to me as soon as possible, describing to him the use and the nature of it: and the next day the waggoners arrived with it, but not in a very good condition; they had bored two holes in the brim, within an inch and half of the edge, and fastened two hooks in the holes; these hooks were tied by a long cord to the harness, and thus my hat was dragged along for above half an English mile; but, the ground in that country being extremely smooth and level, it received less damage than I expected.

Two days after this adventure, the emperor, having ordered that part of his army which quarters in and about his metropolis, to be in readiness, took a fancy of diverting himself in a very singular manner.  He desired I would stand like a Colossus, with my legs as far asunder as I conveniently could.  He then commanded his general (who was an old experienced leader, and a great patron of mine) to draw up the troops in close order, and march them under me; the foot by twenty-four abreast, and the horse by sixteen, with drums beating, colours flying, and pikes advanced.  This body consisted of three thousand foot, and a thousand horse.  His majesty gave orders, upon pain of death, that every soldier in his march should observe the strictest decency with regard to my person; which however could not prevent some of the younger officers from turning up their eyes as they passed under me: and, to confess the truth, my breeches were at that time in so ill a condition, that they afforded some opportunities for laughter and admiration.

I had sent so many memorials and petitions for my liberty, that his majesty at length mentioned the matter, first in the cabinet, and then in a full council; where it was opposed by none, except Skyresh Bolgolam, who was pleased, without any provocation, to be my mortal enemy.  But it was carried against him by the whole board, and confirmed by the emperor.  That minister was galbet, or admiral of the realm, very much in his master’s confidence, and a person well versed in affairs, but of a morose and sour complexion.  However, he was at length persuaded to comply; but prevailed that the articles and conditions upon which I should be set free, and to which I must swear, should be drawn up by himself.  These articles were brought to me by Skyresh Bolgolam in person attended by two under-secretaries, and several persons of distinction.  After they were read, I was demanded to swear to the performance of them; first in the manner of my own country, and afterwards in the method prescribed by their laws; which was, to hold my right foot in my left hand, and to place the middle finger of my right hand on the crown of my head, and my thumb on the tip of my right ear.  But because the reader may be curious to have some idea of the style and manner of expression peculiar to that people, as well as to know the article upon which I recovered my liberty, I have made a translation of the whole instrument, word for word, as near as I was able, which I here offer to the public.

“Golbasto Momarem Evlame Gurdilo Shefin Mully Ully Gue, most mighty Emperor of Lilliput, delight and terror of the universe, whose dominions extend five thousand blustrugs (about twelve miles in circumference) to the extremities of the globe; monarch of all monarchs, taller than the sons of men; whose feet press down to the centre, and whose head strikes against the sun; at whose nod the princes of the earth shake their knees; pleasant as the spring, comfortable as the summer, fruitful as autumn, dreadful as winter: his most sublime majesty proposes to the man-mountain, lately arrived at our celestial dominions, the following articles, which, by a solemn oath, he shall be obliged to perform:—

“1st, The man-mountain shall not depart from our dominions, without our license under our great seal.

“2d, He shall not presume to come into our metropolis, without our express order; at which time, the inhabitants shall have two hours warning to keep within doors.

“3d, The said man-mountain shall confine his walks to our principal high roads, and not offer to walk, or lie down, in a meadow or field of corn.

“4th, As he walks the said roads, he shall take the utmost care not to trample upon the bodies of any of our loving subjects, their horses, or carriages, nor take any of our subjects into his hands without their own consent.

“5th, If an express requires extraordinary despatch, the man-mountain shall be obliged to carry, in his pocket, the messenger and horse a six days journey, once in every moon, and return the said messenger back (if so required) safe to our imperial presence.

“6th, He shall be our ally against our enemies in the island of Blefuscu, and do his utmost to destroy their fleet, which is now preparing to invade us.

“7th, That the said man-mountain shall, at his times of leisure, be aiding and assisting to our workmen, in helping to raise certain great stones, towards covering the wall of the principal park, and other our royal buildings.

“8th, That the said man-mountain shall, in two moons’ time, deliver in an exact survey of the circumference of our dominions, by a computation of his own paces round the coast.

“Lastly, That, upon his solemn oath to observe all the above articles, the said man-mountain shall have a daily allowance of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1724 of our subjects, with free access to our royal person, and other marks of our favour.  Given at our palace at Belfaborac, the twelfth day of the ninety-first moon of our reign.”

I swore and subscribed to these articles with great cheerfulness and content, although some of them were not so honourable as I could have wished; which proceeded wholly from the malice of Skyresh Bolgolam, the high-admiral: whereupon my chains were immediately unlocked, and I was at full liberty.  The emperor himself, in person, did me the honour to be by at the whole ceremony.  I made my acknowledgements by prostrating myself at his majesty’s feet: but he commanded me to rise; and after many gracious expressions, which, to avoid the censure of vanity, I shall not repeat, he added, “that he hoped I should prove a useful servant, and well deserve all the favours he had already conferred upon me, or might do for the future.”

The reader may please to observe, that, in the last article of the recovery of my liberty, the emperor stipulates to allow me a quantity of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1724 Lilliputians.  Some time after, asking a friend at court how they came to fix on that determinate number, he told me that his majesty’s mathematicians, having taken the height of my body by the help of a quadrant, and finding it to exceed theirs in the proportion of twelve to one, they concluded from the similarity of their bodies, that mine must contain at least 1724 of theirs, and consequently would require as much food as was necessary to support that number of Lilliputians.  By which the reader may conceive an idea of the ingenuity of that people, as well as the prudent and exact economy of so great a prince.

 

 

CHAPTER IV.

Mildendo, the metropolis of Lilliput, described, together with the emperor’s palace.  A conversation between the author and a principal secretary, concerning the affairs of that empire.  The author’s offers to serve the emperor in his wars.

The first request I made, after I had obtained my liberty, was, that I might have license to see Mildendo, the metropolis; which the emperor easily granted me, but with a special charge to do no hurt either to the inhabitants or their houses.  The people had notice, by proclamation, of my design to visit the town.  The wall which encompassed it is two feet and a half high, and at least eleven inches broad, so that a coach and horses may be driven very safely round it; and it is flanked with strong towers at ten feet distance.  I stepped over the great western gate, and passed very gently, and sidling, through the two principal streets, only in my short waistcoat, for fear of damaging the roofs and eaves of the houses with the skirts of my coat.  I walked with the utmost circumspection, to avoid treading on any stragglers who might remain in the streets, although the orders were very strict, that all people should keep in their houses, at their own peril.  The garret windows and tops of houses were so crowded with spectators, that I thought in all my travels I had not seen a more populous place.  The city is an exact square, each side of the wall being five hundred feet long.  The two great streets, which run across and divide it into four quarters, are five feet wide.  The lanes and alleys, which I could not enter, but only view them as I passed, are from twelve to eighteen inches.  The town is capable of holding five hundred thousand souls: the houses are from three to five stories: the shops and markets well provided.

The emperor’s palace is in the centre of the city where the two great streets meet.  It is enclosed by a wall of two feet high, and twenty feet distance from the buildings.  I had his majesty’s permission to step over this wall; and, the space being so wide between that and the palace, I could easily view it on every side.  The outward court is a square of forty feet, and includes two other courts: in the inmost are the royal apartments, which I was very desirous to see, but found it extremely difficult; for the great gates, from one square into another, were but eighteen inches high, and seven inches wide.  Now the buildings of the outer court were at least five feet high, and it was impossible for me to stride over them without infinite damage to the pile, though the walls were strongly built of hewn stone, and four inches thick.  At the same time the emperor had a great desire that I should see the magnificence of his palace; but this I was not able to do till three days after, which I spent in cutting down with my knife some of the largest trees in the royal park, about a hundred yards distant from the city.  Of these trees I made two stools, each about three feet high, and strong enough to bear my weight.  The people having received notice a second time, I went again through the city to the palace with my two stools in my hands.  When I came to the side of the outer court, I stood upon one stool, and took the other in my hand; this I lifted over the roof, and gently set it down on the space between the first and second court, which was eight feet wide.  I then stept over the building very conveniently from one stool to the other, and drew up the first after me with a hooked stick.  By this contrivance I got into the inmost court; and, lying down upon my side, I applied my face to the windows of the middle stories, which were left open on purpose, and discovered the most splendid apartments that can be imagined.  There I saw the empress and the young princes, in their several lodgings, with their chief attendants about them.  Her imperial majesty was pleased to smile very graciously upon me, and gave me out of the window her hand to kiss.

But I shall not anticipate the reader with further descriptions of this kind, because I reserve them for a greater work, which is now almost ready for the press; containing a general description of this empire, from its first erection, through along series of princes; with a particular account of their wars and politics, laws, learning, and religion; their plants and animals; their peculiar manners and customs, with other matters very curious and useful; my chief design at present being only to relate such events and transactions as happened to the public or to myself during a residence of about nine months in that empire.

One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained my liberty, Reldresal, principal secretary (as they style him) for private affairs, came to my house attended only by one servant.  He ordered his coach to wait at a distance, and desired I would give him an hours audience; which I readily consented to, on account of his quality and personal merits, as well as of the many good offices he had done me during my solicitations at court.  I offered to lie down that he might the more conveniently reach my ear, but he chose rather to let me hold him in my hand during our conversation.  He began with compliments on my liberty; said “he might pretend to some merit in it;” but, however, added, “that if it had not been for the present situation of things at court, perhaps I might not have obtained it so soon.  For,” said he, “as flourishing a condition as we may appear to be in to foreigners, we labour under two mighty evils: a violent faction at home, and the danger of an invasion, by a most potent enemy, from abroad.  As to the first, you are to understand, that for about seventy moons past there have been two struggling parties in this empire, under the names of Tramecksan and Slamecksan, from the high and low heels of their shoes, by which they distinguish themselves.  It is alleged, indeed, that the high heels are most agreeable to our ancient constitution; but, however this be, his majesty has determined to make use only of low heels in the administration of the government, and all offices in the gift of the crown, as you cannot but observe; and particularly that his majesty’s imperial heels are lower at least by a drurr than any of his court (drurr is a measure about the fourteenth part of an inch).  The animosities between these two parties run so high, that they will neither eat, nor drink, nor talk with each other.  We compute the Tramecksan, or high heels, to exceed us in number; but the power is wholly on our side.  We apprehend his imperial highness, the heir to the crown, to have some tendency towards the high heels; at least we can plainly discover that one of his heels is higher than the other, which gives him a hobble in his gait.  Now, in the midst of these intestine disquiets, we are threatened with an invasion from the island of Blefuscu, which is the other great empire of the universe, almost as large and powerful as this of his majesty.  For as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are other kingdoms and states in the world inhabited by human creatures as large as yourself, our philosophers are in much doubt, and would rather conjecture that you dropped from the moon, or one of the stars; because it is certain, that a hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time destroy all the fruits and cattle of his majesty’s dominions: besides, our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu.  Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons past.  It began upon the following occasion.  It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers.  Whereupon the emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs.  The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown.  These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for refuge to that empire.  It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end.  Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party rendered incapable by law of holding employments.  During the course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran).  This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.’  And which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion to be left to every man’s conscience, or at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine.  Now, the Big-endian exiles have found so much credit in the emperor of Blefuscu’s court, and so much private assistance and encouragement from their party here at home, that a bloody war has been carried on between the two empires for six-and-thirty moons, with various success; during which time we have lost forty capital ships, and a much a greater number of smaller vessels, together with thirty thousand of our best seamen and soldiers; and the damage received by the enemy is reckoned to be somewhat greater than ours.  However, they have now equipped a numerous fleet, and are just preparing to make a descent upon us; and his imperial majesty, placing great confidence in your valour and strength, has commanded me to lay this account of his affairs before you.”

I desired the secretary to present my humble duty to the emperor; and to let him know, “that I thought it would not become me, who was a foreigner, to interfere with parties; but I was ready, with the hazard of my life, to defend his person and state against all invaders.”

 

 

CHAPTER V.

The author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion.  A high title of honour is conferred upon him.  Ambassadors arrive from the emperor of Blefuscu, and sue for peace.  The empress’s apartment on fire by an accident; the author instrumental in saving the rest of the palace.

The empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the north-east of Lilliput, from which it is parted only by a channel of eight hundred yards wide.  I had not yet seen it, and upon this notice of an intended invasion, I avoided appearing on that side of the coast, for fear of being discovered, by some of the enemy’s ships, who had received no intelligence of me; all intercourse between the two empires having been strictly forbidden during the war, upon pain of death, and an embargo laid by our emperor upon all vessels whatsoever.  I communicated to his majesty a project I had formed of seizing the enemy’s whole fleet; which, as our scouts assured us, lay at anchor in the harbour, ready to sail with the first fair wind.  I consulted the most experienced seamen upon the depth of the channel, which they had often plumbed; who told me, that in the middle, at high-water, it was seventy glumgluffs deep, which is about six feet of European measure; and the rest of it fifty glumgluffs at most.  I walked towards the north-east coast, over against Blefuscu, where, lying down behind a hillock, I took out my small perspective glass, and viewed the enemy’s fleet at anchor, consisting of about fifty men of war, and a great number of transports: I then came back to my house, and gave orders (for which I had a warrant) for a great quantity of the strongest cable and bars of iron.  The cable was about as thick as packthread and the bars of the length and size of a knitting-needle.  I trebled the cable to make it stronger, and for the same reason I twisted three of the iron bars together, bending the extremities into a hook.  Having thus fixed fifty hooks to as many cables, I went back to the north-east coast, and putting off my coat, shoes, and stockings, walked into the sea, in my leathern jerkin, about half an hour before high water.  I waded with what haste I could, and swam in the middle about thirty yards, till I felt ground.  I arrived at the fleet in less than half an hour.  The enemy was so frightened when they saw me, that they leaped out of their ships, and swam to shore, where there could not be fewer than thirty thousand souls.  I then took my tackling, and, fastening a hook to the hole at the prow of each, I tied all the cords together at the end.  While I was thus employed, the enemy discharged several thousand arrows, many of which stuck in my hands and face, and, beside the excessive smart, gave me much disturbance in my work.  My greatest apprehension was for mine eyes, which I should have infallibly lost, if I had not suddenly thought of an expedient.  I kept, among other little necessaries, a pair of spectacles in a private pocket, which, as I observed before, had escaped the emperor’s searchers.  These I took out and fastened as strongly as I could upon my nose, and thus armed, went on boldly with my work, in spite of the enemy’s arrows, many of which struck against the glasses of my spectacles, but without any other effect, further than a little to discompose them.  I had now fastened all the hooks, and, taking the knot in my hand, began to pull; but not a ship would stir, for they were all too fast held by their anchors, so that the boldest part of my enterprise remained.  I therefore let go the cord, and leaving the looks fixed to the ships, I resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors, receiving about two hundred shots in my face and hands; then I took up the knotted end of the cables, to which my hooks were tied, and with great ease drew fifty of the enemy’s largest men of war after me.

The Blefuscudians, who had not the least imagination of what I intended, were at first confounded with astonishment.  They had seen me cut the cables, and thought my design was only to let the ships run adrift or fall foul on each other: but when they perceived the whole fleet moving in order, and saw me pulling at the end, they set up such a scream of grief and despair as it is almost impossible to describe or conceive.  When I had got out of danger, I stopped awhile to pick out the arrows that stuck in my hands and face; and rubbed on some of the same ointment that was given me at my first arrival, as I have formerly mentioned.  I then took off my spectacles, and waiting about an hour, till the tide was a little fallen, I waded through the middle with my cargo, and arrived safe at the royal port of Lilliput.

The emperor and his whole court stood on the shore, expecting the issue of this great adventure.  They saw the ships move forward in a large half-moon, but could not discern me, who was up to my breast in water.  When I advanced to the middle of the channel, they were yet more in pain, because I was under water to my neck.  The emperor concluded me to be drowned, and that the enemy’s fleet was approaching in a hostile manner: but he was soon eased of his fears; for the channel growing shallower every step I made, I came in a short time within hearing, and holding up the end of the cable, by which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a loud voice, “Long live the most puissant king of Lilliput!”  This great prince received me at my landing with all possible encomiums, and created me a nardac upon the spot, which is the highest title of honour among them.

His majesty desired I would take some other opportunity of bringing all the rest of his enemy’s ships into his ports.  And so unmeasureable is the ambition of princes, that he seemed to think of nothing less than reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu into a province, and governing it, by a viceroy; of destroying the Big-endian exiles, and compelling that people to break the smaller end of their eggs, by which he would remain the sole monarch of the whole world.  But I endeavoured to divert him from this design, by many arguments drawn from the topics of policy as well as justice; and I plainly protested, “that I would never be an instrument of bringing a free and brave people into slavery.”  And, when the matter was debated in council, the wisest part of the ministry were of my opinion.

This open bold declaration of mine was so opposite to the schemes and politics of his imperial majesty, that he could never forgive me.  He mentioned it in a very artful manner at council, where I was told that some of the wisest appeared, at least by their silence, to be of my opinion; but others, who were my secret enemies, could not forbear some expressions which, by a side-wind, reflected on me.  And from this time began an intrigue between his majesty and a junto of ministers, maliciously bent against me, which broke out in less than two months, and had like to have ended in my utter destruction.  Of so little weight are the greatest services to princes, when put into the balance with a refusal to gratify their passions.

About three weeks after this exploit, there arrived a solemn embassy from Blefuscu, with humble offers of a peace, which was soon concluded, upon conditions very advantageous to our emperor, wherewith I shall not trouble the reader.  There were six ambassadors, with a train of about five hundred persons, and their entry was very magnificent, suitable to the grandeur of their master, and the importance of their business.  When their treaty was finished, wherein I did them several good offices by the credit I now had, or at least appeared to have, at court, their excellencies, who were privately told how much I had been their friend, made me a visit in form.  They began with many compliments upon my valour and generosity, invited me to that kingdom in the emperor their master’s name, and desired me to show them some proofs of my prodigious strength, of which they had heard so many wonders; wherein I readily obliged them, but shall not trouble the reader with the particulars.

When I had for some time entertained their excellencies, to their infinite satisfaction and surprise, I desired they would do me the honour to present my most humble respects to the emperor their master, the renown of whose virtues had so justly filled the whole world with admiration, and whose royal person I resolved to attend, before I returned to my own country.  Accordingly, the next time I had the honour to see our emperor, I desired his general license to wait on the Blefuscudian monarch, which he was pleased to grant me, as I could perceive, in a very cold manner; but could not guess the reason, till I had a whisper from a certain person, “that Flimnap and Bolgolam had represented my intercourse with those ambassadors as a mark of disaffection;” from which I am sure my heart was wholly free.  And this was the first time I began to conceive some imperfect idea of courts and ministers.

It is to be observed, that these ambassadors spoke to me, by an interpreter, the languages of both empires differing as much from each other as any two in Europe, and each nation priding itself upon the antiquity, beauty, and energy of their own tongue, with an avowed contempt for that of their neighbour; yet our emperor, standing upon the advantage he had got by the seizure of their fleet, obliged them to deliver their credentials, and make their speech, in the Lilliputian tongue.  And it must be confessed, that from the great intercourse of trade and commerce between both realms, from the continual reception of exiles which is mutual among them, and from the custom, in each empire, to send their young nobility and richer gentry to the other, in order to polish themselves by seeing the world, and understanding men and manners; there are few persons of distinction, or merchants, or seamen, who dwell in the maritime parts, but what can hold conversation in both tongues; as I found some weeks after, when I went to pay my respects to the emperor of Blefuscu, which, in the midst of great misfortunes, through the malice of my enemies, proved a very happy adventure to me, as I shall relate in its proper place.

The reader may remember, that when I signed those articles upon which I recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked, upon account of their being too servile; neither could anything but an extreme necessity have forced me to submit.  But being now a nardac of the highest rank in that empire, such offices were looked upon as below my dignity, and the emperor (to do him justice), never once mentioned them to me.  However, it was not long before I had an opportunity of doing his majesty, at least as I then thought, a most signal service.  I was alarmed at midnight with the cries of many hundred people at my door; by which, being suddenly awaked, I was in some kind of terror.  I heard the word Burglum repeated incessantly: several of the emperor’s court, making their way through the crowd, entreated me to come immediately to the palace, where her imperial majesty’s apartment was on fire, by the carelessness of a maid of honour, who fell asleep while she was reading a romance.  I got up in an instant; and orders being given to clear the way before me, and it being likewise a moonshine night, I made a shift to get to the palace without trampling on any of the people.  I found they had already applied ladders to the walls of the apartment, and were well provided with buckets, but the water was at some distance.  These buckets were about the size of large thimbles, and the poor people supplied me with them as fast as they could: but the flame was so violent that they did little good.  I might easily have stifled it with my coat, which I unfortunately left behind me for haste, and came away only in my leathern jerkin.  The case seemed wholly desperate and deplorable; and this magnificent palace would have infallibly been burnt down to the ground, if, by a presence of mind unusual to me, I had not suddenly thought of an expedient.  I had, the evening before, drunk plentifully of a most delicious wine called glimigrim, (the Blefuscudians call it flunec, but ours is esteemed the better sort,) which is very diuretic.  By the luckiest chance in the world, I had not discharged myself of any part of it.  The heat I had contracted by coming very near the flames, and by labouring to quench them, made the wine begin to operate by urine; which I voided in such a quantity, and applied so well to the proper places, that in three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from destruction.

It was now day-light, and I returned to my house without waiting to congratulate with the emperor: because, although I had done a very eminent piece of service, yet I could not tell how his majesty might resent the manner by which I had performed it: for, by the fundamental laws of the realm, it is capital in any person, of what quality soever, to make water within the precincts of the palace.  But I was a little comforted by a message from his majesty, “that he would give orders to the grand justiciary for passing my pardon in form:” which, however, I could not obtain; and I was privately assured, “that the empress, conceiving the greatest abhorrence of what I had done, removed to the most distant side of the court, firmly resolved that those buildings should never be repaired for her use: and, in the presence of her chief confidents could not forbear vowing revenge.”

 

 

CHAPTER VI.

Of the inhabitants of Lilliput; their learning, laws, and customs; the manner of educating their children.  The author’s way of living in that country.  His vindication of a great lady.

Although I intend to leave the description of this empire to a particular treatise, yet, in the mean time, I am content to gratify the curious reader with some general ideas.  As the common size of the natives is somewhat under six inches high, so there is an exact proportion in all other animals, as well as plants and trees: for instance, the tallest horses and oxen are between four and five inches in height, the sheep an inch and half, more or less: their geese about the bigness of a sparrow, and so the several gradations downwards till you come to the smallest, which to my sight, were almost invisible; but nature has adapted the eyes of the Lilliputians to all objects proper for their view: they see with great exactness, but at no great distance.  And, to show the sharpness of their sight towards objects that are near, I have been much pleased with observing a cook pulling a lark, which was not so large as a common fly; and a young girl threading an invisible needle with invisible silk.  Their tallest trees are about seven feet high: I mean some of those in the great royal park, the tops whereof I could but just reach with my fist clenched.  The other vegetables are in the same proportion; but this I leave to the reader’s imagination.

I shall say but little at present of their learning, which, for many ages, has flourished in all its branches among them: but their manner of writing is very peculiar, being neither from the left to the right, like the Europeans, nor from the right to the left, like the Arabians, nor from up to down, like the Chinese, but aslant, from one corner of the paper to the other, like ladies in England.

They bury their dead with their heads directly downward, because they hold an opinion, that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again; in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet.  The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine; but the practice still continues, in compliance to the vulgar.

There are some laws and customs in this empire very peculiar; and if they were not so directly contrary to those of my own dear country, I should be tempted to say a little in their justification.  It is only to be wished they were as well executed.  The first I shall mention, relates to informers.  All crimes against the state, are punished here with the utmost severity; but, if the person accused makes his innocence plainly to appear upon his trial, the accuser is immediately put to an ignominious death; and out of his goods or lands the innocent person is quadruply recompensed for the loss of his time, for the danger he underwent, for the hardship of his imprisonment, and for all the charges he has been at in making his defence; or, if that fund be deficient, it is largely supplied by the crown.  The emperor also confers on him some public mark of his favour, and proclamation is made of his innocence through the whole city.

They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft, and therefore seldom fail to punish it with death; for they allege, that care and vigilance, with a very common understanding, may preserve a man’s goods from thieves, but honesty has no defence against superior cunning; and, since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling, and dealing upon credit, where fraud is permitted and connived at, or has no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage.  I remember, when I was once interceding with the emperor for a criminal who had wronged his master of a great sum of money, which he had received by order and ran away with; and happening to tell his majesty, by way of extenuation, that it was only a breach of trust, the emperor thought it monstrous in me to offer as a defence the greatest aggravation of the crime; and truly I had little to say in return, farther than the common answer, that different nations had different customs; for, I confess, I was heartily ashamed. [330]

Although we usually call reward and punishment the two hinges upon which all government turns, yet I could never observe this maxim to be put in practice by any nation except that of Lilliput.  Whoever can there bring sufficient proof, that he has strictly observed the laws of his country for seventy-three moons, has a claim to certain privileges, according to his quality or condition of life, with a proportionable sum of money out of a fund appropriated for that use: he likewise acquires the title of snilpall, or legal, which is added to his name, but does not descend to his posterity.  And these people thought it a prodigious defect of policy among us, when I told them that our laws were enforced only by penalties, without any mention of reward.  It is upon this account that the image of Justice, in their courts of judicature, is formed with six eyes, two before, as many behind, and on each side one, to signify circumspection; with a bag of gold open in her right hand, and a sword sheathed in her left, to show she is more disposed to reward than to punish.

In choosing persons for all employments, they have more regard to good morals than to great abilities; for, since government is necessary to mankind, they believe, that the common size of human understanding is fitted to some station or other; and that Providence never intended to make the management of public affairs a mystery to be comprehended only by a few persons of sublime genius, of which there seldom are three born in an age: but they suppose truth, justice, temperance, and the like, to be in every man’s power; the practice of which virtues, assisted by experience and a good intention, would qualify any man for the service of his country, except where a course of study is required.  But they thought the want of moral virtues was so far from being supplied by superior endowments of the mind, that employments could never be put into such dangerous hands as those of persons so qualified; and, at least, that the mistakes committed by ignorance, in a virtuous disposition, would never be of such fatal consequence to the public weal, as the practices of a man, whose inclinations led him to be corrupt, and who had great abilities to manage, to multiply, and defend his corruptions.

In like manner, the disbelief of a Divine Providence renders a man incapable of holding any public station; for, since kings avow themselves to be the deputies of Providence, the Lilliputians think nothing can be more absurd than for a prince to employ such men as disown the authority under which he acts.

In relating these and the following laws, I would only be understood to mean the original institutions, and not the most scandalous corruptions, into which these people are fallen by the degenerate nature of man.  For, as to that infamous practice of acquiring great employments by dancing on the ropes, or badges of favour and distinction by leaping over sticks and creeping under them, the reader is to observe, that they were first introduced by the grandfather of the emperor now reigning, and grew to the present height by the gradual increase of party and faction.

Ingratitude is among them a capital crime, as we read it to have been in some other countries: for they reason thus; that whoever makes ill returns to his benefactor, must needs be a common enemy to the rest of mankind, from whom he has received no obligation, and therefore such a man is not fit to live.

Their notions relating to the duties of parents and children differ extremely from ours.  For, since the conjunction of male and female is founded upon the great law of nature, in order to propagate and continue the species, the Lilliputians will needs have it, that men and women are joined together, like other animals, by the motives of concupiscence; and that their tenderness towards their young proceeds from the like natural principle: for which reason they will never allow that a child is under any obligation to his father for begetting him, or to his mother for bringing him into the world; which, considering the miseries of human life, was neither a benefit in itself, nor intended so by his parents, whose thoughts, in their love encounters, were otherwise employed.  Upon these, and the like reasonings, their opinion is, that parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the education of their own children; and therefore they have in every town public nurseries, where all parents, except cottagers and labourers, are obliged to send their infants of both sexes to be reared and educated, when they come to the age of twenty moons, at which time they are supposed to have some rudiments of docility.  These schools are of several kinds, suited to different qualities, and both sexes.  They have certain professors well skilled in preparing children for such a condition of life as befits the rank of their parents, and their own capacities, as well as inclinations.  I shall first say something of the male nurseries, and then of the female.

The nurseries for males of noble or eminent birth, are provided with grave and learned professors, and their several deputies.  The clothes and food of the children are plain and simple.  They are bred up in the principles of honour, justice, courage, modesty, clemency, religion, and love of their country; they are always employed in some business, except in the times of eating and sleeping, which are very short, and two hours for diversions consisting of bodily exercises.  They are dressed by men till four years of age, and then are obliged to dress themselves, although their quality be ever so great; and the women attendant, who are aged proportionably to ours at fifty, perform only the most menial offices.  They are never suffered to converse with servants, but go together in smaller or greater numbers to take their diversions, and always in the presence of a professor, or one of his deputies; whereby they avoid those early bad impressions of folly and vice, to which our children are subject.  Their parents are suffered to see them only twice a year; the visit is to last but an hour; they are allowed to kiss the child at meeting and parting; but a professor, who always stands by on those occasions, will not suffer them to whisper, or use any fondling expressions, or bring any presents of toys, sweetmeats, and the like.

The pension from each family for the education and entertainment of a child, upon failure of due payment, is levied by the emperor’s officers.

The nurseries for children of ordinary gentlemen, merchants, traders, and handicrafts, are managed proportionably after the same manner; only those designed for trades are put out apprentices at eleven years old, whereas those of persons of quality continue in their exercises till fifteen, which answers to twenty-one with us: but the confinement is gradually lessened for the last three years.

In the female nurseries, the young girls of quality are educated much like the males, only they are dressed by orderly servants of their own sex; but always in the presence of a professor or deputy, till they come to dress themselves, which is at five years old.  And if it be found that these nurses ever presume to entertain the girls with frightful or foolish stories, or the common follies practised by chambermaids among us, they are publicly whipped thrice about the city, imprisoned for a year, and banished for life to the most desolate part of the country.  Thus the young ladies are as much ashamed of being cowards and fools as the men, and despise all personal ornaments, beyond decency and cleanliness: neither did I perceive any difference in their education made by their difference of sex, only that the exercises of the females were not altogether so robust; and that some rules were given them relating to domestic life, and a smaller compass of learning was enjoined them: for their maxim is, that among peoples of quality, a wife should be always a reasonable and agreeable companion, because she cannot always be young.  When the girls are twelve years old, which among them is the marriageable age, their parents or guardians take them home, with great expressions of gratitude to the professors, and seldom without tears of the young lady and her companions.

In the nurseries of females of the meaner sort, the children are instructed in all kinds of works proper for their sex, and their several degrees: those intended for apprentices are dismissed at seven years old, the rest are kept to eleven.

The meaner families who have children at these nurseries, are obliged, besides their annual pension, which is as low as possible, to return to the steward of the nursery a small monthly share of their gettings, to be a portion for the child; and therefore all parents are limited in their expenses by the law.  For the Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than for people, in subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the world, and leave the burthen of supporting them on the public.  As to persons of quality, they give security to appropriate a certain sum for each child, suitable to their condition; and these funds are always managed with good husbandry and the most exact justice.

The cottagers and labourers keep their children at home, their business being only to till and cultivate the earth, and therefore their education is of little consequence to the public: but the old and diseased among them, are supported by hospitals; for begging is a trade unknown in this empire.

And here it may, perhaps, divert the curious reader, to give some account of my domestics, and my manner of living in this country, during a residence of nine months, and thirteen days.  Having a head mechanically turned, and being likewise forced by necessity, I had made for myself a table and chair convenient enough, out of the largest trees in the royal park.  Two hundred sempstresses were employed to make me shirts, and linen for my bed and table, all of the strongest and coarsest kind they could get; which, however, they were forced to quilt together in several folds, for the thickest was some degrees finer than lawn.  Their linen is usually three inches wide, and three feet make a piece.  The sempstresses took my measure as I lay on the ground, one standing at my neck, and another at my mid-leg, with a strong cord extended, that each held by the end, while a third measured the length of the cord with a rule of an inch long.  Then they measured my right thumb, and desired no more; for by a mathematical computation, that twice round the thumb is once round the wrist, and so on to the neck and the waist, and by the help of my old shirt, which I displayed on the ground before them for a pattern, they fitted me exactly.  Three hundred tailors were employed in the same manner to make me clothes; but they had another contrivance for taking my measure.  I kneeled down, and they raised a ladder from the ground to my neck; upon this ladder one of them mounted, and let fall a plumb-line from my collar to the floor, which just answered the length of my coat: but my waist and arms I measured myself.  When my clothes were finished, which was done in my house (for the largest of theirs would not have been able to hold them), they looked like the patch-work made by the ladies in England, only that mine were all of a colour.

I had three hundred cooks to dress my victuals, in little convenient huts built about my house, where they and their families lived, and prepared me two dishes a-piece.  I took up twenty waiters in my hand, and placed them on the table: a hundred more attended below on the ground, some with dishes of meat, and some with barrels of wine and other liquors slung on their shoulders; all which the waiters above drew up, as I wanted, in a very ingenious manner, by certain cords, as we draw the bucket up a well in Europe.  A dish of their meat was a good mouthful, and a barrel of their liquor a reasonable draught.  Their mutton yields to ours, but their beef is excellent.  I have had a sirloin so large, that I have been forced to make three bites of it; but this is rare.  My servants were astonished to see me eat it, bones and all, as in our country we do the leg of a lark.  Their geese and turkeys I usually ate at a mouthful, and I confess they far exceed ours.  Of their smaller fowl I could take up twenty or thirty at the end of my knife.

One day his imperial majesty, being informed of my way of living, desired “that himself and his royal consort, with the young princes of the blood of both sexes, might have the happiness,” as he was pleased to call it, “of dining with me.”  They came accordingly, and I placed them in chairs of state, upon my table, just over against me, with their guards about them.  Flimnap, the lord high treasurer, attended there likewise with his white staff; and I observed he often looked on me with a sour countenance, which I would not seem to regard, but ate more than usual, in honour to my dear country, as well as to fill the court with admiration.  I have some private reasons to believe, that this visit from 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 condition of his treasury; that he was forced to take up money at a great discount; that exchequer bills would not circulate under nine per cent. below par; that I had cost his majesty above a million and a half of sprugs” (their greatest gold coin, about the bigness of a spangle) “and, upon the whole, that it would be advisable in the emperor to take the first fair occasion of dismissing 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 falsehood, without any grounds, further 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 I still appeal to my servants round, whether they at any time saw a coach at my door, without knowing what persons were in it.  On those occasions, when a servant 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 in my hands (for, if there were six horses, the postillion always unharnessed four,) 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 coaches and 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 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 the best of it) Clustril and 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 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 nearly concerned, to say nothing of my own; though I then had the honour to be a nardac, 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 he preceded me in right of his post.  These false informations, which I afterwards came to the knowledge of by an accident not proper to mention, made the treasurer show his lady for some time an ill countenance, and me a worse; and although he was at last undeceived and reconciled to her, yet I lost all credit with him, and found my interest decline very fast with the emperor himself, who was, indeed, too much governed by that favourite.

 

 

CHAPTER VII.

The author, being informed of a design to accuse him of high-treason, makes his escape to Blefuscu.  His reception there.

Before I proceed to give an account of my leaving this kingdom, it may be proper 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 I was unqualified by the meanness of my condition.  I had indeed heard and read enough of the 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 coat-pocket: and, giving orders to a trusty servant, to say I was indisposed and gone to sleep, I fastened the door of my house, placed the chair on the table, according to my usual custom, and sat down by it.  After the common salutations were over, observing his lordship’s countenance full of concern, and inquiring 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 as soon as he left me:—

“You are to know,” said he, “that several committees of council have been lately called, in the most private manner, on your account; and it is but two days since his majesty came to a full resolution.

“You are very sensible that Skyresh Bolgolam” (galbet, or high-admiral) “has 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 high-treasurer, 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 interrupt him; when he entreated me to be silent, and thus proceeded:—

“Out of gratitude for the favours you have done me, I procured information of the whole proceedings, and a copy of the articles; wherein I venture my head for your service.

“‘Articles of Impeachment against QUINBUS FLESTRIN, (the Man-Mountain.)

Article I.

“‘Whereas, by a statute made in the reign of his imperial majesty Calin Deffar Plune, it is enacted, that, whoever shall make water within the precincts of the royal palace, shall be liable to the pains and penalties of high-treason; notwithstanding, the said Quinbus Flestrin, in open breach of the said law, under colour of extinguishing the fire kindled in the apartment of his majesty’s most dear imperial consort, did maliciously, traitorously, and devilishly, by discharge of his urine, put out the said fire kindled in the said apartment, lying and being within the precincts of the said royal palace, against the statute in that case provided, etc. against the duty, etc.

Article II.

“‘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 viceroy from hence, and to destroy and put to death, not only all the Big-endian exiles, but likewise all the people of that empire who would not immediately forsake the Big-endian 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.

Article III.

“‘That, whereas certain ambassadors arrived from the Court of Blefuscu, 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 ambassadors, although he knew them to be servants to a prince who was lately an open enemy to his imperial majesty, and in an 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 Blefuscu, for which he has received only verbal license from his imperial majesty; and, under colour of the said license, does falsely and traitorously intend to take the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the emperor of Blefuscu, so lately an enemy, and in open war with his imperial majesty aforesaid.’

“There are some other articles; but these are the most important, of which I have read you an abstract.

“In the several debates upon this impeachment, it must be confessed that his majesty gave many marks of his great lenity; often urging the services you had done him, and endeavouring to extenuate your crimes.  The treasurer and admiral insisted that you should be put to the most painful and ignominious death, by setting fire to your house at night, and the general was to attend with twenty thousand men, armed with poisoned arrows, to shoot you on the face and hands.  Some of your servants were to have private orders to strew a poisonous juice on your shirts and sheets, which would soon make you tear your own flesh, and die in the utmost torture.  The general came into the same opinion; so that for a long time there was a majority against you; but his majesty resolving, if possible, to spare your life, at last brought off the chamberlain.

“Upon this incident, Reldresal, principal secretary for private affairs, who always approved himself your true friend, was commanded by the emperor to deliver his opinion, which he accordingly did; and therein justified the good thoughts you have of him.  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 orders 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 impediment to your bodily strength, by which you might still be useful to his majesty; that blindness is an addition to courage, by concealing dangers from us; that the fear you had for your eyes, was the greatest difficulty in bringing over the enemy’s fleet, and it 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 in fury, said, he wondered how the secretary durst presume to give his opinion for preserving the life of a traitor; that the services you had performed were, by all true reasons of state, the great aggravation of your crimes; that you, who were able to extinguish the fire by discharge of urine in her majesty’s apartment (which he mentioned with horror), might, at another time, raise an inundation by the same means, to drown the whole palace; and the same strength which enabled you to bring over the enemy’s fleet, might serve, upon the first discontent, to carry it back; that he had good reasons to think you were a Big-endian in your heart; and, as treason begins in the heart, before it appears in overt-acts, so he accused you as a traitor on that account, and therefore insisted you should be put to death.

“The treasurer was of the same opinion: he showed to what straits his majesty’s revenue was reduced, by the charge of maintaining you, which would soon grow insupportable; that the secretary’s expedient of putting out your eyes, was so far from being a remedy against this evil, that it would probably increase it, as is manifest from the common practice of blinding some kind of fowls, after which they fed the faster, and grew sooner fat; that his sacred majesty and the council, who are your judges, were, in their own consciences, fully convinced of your guilt, which was a sufficient argument to condemn you 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 the council thought the loss of your eyes too easy a censure, some other way may be inflicted hereafter.  And your friend the secretary, humbly desiring to be heard again, in answer to what the treasurer had objected, concerning the great charge his majesty was at in maintaining you, said, that his excellency, who had the sole disposal of the emperor’s revenue, might easily provide against that evil, by gradually lessening your establishment; by which, for want of sufficient for you would grow weak and faint, and lose your appetite, and consequently, decay, and consume in a few months; neither would the stench of your carcass be then so dangerous, when it should become more than half diminished; and immediately upon your death five or six thousand of his majesty’s subjects might, in two or three days, cut your flesh from your bones, take it away by cart-loads, and bury it in distant parts, to prevent infection, leaving the skeleton as a monument of admiration to posterity.

“Thus, by the great friendship of the secretary, the whole affair was compromised.  It was strictly enjoined, that the project of starving you by degrees should be kept a secret; but the sentence of putting out your eyes was entered on the books; none dissenting, except Bolgolam the admiral, who, being a creature of the empress, was perpetually instigated by her majesty to insist upon your death, she having borne perpetual malice against you, on account of that infamous and illegal method you took to extinguish the fire in her apartment.

“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 majesty and council, whereby you are only condemned to the loss of your eyes, which his majesty does not question you will gratefully and humbly submit to; and twenty of his majesty’s surgeons will attend, in order to see the operation well performed, by discharging very sharp-pointed arrows into the balls of your eyes, as you lie on the ground.

“I leave to your prudence what measures you will take; and to avoid suspicion, I must immediately return in as private a manner as I came.”

His lordship did so; and I remained alone, under many doubts and perplexities of mind.

It was a custom introduced by this prince and his ministry (very different, as I have been assured, from the practice of former times,) that after the court had decreed any cruel execution, either to gratify the monarch’s resentment, 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.  This speech was immediately published throughout 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 alleged in the several articles, yet I hoped they would admit of some extenuation.  But having 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 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 seventies 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; for I confess I owe the preserving of 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 should, with great alacrity and readiness, have submitted to so easy a punishment.  But hurried on by the precipitancy of youth, and having his imperial majesty’s license to pay my attendance 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 I had got; and, without waiting for an answer, I went to that side of the island where our fleet lay.  I seized a large man of war, tied a cable to the prow, and, lifting up the anchors, I stripped myself, put my clothes (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 is of the same 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 hands.  I told his majesty, “that I was come according to my promise, and with the license of 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.

I shall not trouble the reader with the particular account of my reception at this court, which was suitable to the generosity of so great a prince; nor of the difficulties I was in for want of a house and bed, being forced to lie on the ground, wrapped up in my coverlet.

 

 

CHAPTER VIII.

The author, by a lucky accident, finds means to leave Blefuscu; and, after some difficulties, returns safe to his native country.

Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the north-east coast of the island, I observed, about half a league off in the sea, somewhat that looked like a boat overturned.  I pulled off my shoes and stockings, and, wailing two or three hundred yards, I found the object to approach nearer by force of the tide; and then plainly saw it to be a real boat, which I supposed might by some tempest have been driven from a ship.  Whereupon, I returned immediately towards the city, and desired his imperial majesty to lend me twenty of the tallest vessels he had left, after the loss of his fleet, and three thousand seamen, under the command of his vice-admiral.  This fleet sailed round, while I went back the shortest way to the coast, where I first discovered the boat.  I found the tide had driven it still nearer.  The seamen were all provided with cordage, which I had beforehand twisted to a sufficient strength.  When the ships came up, I stripped myself, and waded till I came within a hundred yards off the boat, after which I was forced to swim till I got up to it.  The seamen threw me the end of the cord, which I fastened to a hole in the fore-part of the boat, and the other end to a man of war; but I found all my labour to little purpose; for, being out of my depth, I was not able to work.  In this necessity I was forced to swim behind, and push the boat forward, 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.  I rested 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 part being 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 which attended me; the wind being favourable, the seamen towed, and I shoved, until we 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 ropes and engines, I made a shift to turn it on its bottom, and found it was but little damaged.

I shall not trouble the reader with the difficulties I was under, by the help of certain paddles, which cost me ten days making, to get my boat to the royal port of Blefuscu, where a mighty concourse of people appeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at the sight of so prodigious a vessel.  I told the emperor “that my good fortune had thrown this boat in my way, to carry me to some place whence I might return into my native country; and begged his majesty’s orders for getting materials to fit it up, together with his license to depart;” which, after some kind expostulations, he was pleased to grant.

I did very much wonder, in all this time, not to have heard of any express relating to me from our emperor to the court of Blefuscu.  But I was afterward given privately to understand, that his imperial majesty, never imagining I had the least notice of his designs, believed I was only gone to Blefuscu in performance of my promise, according to the license he had given me, which was well known at our court, and would return in a few days, when the ceremony was ended.  But he was at last in pain at my long absence; and after consulting with the treasurer and the rest of that cabal, a person of quality was dispatched with the copy of the articles against me.  This envoy had instructions to represent to the monarch of Blefuscu, “the great lenity of his master, who was content to punish me no farther than with the loss of mine eyes; that I had fled from justice; and if I did not return in two hours, I should be deprived of my title of nardac, and declared a traitor.”  The envoy further added, “that in order to maintain the peace and amity between both empires, his master expected that his brother of Blefuscu would give orders to have me sent back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot, to be punished as a traitor.”

The emperor of Blefuscu, having taken three days to consult, returned an answer consisting of many civilities and excuses.  He said, “that as for sending me bound, his brother knew it was impossible; that, although I had deprived him of his fleet, yet he owed great obligations to me for many good offices I had done him in making the peace.  That, however, both their majesties would soon be made easy; for I had found a prodigious vessel on the shore, able to carry me on the sea, which he had given orders to fit up, with my own assistance and direction; and he hoped, in a few weeks, both empires would be freed from so insupportable an encumbrance.”

With this answer the envoy returned to Lilliput; and the monarch of Blefuscu related to me all that had passed; offering me at the same time (but under the strictest confidence) his gracious protection, if I would continue in his service; wherein, although I believed him sincere, yet I resolved never more to put any confidence in princes or ministers, where I could possibly avoid it; and therefore, with all due acknowledgments for his favourable intentions, I humbly begged to be excused.  I told him, “that since fortune, whether good or evil, had thrown a vessel in my way, I was resolved to venture myself on the ocean, rather than be an occasion of difference between two such mighty monarchs.”  Neither did I find the emperor at all displeased; and I discovered, by a certain accident, that he was very glad of my resolution, and so were most of his ministers.

These considerations moved me to hasten my departure somewhat sooner than I intended; to which the court, impatient to have me gone, very readily contributed.  Five hundred workmen were employed to make two sails to my boat, according to my directions, by quilting thirteen folds of their strongest linen together.  I was at the pains of making ropes and cables, by twisting ten, twenty, or thirty of the thickest and strongest of theirs.  A great stone that I happened to find, after a long search, by the sea-shore, served me for an anchor.  I had the tallow of three hundred cows, for greasing my boat, and other uses.  I was at incredible pains in cutting down some of the largest timber-trees, for oars and masts, wherein I was, however, much assisted by his majesty’s ship-carpenters, who helped me in smoothing them, after I had done the rough work.

In about a month, when all was prepared, I sent to receive his majesty’s commands, and to take my leave.  The emperor and royal family came out of the palace; I lay down on my face to kiss his hand, which he very graciously gave me: so did the empress and young princes of the blood.  His majesty presented me with fifty purses of two hundred sprugs a-piece, together with his picture at full length, which I put immediately into one of my gloves, to keep it from being hurt.  The ceremonies at my departure were too many to trouble the reader with at this time.

I stored the boat with the carcases of a hundred oxen, and three hundred sheep, with bread and drink proportionable, and as much meat ready dressed as four hundred cooks could provide.  I took with me six cows and two bulls alive, with as many ewes and rams, intending to carry them into my own country, and propagate the breed.  And to feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay, and a bag of corn.  I would gladly have taken a dozen of the natives, but this was a thing the emperor would by no means permit; and, besides a diligent search into my pockets, his majesty engaged my honour “not to carry away any of his subjects, although with their own consent and desire.”

Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able, I set sail on the twenty-fourth day of September 1701, at six in the morning; and when I had gone about four-leagues to the northward, the wind being at south-east, at six in the evening I descried a small island, about half a league to the north-west.  I advanced forward, and cast anchor on the lee-side of the island, which seemed to be uninhabited.  I then took some refreshment, and went to my rest.  I slept well, and as I conjectured at least six hours, for I found the day broke in two hours after I awaked.  It was a clear night.  I ate my breakfast before the sun was up; and heaving anchor, the wind being favourable, I steered the same course that I had done the day before, wherein I was directed by my pocket compass.  My intention was to reach, if possible, one of those islands which I had reason to believe lay to the north-east of Van Diemen’s Land.  I discovered nothing all that day; but upon the next, about three in the afternoon, when I had by my computation made twenty-four leagues from Blefuscu, I descried a sail steering to the south-east; my course was due east.  I hailed her, but could get no answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the wind slackened.  I made all the sail I could, and in half an hour she spied me, then hung out her ancient, and discharged a gun.  It is not easy to express the joy I was in, upon the unexpected hope of once more seeing my beloved country, and the dear pledges I left in it.  The ship slackened her sails, and I came up with her between five and six in the evening, September 26th; but my heart leaped within me to see her English colours.  I put my cows and sheep into my coat-pockets, and got on board with all my little cargo of provisions.  The vessel was an English merchantman, returning from Japan by the North and South seas; the captain, Mr. John Biddel, of Deptford, a very civil man, and an excellent sailor.

We were now in the latitude of 30 degrees south; there were about fifty men in the ship; and here I met an old comrade of mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good character to the captain.  This gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I would let him know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound; which I did in a few words, but he thought I was raving, and that the dangers I underwent had disturbed my head; whereupon I took my black cattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after great astonishment, clearly convinced him of my veracity.  I then showed him the gold given me by the emperor of Blefuscu, together with his majesty’s picture at full length, and some other rarities of that country.  I gave him two purses of two hundreds sprugs each, and promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a present of a cow and a sheep big with young.

I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this voyage, which was very prosperous for the most part.  We arrived in the Downs on the 13th of April, 1702.  I had only one misfortune, that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep; I found her bones in a hole, picked clean from the flesh.  The rest of my cattle I got safe ashore, and set them a-grazing in a bowling-green at Greenwich, where the fineness of the grass made them feed very heartily, though I had always feared the contrary: neither could I possibly have preserved them in so long a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me some of his best biscuit, which, rubbed to powder, and mingled with water, was their constant food.  The short time I continued in England, I made a considerable profit by showing my cattle to many persons of quality and others: and before I began my second voyage, I sold them for six hundred pounds.  Since my last return I find the breed is considerably increased, especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to the advantage of the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.

I stayed but two months with my wife and family, for my insatiable desire of seeing foreign countries, would suffer me to continue no longer.  I left fifteen hundred pounds with my wife, and fixed her in a good house at Redriff.  My remaining stock I carried with me, part in money and part in goods, in hopes to improve my fortunes.  My eldest uncle John had left me an estate in land, near Epping, of about thirty pounds a-year; and I had a long lease of the Black Bull in Fetter-Lane, which yielded me as much more; so that I was not in any danger of leaving my family upon the parish.  My son Johnny, named so after his uncle, was at the grammar-school, and a towardly child.  My daughter Betty (who is now well married, and has children) was then at her needle-work.  I took leave of my wife, and boy and girl, with tears on both sides, and went on board the Adventure, a merchant ship of three hundred tons, bound for Surat, captain John Nicholas, of Liverpool, commander.  But my account of this voyage must be referred to the Second Part of my Travels.

 

 

 


第一卷 小人国之旅

第一章

   作者略述自身及其家庭——出游的最初动机——海上船只失事,游水逃生——在小人国的海岸脱险——被俘,押解到该国内地。

 

  我父亲在诺丁汉郡有一份小小的产业;我在他的五个儿子中,排行老三。十四岁那年,他送我进了剑桥的伊曼纽尔学院。在那儿我住了三年,埋头攻读我的学业。虽然家里给我的补帖少得很,但是对于一个贫困的家庭来说还是太重了。于是我就到伦敦著名的外科医生詹姆斯·贝茨先生手下当学徒;一直学了四年。有时父亲也会寄小额款项给我,这些钱我就用来学习航海及数学中的一些学科,对那些有志于旅行的人来说,这些东西都很有用处。我始终深信,终有一天我会交上好运去外出旅行的。学业完成后,我回家去见父亲;多亏他和约翰叔叔及几个亲戚帮忙,我得了四十英镑,他们还答应以后一年给我三十英镑用来维持我在莱顿[]求学。我在莱顿学医共两年零七个月。我知道在长途航行中,医学是很有用处的。

  从莱顿回来后不久,恩师贝茨先生推荐我到亚伯拉罕·潘耐尔船长统率下的“燕子”号商船上当外科医生。我跟随船长干了三年半,曾多次去利凡特[]和其它一些地方。回来之后,受恩师贝茨先生的鼓励,我决定就在伦敦住下来。他又给我介绍了几位病人。我在老周瑞街的一座小房子里租了几个房间;那时大家都劝我改变一下生活方式,我就跟在新门街上做内衣生意的埃德蒙·伯顿先生家的二女儿玛丽·伯顿小姐成了亲。我得到了四百英镑的婚嫁费。

  可是,两年之后恩师贝茨去逝了,我没有几个朋友,而良心又不允许我像我的许多同行那样胡来,因此生意渐渐萧条。我和妻子以及几个朋友商量了一下,决心再度出海。我先后在两艘船上当外科医生,六年里我多次航行到东印度群岛和西印度群岛,我的财产也因此有所增加。由于我总能幸运地得到大量的书籍,所以在空余时间里我阅读了许多古今最优秀的作品。到岸上去的时候,就观察当地人的风俗、性情,也学学他们的语言,我凭借着自己记性强,学起来较容易。

  由于这几次航海中的最后一次不怎么顺利,所以我开始厌倦起海上生活,想着要呆在家中与老婆孩子一起过日子。我从老周瑞街搬到脚镣巷,接着又搬到威平,盼着能在水手帮里揽点儿生意,结果却未能如愿。一晃三年过去了,眼看着时来运转已经无望,我就接受了“羚羊号”船主威廉·普利查德船长的优厚待遇的聘请;那时他正准备去南太平洋一带航海。一六九九年五月四日,我们从英国南部的一个叫布里斯托尔的海港启航。我们的航行开始一帆风顺。

  由于某些原因,把我们在那一带海上历险的细枝末节全都告诉读者扰其视听是不合适的,只说说下面这些情况也就够了:在去往东印度群岛去的途中,一阵强风暴把我们刮到了几迪门兰[]的西北方。据观测,我们发现所在的位置是南纬三十度零二分。船员中有十二人因操劳过度与饮食恶劣而丧生,其余人的身体也极度虚弱。十一月五日,那一带正是初夏时节,天空大雾迷漫,水手们在离船半链[]的地方发现一块礁石;但是风势很猛,我们被刮得直撞上去,船身立刻触礁碎裂。连我在内的六名船员,将救生的小船放到海里,竭尽全力脱离大船和礁石。据我估计,我们只划出去三里格远,就再也没有力气划船了,因为大家在大船上时已经力气耗尽,于是我们只好听凭波涛的摆布。大约过了半个来小时,忽然一阵狂风从北方吹来,将小船一下掀翻了。小船上的同伴,以及那些逃上礁石或是留在大船上的人们后来怎么样,我也说不上,可我断定他们全完了。至于我自己,则听天由命地游着,被风浪推向前去。我时不时将腿沉下去,但却总也探不到底。眼看我就要完蛋而又再也无力挣扎时,忽然觉得水深已经不及灭顶了,而这时风暴也已大大减弱。海底坡度很小,差不多我走了一英里才到岸上,那时我想大约是晚上八点钟。我又继续

往前走了近半英里,没有见到任何房屋或居民的迹象,至少是我没有能看得到,因为当时我实在太虚弱了。我疲惫到了极点,再加上天气炎热和离船前又喝过半品脱的白兰地,所以极想睡觉。我在草地上躺了下来。草很短,软软的,一觉睡去,记忆所及真是前所未有的酣甜香沉。我睡了大约有九个小时,因为醒来时,太阳正好从东方升起。我想站起来,却动弹不得;由于我恰好是仰天躺着,这时我发现自己的胳膊和腿都牢牢地绑在地上;我的头发又长又厚,也同样地绑着,从腋窝到大腿,我感觉身也横绑着一些细细的带子。我只能朝上看。太阳开始热起来了,阳光刺痛了我的眼睛,我听到周围一片嘈杂声,可我躺着的姿式,除了天空什么也看不到。过了没多大一会儿,我觉得有个什么活的东西在我的左腿上蠕动,轻轻地向前移着,越过我胸脯,几乎到了我的下巴前。我尽力将眼睛往下看,竟发现一个身高不足六英寸、手持弓箭、背负箭袋的人!与此同时,我估计至少有四十个他的同类随他而来。我大为惊奇,猛吼一声,结果吓得他们全部掉头就跑。后来有人告诉我,他们中有几个从我腰部往下跳,竟跌伤了。但是他们很快又回来了,其中的一个竟敢走到能看得清我整个面孔的地方,举起双手,抬起双眼,一副惊羡的样子,他用刺耳却很清晰的声音高喊:“海琴那·德古尔!”,其他的人也把这几个字重复了几遍,可那时我还不明白那是什么意思。读者可以想象到,我一直那样躺着是极不舒服的;最后,我努力挣脱。侥幸的是我把绳子挣断了,拔出了将我的左臂绑到地上的木钉。我把左臂举到眼前,发现了他们绑缚我的方法。这时我又用力一扯,虽然十分疼痛,但还是将绑我左边头发的绳子扯松了一点,这样我才能稍稍将头转动两英寸光景。但是,我还没来得及将他们捉住,他们却又一次一溜烟的跑了。于是听到他们一阵尖声高喊,喊声过后,我听见其中的一个大叫道:“托尔戈·奉纳克”;即刻就感觉有一百多支如针一样的箭射中了我的左臂,非常疼痛;他们又向空中射了一阵,仿佛我们欧洲人放炮弹一般。我猜想许多箭是落到我身上了(尽管我并没有感觉到),有些则落在我的脸上,我赶紧用左手去遮挡。一阵箭雨过后,我不胜悲痛地呻吟起来。接着再一次我挣扎着想脱身,他们就比刚才更猛烈地向我齐射,有几个还试图用矛来刺我的腰;幸亏我穿着一件米黄色的牛皮背心,他们刺不进去。我想最稳妥的办法就是安安静静地躺着。我的打算是,就这么挨到夜晚,因为既然我的左手已经松绑,我是可以很轻松地获得自由的。至于那些当地的居民,假如他们长得全和我看到的那一个一般大小,那么我没有理由不相信,就算他们将最强大的军队调来与我拚,我也是可以敌得过他们的。但是命运却给我作了另外一个安排。当这些人发现我安静下来不动的时候,就不再放箭;但就我听到的吵闹声来判断,知道他们的人数又增加了。在离我约四码远的地方,冲着我的右耳处,我听到敲敲打打地闹了大约有一个多钟头,就好像有人在干活似的。在木钉与绳子允许的范围内,我将头朝那个万向转过去,这才看见地上已竖起了一个一英尺半高的平台,旁边还有两三副梯子靠着用以攀登。这中间就有一个看上去像是有身份的人,对我发表了一通长长的演说,只是我一个字也听不懂。刚才我应该先提一下,在那位要人发表演说前,他高喊了三声“朗格罗·德胡尔·桑”(这句话和前面那些话他们后来又都重新说过,并且向我作了解释)。他一喊完,立即就有五十多个居民过来将我头左边的绳子割断,我因此得以把头向右边转动,也可以看清要说话的那人的样子。他看上去中年,比跟随他的另外三人都要高。三人中其中有一个是侍从,身材好像只比我的中指略长些,正替那人拽着拖在身后的衣服;另外两人分别站在他左右扶持着他。他的表演十足的演说家派头,我看得出来他用了不少威胁的话语,有时也许下诺言,表示其同情与友好。我答了几句,但态度极为恭顺,我举起左手,双目注视着太阳,请太阳给我作证。自从离船后到现在已有好几个小时没吃一点东西了,饥肠辘辘,我感觉这种生理要求十分强烈,再也忍不住要表露,我已等不及了,也许这有悖礼仪,就不时地把手指放在嘴上,表示我要吃东西。那位“赫够”(后来我才得知,对一个大老爷他们都是这么称呼)终于明白我的意思。他从台上下来,命令在我的两侧放几副梯子,大约一百个居民就将盛满了肉的篮子向我的嘴边送来;这肉是国王一接到关于我的情报之后,立即下令准备并送到这儿来的。我看到有好几种动物的肉,但从味道上却分辨不出那是什么肉。从形状上看,有些像是羊的肩肉、腿肉和腰肉,做得很有味道,但是比百灵鸟的翅膀还要小,我一口吃三块。步枪子弹大小的面包一口就是三个。他们一边尽快地给我供应,一边对我的高大身躯与胃口惊讶万分。接着我又表示要喝水,他们从我吃东西的样子看出,少量的水是不够我喝的。这些人非常聪明,他们十分熟练地吊起一只头号大桶,然后把它滚到我手边,撬开桶盖。我一饮而尽,这我很容易做到,因为一桶酒还不到半品脱。酒的味道很像勃艮第产的淡味葡萄酒,但要香得多。接着他们又给我弄了一桶来,我也是一口气喝个精光,并表示还想喝,可他们已拿不出来了。我表演完这些奇迹之后,他们欢呼雀跃,在我的胸脯上手舞足蹈,又像起先那样,一遍又一遍地高喊“海琴那·德古尔”。他们向我作了个手势,让我把这两只酒桶扔下去,可是先警告下面的人躲开,高喊着地大约“勃拉契·米浮拉”。当他们看到酒桶飞在空中时,齐声高喊:海琴那·德古尔”。我得承认,当这些人在我身上来来回回地走动时,我常想将最先走近我的四五十个一把抓住扔到地上去。可是想起刚才我所吃的苦头,也许那还不是他们最厉害的手段;我也曾答应对他们表示敬重(我是这样解释我那恭顺的态度的),想到这些,我立即打消了以上的念头。再说,他们如此破费而隆重地款待我,我也应该以礼相待。然而,私下里我又不胜惊奇,这帮小人儿竟如此大胆,我一手已经自由,他们还敢在我身边及身上走来走去,在他们眼中我一定是个庞然大物,可见到我,他们居然抖都不发一个。过了一些时候,他们看我不再要肉吃了,我的面前就出现了一位皇帝派来的高官。钦差大臣带着十二三个随从,从我的右小腿爬上来,一直来到我的脸前。他拿出盖有国玺的身份证书,递到我眼前,大约讲了有十分钟的话,虽然没有任何愤怒的表示,说话样子却很坚决。他不时地用手指向前方,后来我才明白,他是在指半英里外的京城,皇帝已在那里的御前会议上决定,得把我运到京城去。我回答了几句,可是没有什么用。我用空着的左手作了一个手势,把左手放到右手上(从钦差大人的头顶掠过,以免伤了他和他的随员),接着又碰了碰头和身子,示意他们我想要获得自由。他像是很明白我的意思,因为他摇了摇头表示不同意;他举起手来作了个手势,并说非得把我当俘虏运走不可。不过他又作了另外一些手势,是让我明白可享受足够的酒肉,待遇非常好。这么一来,我倒又想要努力挣脱束缚了,可同时我感觉到脸上手上的箭伤还在痛,而且都已经起疮,许多箭头还扎在里面;同时我看到敌人的人数又增加了许多,这样我就只有作手势让他们明白,他们爱怎么处置我就怎么处置吧。这样,“赫够”及其随从才礼貌而和颜悦色地退了下去。很快我就听到他们一齐高喊,不断地重复着:“派布龙·塞兰”。这时我感觉我左边有许许多多人在为我松绑,使我能够将身子转向右边,撒泡尿放松一下。我撒了很多,使这些人大为惊讶;他们看我的举动,推想我要干什么,就赶忙向左右两边躲闪那股又响又猛的洪流。但在这之前,他们在我的脸上手上除了一种味道很香的油膏,不过几分钟,所有的箭伤全部消失了。这一切,加上我用了他们营养丰富的饮食,使得我精力恢复,不觉昏昏欲睡。后来有人证实,我睡了大约有八个小时;这倒也并不使人感到奇怪,因为医生们奉皇帝之命,事先在酒里掺进了一种安眠药水。

  看来我上岸以后一被人发现在地上躺着,就有专差报告了皇帝,所以他早就知道了这事,于是开会决定把我用前面叙述的方式绑缚起来(这是在夜间我睡着时干的),又决定送给我充足的酒肉,并备一架机器把我运到京城。

  这一决定也许太大胆危险,我敢说在同样情形下,任何一位欧洲的君主都不会效仿此法的。不过,他们这么做既极为慎重,又很宽宏大量,因为假如这些人趁我睡着的时候企图用矛和箭把我杀了,那我一感觉疼痛,肯定就会惊醒过来,那样或许就会使我大怒,一气之下,用力就能够挣断绑着我的绳子,到那时,他们无力抵抗,也就不能指望我心慈手软了。

  这些人是十分出色的数学家,在皇帝的支持与鼓励下,他们机械学方面的知识也达到了极其完美的程度。皇帝以崇尚、保护学术而闻名。这个君主有好几台装有轮子的机器,用来运载树木和其他的一些重物。他常在产木材的树林里建造最大的战舰,有的长达九英尺,然后就用这些带轮子的机器将战舰运到三四百码以外的海上去。这次五百个木匠与工程师立即动手建造他们最大的机器。那是一座木架,高三英寸,长约七英尺,宽约四英尺,装有二十二个轮子。看来是在我上岸后四小时他们就出发了,我听到的欢呼声就是因为这机器运到了。机器被推到我身边,与我的身体保持平行。可是现在主要的困难是他们怎样把我抬起来放到车上去的。为此他们竖起了八十根一英尺高的柱子,工人们用绷带将我的脖子、手、身子和腿全都捆住,然后用包扎线粗细的极为结实的绳索,一头用钧子钧住绷带,一头缚在木柱顶端的滑车上。九百名最强壮的汉子一齐拉绳索,用了不到三小时,就把我吊了起来放到了车上;在车上我依然被捆得结结实实。这一切全都是别人告诉我的,因为在他们工作的时候,我由于掺在酒里的催眠药药性发作,睡得正香呢。一千五百匹强壮高大的御马,每匹都约有四英寸半那么高,拖着我向京城而去。前面我已说过,京城就在半英里之外。

  在路上我们走了大约四个小时的时候,一件很可笑的事忽然把我弄醒了。原来是车出了点毛病,急需修理,停下没多长时间,就有两三个年轻人因为好奇,想看看我睡着时的模样,爬上机器来,悄悄地来到我的脸前,其中一个是卫队军官,他把短枪的枪尖直往我左鼻孔里伸,像一根稻草那样弄得我鼻孔发痒,猛打喷嚏;他们随即偷偷溜走了,并未被人发现;事情过了三个星期,我才弄清楚为什么我那时会突然醒来。那天接下来我们又走了很长的路,夜里休息时,我的两边各有五百名卫队,他们一半手持火把,一半拿着弓箭,只要我想动弹一下,就会随时向我射击。第二天太阳刚一升起,我们就又继续上路,大约中午时分,离城门就不足两百码了。皇帝率全朝官员出来迎接,但他的大将们却坚决不让皇帝冒险爬上我的身子来。

  停车的地方有一座古庙,据说是全王国最大的。几年前庙里曾发生过一桩惨无人道的凶杀案,就当地那些虔诚的人看来,这有污圣地,所以就把所有的家具及礼拜用品全都搬走了,只当作一般的公共场所使用。他们决定就让我在这古庙里住下。朝北的大门约有四英尺高两英尺宽,由此我可以方便地爬进爬出。门的两边各有一扇小窗,离地约有六英寸。国王的铁匠从左边的窗口拉进去九十一条链条,那链条很像欧洲妇女节上所挂的链子,粗细也一样;铁匠再用三十六把挂锁把我的左腿锁在链条上。在大路的另一边,与这庙相对的,是二十英尺外的一座塔楼,楼高至少五英尺,皇帝及其朝中主要官员就由此登楼,以便瞻仰我的模样。这是我后来才听说的,因为我看不到他们。估计有十万以上的居民也都出城来看我。虽然我有卫队保护,可我猜想有不下万人好几次由梯子爬上了我的身体。但不久国王就发出公告禁止这种行为,违者处以极刑。当工人们感觉我不可能再挣脱了时,就将捆绑我的绳子全都砍断;我站立起来,生平从来没有过这样沮丧。可是当人们看到我站起来走动时,其喧闹和惊讶的情形简直是无法形容了。拴住我左腿的链条长约两码,不仅使我可以在一个半圆的范围内自由地前后走动,而且因为拴链条的地方离大门才不到四英寸,所以我可以爬进庙里去,伸直身子躺在里面。  

 

 

 

 

第二章

  在几位贵族的陪同下利立浦特皇帝前来看在押的作者——描写皇帝的仪容与服饰——学者们奉利立浦特皇的命令教授作者当地的语言及习俗——他因性格温顺博得皇帝的欢心——衣袋受到搜查,刀和手枪都被没收了。

  终于我站了起来,四下里看了一看,应该承认,我从未见过比这更赏心悦目的景色。周围的田野像不尽的花园,圈起来的田地一般都是四十英尺见方,就像许许多多的花床。田地间夹杂着树林,树林约占地八分之一英亩,据我推断,最高的树大约高七英尺。我瞭望左边的城池,那样子看上去就像戏院里所绘的城池的布景。

  几个小时以来,我憋大便憋得非常难受;这也不奇怪,因为从上一次放开我到现在,我已经两天没有大便了。我又急又羞,十分难堪。眼下我所能想到的最好办法就是爬进屋去。我这么做了,进去后把门关上,尽链子的长度走到里面,把身体里那叫我难受的负担排掉。但是这么不干不净的事我也只就做过这么一次,为此我只有希望公正的读者多多包涵,能够实实在在、不偏不倚地考虑一下我当时的处境与所受的痛苦。从此以后,我通常早上一起来就拖着链子到户外去办这件事。这也得到了适当的处理,每天早上行人出来之前,由两个特派的仆人用手推车将这堆讨人厌的东西运走。因为这与我好清洁的习性有关,所以我才认为我有为自己辩明的必要,否则也不会得啵这半天来说这么一件乍看起来似乎微不足道的事。不过我听说一些中伤我的人却很乐意在这件事和别的一些事情上表示他们的怀疑。

  这件事之后,我又重新走出屋来,因为很有必要呼吸一下新鲜的空气。这时皇帝正骑着马向我走来,这却差点儿使他付出不小的代价,因为,虽然那马受过良好的训练,但见了我却整个儿不习惯起来,仿佛我是一座山在它面前动来动去,不由得受惊,前蹄悬空站了起来,幸亏这位君王是位出色的骑手,依然能在马上坐牢,这时侍卫赶紧跑过来勒住缰绳,皇帝才得以及时从马上下来。下马之后,他以极其惊讶的神情绕着我走了一圈,仔细地上下打量,不过一直保持在链子长度以外的活动范围。他下令他的厨师和管家把酒菜送到我的面前。他们早已作好准备,一听到命令就用一种轮车把饮食推到我能够拿到的地方。我接过这些轮车上的食物,一会儿就把上面的东西吃个精光。二十辆车装满了肉,十辆车盛着酒;每辆肉车上的肉足够我吃两三大口;每辆酒车上有十小陶罐的酒,我把它们倒在一起,一饮而尽;剩下的几车我也是这样吃掉的。皇后以及男女王族的年轻成员,在许多贵妇人的陪伴下,坐在离我稍远一点的轿子里,害怕我伤害他们。但是皇帝的马出事之后,他们就下轿来到了皇帝的跟前。现在我来描述一下皇帝的容貌。他的身高比其它王宫大臣们都高,高出大约我的一个指甲盖那样,仅此一点就足已使看到他的人肃然起敬。他容貌雄健威武,长着奥地利人的嘴唇,鹰钧鼻,茶青色皮肤,面相坚毅端庄,身材四肢十分匀称,举止文雅,态度庄严。他已渡过了青春时代,现年二十八岁零九个月;在位大约七年,国泰民安,大体上都是战无不胜。为了更方便地看他,我侧身躺着,脸对着他的脸。他在只离我三码远的地方站着,后来我也曾多次把他托在我手中,所以我的描述是不会有问题的。他的服装非常简朴,样式介于亚洲式和欧洲式之间,但头上戴了一顶饰满珠宝的黄金顶盔,盔顶上插着一根羽毛。他手握着剑,防止万一我挣脱束缚,他就用剑来防身。这剑大约三英寸长,柄和鞘全是金做的,上面镶满了钻石。他的嗓音很尖,但嘹亮清晰,我站起来也可以听得清清楚楚。贵妇人和廷臣们全都穿得非常华丽,他们站在那里看起来仿佛地上铺了一条绣满了金人银人的衬裙。皇帝时不时跟我说话,我也回答他,但彼此一个字都听不懂。在场的还有他的几个牧师和律师(我从他们的服装推断),也奉命跟我谈话。我就用我一知半解的各种语言与他们说话,其中包括高地荷兰语和低地荷兰语[],拉丁语,法语,西班牙语,意大利语,和通行于地中海一些港口地区的意、西、法、希腊、阿拉伯等的混合语,可是却没起到一点作用。过了大约有两个小时,宫廷的人才全部离去,只留下一支强大的卫队,以防止乱民们无礼或者恶意的举动;这些人由于好奇急不可耐地往我周围挤,大着胆子尽可能地挨近我;我在房门口地上坐着的时候,有人竟无礼地向我放箭,有一支射在我的左眉上,差点儿射中了我的左眼。领队的上校下令逮捕了六个罪魁祸首,他觉得最合适的惩罚莫过于将他们捆绑着送到我手中。他的几个兵照办了,用枪托将他们推到我手可以够得着的地方。我用右手一把把他们全部抓住,五个放人上衣口袋,至于第六个,我做出要生吃他的样子。那可怜虫嚎陶大哭,上校和军官们也都痛苦万状,尤其当他们看见我掏出小刀来的时候。但我很快就消除了他们的恐惧,因为我和颜悦色地立即用刀割断了绑着他的绳子,轻轻把他放到地上,他撒腿就跑。其余几个我也作了同样的处理,将他们一个个从我的口袋里放出。我看得出来,不论士兵还是百姓,对我这种宽宏大量的表现都万分感激,后来朝廷就得到了十分有利于我的报告。

  傍晚时分的时候,我好不容易才爬回屋里,在地上躺了下来,这样一直睡了大约两个星期。这期间皇帝下令给我准备一张床。车子运来了六百张普通尺寸的床,在我的屋子里安置起来。一百五十张小床被缝做一起,做成一张长宽适度的床,其余的也照样缝好,四层叠在一起。但是我睡在上面也不见得比睡在平滑的石板地上好到哪里去。他们又以同样的计算方法给我准备了床单、毯子和被子,对于像我这么一个过惯了艰苦生活的人来说,这一切也就很过得去了。

  随着我来到的消息传遍整个王国,引得无数富人、闲人和好奇的人们前来观看。乡村里人差不多都走空了,要不是皇帝陛下下敕令颁公告禁止这种骚乱,那么就会出现无人耕种,无人理家的严重后果。皇帝下了命令,命令是看过我的人必须回家,不经过朝廷的许可任何人不得擅自走近离我房子五十码以内的地方,廷臣们倒还因此获得了数量可观的税款。

  同时,皇帝多次召开会议,讨论采取什么措施对待我。我有一位特殊的朋友,他地位很高,被认为参预了这桩机密事件,他后来向我证实,因为我,朝廷面临重重困难。他们怕我挣脱逃跑;我的伙食费太贵,可能会引起饥荒。他们曾一度决定将我饿死或者用毒箭将我处死。但他们又考虑到,这么庞大的一具尸体,发出恶臭来,可能会造成京城瘟疫,说不定还会在整个王国传染开来。正当大家在商讨这些事情的时候,会议大厅门口来了几位部队的军官,他们中有两位被召见,进去报告了上文提到的我处置六名罪犯的情形。我的这一举动在皇帝陛下以及全体廷臣的心中造成了极好的印象,皇帝随即颁下一道旨意:京城周围九百码以内所有的村庄,每天早上必须送上六头牛、四十只羊以及其他食品作为我的食物,此外还须提供相应数量的面包、葡萄酒和其他酒类;皇帝指令这笔费用由国库支付。原来这位君王主要靠自己领地上的收入生活,除非遇上重大事件,一般难得向百姓征税,只是一旦战事发生,百姓须随皇帝出征,费用由自己负担。皇帝又指令组成一个六百人的队伍做我的听差,发给他们伙食费以维持生计;为方便服务,又在我的门两旁搭建帐篷供他们居住。还下令三百个裁缝做一套本国样式的衣服给我,雇六名最伟大的学者教我学习他们的语言;最后,他还要他的御马,贵族们的马以及卫队的马时常性地在我跟前操练,使它们对我习惯起来。所有这些命令都得到及时执行。大约过了三个星期,我在学习他们的语言方面大有进步,在这期间里,皇帝经常来光顾,并且很乐意帮助我的老师一起教我。我们已经可以与他们作某些方面的交谈了。我学会的第一句话就是向他表达我的愿望,他是否可以让我获得自由。这句话每天我都跪在地上不停地念叨。据我理解,他回答的是:这得经过时间的考验,不征求内阁会议的意见,是不予考虑的,而且首先我要宣誓与他及他的王国和平相处。当然,他们待我是很好的;他还劝我要耐心谨慎,以此来赢得他及他的臣民的好感。他又希望,假如他下令几个专门官员来搜我的身,我不要见怪,因为我身上很可能带着几件武器,要是这些武器的大小配得上我这么一个庞然大物,那一定是很危险的东西。我一边用话一边用手势表达着说,我可以满足陛下的要求,我随时可以脱下衣服,翻出口袋让他检查。他回答说,根据王国的法律,我必须经过两位官员的搜查;他也知道,没有经过我的同意和协作,他们是办不到这件事的,但是他对我的大度和正直极有好感,很放心将他们的安全托付给我;并且无论他们从我身上取走什么,我离开这个国家时自当奉还,或者按我规定的价格如数赔偿。于是我把那两位官员拿到手上,先放人上衣口袋,接着又放人身上的其他口袋,只有两只表袋和另一只放着几件零用必需品的秘密口袋没有让他们搜查,因为对于他们来说那些东西是没有什么意义的,我觉得没有搜查的必要。一只表袋里是一块银表,另一只则放着存有少量金币的钱包。两位先生随身带着钢笔、墨水和纸,他们将所看到的一切列出一份详细的清单;做完之后,要我把他们放回地上,以便将清单呈交皇帝。这份清单我后来将它译成了英文,逐字抄录如下:

  第一,在巨人山(“昆布斯·弗莱斯纯”一词我是这样翻译的)上衣的右边口袋里,经过最严格的搜查,我们只发现了一大块粗布,大小足可做陛下大殿的地毯。在左边口袋里,我们看到一口巨大的银箱,盖子也是银制的,我们打不开。我们要他打开,我们中有一人就跨了进去,结果里面有一种尘土一般的东西,一下没到他腿的中部,尘埃扑面,弄得我们俩打了好几个喷嚏。在他背心的右边口袋里,我们发现了一大捆白白的薄东西,一层层地叠在一起,有三个人这么大,用一根粗壮的缆绳扎着,上面记着黑色的图形,依我们的看法,这大概就是他们的文字,每个字母差不多有我们半个巴掌那么大小。左边那只袋里是一部机器一样的东西,它的背面伸出二十根长长的柱子,很像陛下宫前的栏杆,我们估计,那是巨人山用来梳头的东西。我们没有老拿问题去麻烦他,因为我们发现他很难听懂我们说的话。在他的中军衣(“栾佛一路”一词我译作中罩衣,他们指的是我的马裤)右边的大口袋里,我们看见一根中空的铁柱子,有一人来高,固定在比铁柱子还要粗大的一块坚硬的木头上,柱子的一边伸出几块大铁片,奇形怪状的,我们不明白是做什么用的。左边的口袋里放着同样的一部机器。在右边稍小一点的口袋里,是一些大小不等的圆而扁的金属板,颜色有白有红;白的像是银子,又大又重,我和我的同伴都难以搬动,红的重量和白的差不多,像是金子。左边那一只盒子里,是两根形状不规则的黑柱子;由于我们站在口袋底部,轻易到不了柱子的顶端。一根柱子被东西覆盖着,看上去只是一件整的东西;可是另一根柱子的顶端上似乎有一样白色的圆东西,大约有我们的两个头大小。两根柱子都镶着一块巨大的钢板,我们怕是危险的机器,就让他拿出来给我们看。他把它们从盒子里取出,告诉我们,在他的国家里,他一般是用其中的一件剃胡子,用另一件切肉。还有两只口袋我们进不去,他叫它们表袋,实际是他中罩衣上端开着的两个狭长的缝口;因为他肚子的压力,这两只展很紧。右边表袋外悬着一条巨大的银链,底端拴着一部机器,这部机器很神奇。我们指令他把链子上拴着的东西拉出来,却是一个球体的东西,半边是银,半边是种透明的金属;透明的一边,我们看见了画着一圈奇异的图形,想去摸一下,手指却被那层透明的物质挡住了。他把那机器放到我们耳边,只听见它发出不停的声音,好像水车一般。我们猜想这不是某种我们不知名的动物,就是他所崇拜的上帝,但我们更倾向于后一种猜测,因为他对我们说(如果我们理解正确的话,他表达得很不清楚),无论做什么事,他都要请教官。他管它叫先知,说他一生中的每一次活动都由它来指定时间。他从左边的表袋里掏出一张差不多够渔夫使用的网,不过可以开合,实际上也是他的钱包。我们在里边找到几大块黄色的金属,如果是金子的话,那么它的价值可就大了。

  遵奉陛下之命,我们将他身上所有的。袋都认真地检查了一遍。我们还看到了在他腰间一条腰带,是由一种巨兽的皮革制成的。腰带的左边挂了一把五人高的长刀,右边挂有一只皮囊,里面又分为两个小袋,每只小袋均都能装下三个陛下的臣民;其中的一只装了些和我们脑袋一样大小的重金属球,要一手好力气才能拿得起来;另一只装有一堆黑色颗粒,个儿不大也不重,我们一手可抓起五十多个。

  这就是我们在巨人山身上搜查情况的详细清单。他对我们非常有礼貌,对陛下的命令表现出应有的尊重。陛下荣登皇位第八十九月初四日。签名盖章。

  克莱弗林·弗利洛克

  马尔西·弗利洛克

 

  当这份清单给皇帝宣读完之后,他虽然措辞婉转,却还是命令我把那几件物品交出来。他首先要我交出腰刀,我就连刀带鞘一起摘了下来。与此同时,他命令三千精兵(当时正侍卫着他)远远地将我包围起来,持弓搭箭准备随时向我放射;不过我并没有去留意他们,因为我两眼正全神贯注在皇帝身上。接着他要我拔出腰刀;虽然受海水浸泡的刀有点生锈,但大体上还是雪亮的。我拔出刀来,所有士兵又惊又怕,立即大声叫喊;此时正当烈日当空,我手拿腰刀舞来舞去,那刀光使他们眼花缭乱。陛下毕竟是位气概不凡的君王,并没有像我所料想的那么惊吓;他命令我将刀收回刀鞘,轻轻地放到,离拴着我的链子的末端约六英尺的地方。他要我交出的第二件东西是那两根中空的铁柱之一,他指的是我的袖珍手枪。我把枪拔出来,按照他的要求,尽可能清楚地向他说明了枪的用途。因为皮囊收得紧,其中的火药也幸运地没有被海水浸湿(所有谨慎的航海家都会特别小心以免火药被海水浸湿这种不愉快的事情发生);我装上火药,并且事先告诉皇帝不要害怕,然后向空中放了一枪。他们这一次所受的惊吓,大大超过了刚才看见我腰刀时的惊吓,几百人倒地,好像被震死了一样,就是皇帝,虽然依旧站着没有倒下,却也半天不能恢复常态。我像交出腰刀那样,交出了两把手枪以及弹药包;我告诉他千万要注意,不要让火药接近火,因为一丁点儿星火就会引起燃烧,把他的皇宫轰上天去。同样我把手表也交了出去,皇帝看了十分好奇,命令两个个子最高的卫兵用杠子抬在肩上,就像英格兰的运货车夫抬着一桶淡啤酒一样。对于表所发出的连续不断的闹声和分针的走动,他大为惊奇;由于他们的视力远比我们敏锐,所以很容易就看得出分针是在走动着。他征询了身边学者们的意见,虽然我不大能听得懂他们的话,却可以看出他们的意见是各式各样的,分歧很大,这也用不着我多说,读者很容易想象。接着我又交出了银币、铜币,钱包以及里面的九大块金币及几枚小金币;还有我的小刀。剃刀、梳子、银鼻烟盒、手帕和旅行日记等。结果是我的腰刀、手枪和弹药包被车送进了皇帝的御库,其它的物件全都归还给了我。

  前面也曾提到过,我还有一只秘密口袋逃过了他们的检查,那里有我的一副眼镜(我视力不好,有时需要戴眼镜),一架袖珍望远镜,和一些小玩意儿。那些东西对皇帝来说无关紧要,我也就认为没有必要非献出来不可。再者,我也担心,这些东西随随便便交了出去,可能不是被弄丢就是被搞坏了。  

 

 

 

 

第三章

 

  作者给皇帝和男女贵族表演一种极不寻常的游戏——描写利立浦特宫廷中的各种娱乐活动——接受某些条件后作者获得自由。

  有君子之风和善良举止的我博得了皇帝和满朝大臣的欢心,事实上,军队和人民也都对我有好感,所以我就开始抱有在短期内获得自由的希望。我采取一切可能的办法来讨好他们。渐渐地,当地人不太担心我对他们会有什么危险了。有时候我躺在地上,让他们五六个人在我的手上跳舞;发展到最后,男孩女孩们都敢跑到我的头发里面来玩捉迷藏了。在听说他们的语言方面,我现在也有了很大的进步。有一天,皇帝要招待我观看他国内的几种表演。就演出的精妙与宏大而言,他们的表演超过了我所知道的任何一个国家。令我最开心的是绳舞者的表演。他们是在一根长约两英尺,离地面十二英寸高的白色的细绳子做表演的。这件事我想请读者耐心一点,听我仔仔细细地讲一下。

  只有那些正在候补重要官职或希望获得朝廷思宠的人才来表演这种技艺。从很小的时候起,他们就开始此种技艺的训练。这些人并非都是贵族出身或受过良好的教育。每当有重要官职空缺,不论是原官员过世还是失宠撤职(这是常有的事),就会有五六位候补人员呈请皇帝准许他们给皇帝陛下及朝廷百官表演一次绳上舞蹈;谁跳得最高而又不跌下来,谁就接任这个职位。重臣们也常常奉命表演这一技艺,使皇帝相信他们并没有忘记自己的本领。大家认为,财政大臣佛利姆奈浦在拉直的绳子上跳舞,比全王国任何一位大臣至少要高出一英寸。我曾见他在一块固定在绳子上的木板上面一连翻了好几个跟斗,那绳子只有英国普通的包装线那么粗。如果我没有偏心的话,据我所看,我的朋友内务大臣瑞尔德里沙的本领仅次于财政大臣,其余的官员们则彼此不相上下。

  这种游戏常常会有意外事故发生,这些事故是有案可查的。我亲眼看到两三个候补人员跌断了胳膊和腿。但是更大的危险发生在大臣们自己奉命来表现功夫的时候,因为他们想跳得比以前好,又想胜过同跳的人,猛然来一下,很少有不摔倒的,有人甚至要跌两三次。听说在我来到这地方一两年之前,佛利姆奈浦就因此差点儿跌死,要不是皇帝的一块座垫恰好在地上减轻了他跌落的力量,他的脖子是肯定折断了。

  还有一种是逢特别重大的节日专为皇帝、皇后及首相大臣们表演的游戏。皇帝在桌上放紫、黄、白三根六英寸长的精美丝线。这三根丝线是皇帝准备的奖品,他打算以此奖励不同的人,以示其不同的恩宠。表演仪式在皇宫的大殿上举行,候补人员要在这里比试和前面完全不同的技艺,这种技艺我在新旧大陆的任何一个国度都未曾见过有一丝相似的。皇帝手拿一根棍子,两头与地面平行,候选人员一个接一个跑上前去,一会儿跳过横杆,一会儿从横杆下爬行,来来回回反复多次,这些反复都由横杆的上提和下放决定。有时候皇帝和首相各拿棍子的一端,有时则由首相一人拿着。谁表演得最敏捷,跳来爬去坚持的时间最长,谁就被奖以紫丝线,其次赏给黄丝线,第三名得白丝线。他们把丝线绕两圈围在腰间;你可以看到朝廷上下很少有人不用这种腰带作装饰的。

  由于战马和皇家御马每天都被带到我的跟前,经过时间的考验它们已经不再胆怯,一直走到我的脚边也不会惊吓。我把手放在地下,骑手们就纵马从上面跃过去;其中有一名猎手是皇帝的狩猎队的,骑一匹高大的骏马从我穿着鞋子的脚面跳了过去。这确是惊人的一跳。一天,很荣幸我有机会表演一种非常特别的游戏供皇帝消遣。我请求他吩咐人给我弄几根两英尺长的棍子来,像普通手杖一样粗细的就行。皇帝就命令他负责森林的官员前去照办。第二天清晨,六个伐木工人驾着六辆马车回来了,每辆车都由八匹马拉着。我从车上取下九根木棍并把它们牢牢地插在地上,摆成一个二点五平方英尺的四边形。然后,我又取四根木棍,横绑在四边形的四角,离地高约两英尺。接着我把手帕平铺在九根直立的木棍上并绑紧,四面绷紧就像鼓面一样。那四根横绑的木棍高出手帕约五英寸当作四边的栏杆。这活干完之后,我就请皇帝让一支由二十四人组成的精骑兵上这块平台来操演。皇帝同意了我的这一建议,我就用手将这些马一匹匹拿起来放到手帕上,马上骑着全副武装的军官,准备操练。他们一站整齐就马上分成两队,进行小规模的军事演习,一时钝箭齐发,刀剑出鞘,跑的跑,追的追,攻的攻,退的退,总之表现出了我从未见过的严明的军事纪律。由于四根横木的保护,他们没有从平台上跌下来。皇帝高兴至极,命令这个游戏几天内反复表演。竟然有一次他让我把他举到平台上去发号施令。他甚至费尽口舌说动皇后,让我把她连人带轿同时举到平台不到两码的高处,从那里她得以饱览操练的全景。也算我运气好,几次表演都没有什么不幸的事故发生。只有一次,一位队长骑的一匹性情暴烈的马用蹄子乱踢,在手帕上踹出了一个洞,马腿一滑,人仰马翻。但我马上就将人马都救起来了,一手遮住洞,一手像原先送他们上台时那样将人马放回到地上。失足马的左肩押扭伤了,骑手则什么事也没有。我尽量将手帕补好,不过我再也不相信这手帕有多坚牢,能经得起这种危险的游戏了。

  就在我获得自由前两三天,一次当我正在给朝廷上下表演这类技艺供他们取乐时,忽然来了一位专差,向皇帝报告说,有几个百姓在骑马走近我原先被俘的地方时,发现地上躺着一个很大的黑色的东西,样子怪极了,圆圆的边,伸展开去有陛下的寝宫那么大,中部突起有一人高。他们起初还怕那是什么活的动物,可是有人绕它走了几圈,它还是在草地上躺着一动不动,就觉得并不是了。他们踩着彼此的肩膀爬到了顶上,顶平平扁扁的,用脚一踩才发现里面是空的。依他们的浅见,有可能这东西是巨人山的东西。如果皇帝准许,他们将用五匹马把它拉回来。我立即就明白了他们说的是什么了。听到这个消息,我真打心眼里高兴。可能是翻船以后我刚上岸那会儿狼狈不堪,还没走到睡倒的地方,帽子就搞掉了。那帽子我划船时曾用绳子系在头上,泅水时也一直戴着,估计是到了后来发生了意外,绳子断了,而我却一无所知,还以为帽子掉在海里了呢。我请求皇上让他们把帽子帮我拉回来,并同时向他说了帽子的用途和特性。第二天,车夫将帽子运来了,可是已经破旧了许多。他们在帽沿上离边不到一英寸半的地方钻了两个孔,孔上扎了两个钧,再用一根长绳系住钩子一头接到马具上,这样将我的帽子拖了半英里多路。不过这个国家的地面极为平整光滑,所以帽子所受的损伤比我预想的要轻许多。

  这件事过了两天后,皇帝命令驻扎在京城内外的一部分部队作好演习准备。原来他又想出了一个主意,要以一种十分奇怪的方式来取乐。他要我像一座巨像那样站在那儿,两腿尽可能地分开,然后命令他的将军(一位经验丰富的老将,也是我的一位大恩人)集合队伍排成密集队形,从我的胯下行军。步兵二十四人一排,骑兵十六人一排,擂鼓扬旗,手持长枪向前进。这是一支由三千步兵和一千骑兵组成的军队。皇帝命令,前进中每一名士兵必须严守纪律,尊敬我个人,违者处死。不过这道命令并没有禁止住几位年轻军官在我胯下经过时抬起头来朝我看。说实话,我的裤子那时已经破得不成样子了,所以会引起那些军官的哄笑与惊奇。

  因为想获得自由的事,我给皇帝上了许多奏章,他终于先在内阁会议上,接着又在全体国务委员会议上提出了此事。除斯开瑞什·博尔戈兰姆之外,没人反对,

这个人我并未惹他,却偏要与我为敌。但是全体阁员都反对他,因此我的请求还是得到了皇帝的批准。这位大臣是个“葛贝特”,即当朝的海军大将,深得皇帝的信任,也通晓国家事务,不过脸色阴郁温怒。他最后还是被说服了,却又坚持我的释放须有条件,我得宣誓信守那些条件,条件文本由他亲自起草。斯开瑞什·博尔戈兰姆在两位次官与几位显要的陪同下,亲手将文件交给了我。文件宣读了之后,他们让我宣誓坚决遵守执行以上条款,先是按照我所在国家的方式,然后再按照他们的法律所规定的方式宣誓。他们的方式是:用左手拿住右脚,右手中指置于头顶,大拇指放在有耳尖。读者可能好奇想了解一下这个民族特有的文章风格和表达方式,以及我恢复自由所应该遵守的条款,我就将整个文件尽可能地逐字逐句地在此翻译出来,供大家一看:

  高尔伯斯脱·莫马仑·依芙莱姆·歌尔达洛·谢芬·木利·乌利·古,利立浦特国至高无上的皇帝,举世拥戴、畏惧,领土广被五千布拉斯特洛格(周界约十二英里),边境直达地球四极;身高超过人类的万王之王;脚踏大地,头顶太阳;头一点,全球君王双膝颤;和蔼如春,舒适如夏,丰饶如秋,恐怖如冬。至高无上的吾皇陛下,向不久前来到本天朝国土的巨人山提出如下条款,巨人山须庄严宣誓并遵守执行:

  一、如果没有加盖我国国玺的许可证,巨人山不得擅自离开本土。

  二、没有得到命令,不准擅自进入首都;如经特许,居民应该在两小时前接到通知足不出户。

  三、巨人山只可以在我国的主要大路上行走,不能随便在草地上或庄稼地里行走卧躺。

  四、在上述大路走动时,要绝对小心,不得践踏我国良民及其车马;不经本人同意,不得将我国良民拿到手里。

  五、如遇需要特殊传递的急件,巨人山须将专差连人带马装进口袋,一月一次跑完六天的路程。如果必要,还须将该专差安全地送到皇帝驾前。

  六、他应和我国联盟,迎战不来夫斯库岛的敌人,竭尽全力摧毁正准备向我们发起进攻的敌军舰队。

  七、在空闲的时候巨人山要帮助我们的工匠抬运巨石,建造大公园园墙以及其他皇家建筑。

  八、巨人山要用沿海岸线步行的计算方法,在两个月内,呈交我国疆域周长精确测量报告一份。

  最后,巨人山如果郑重宣誓遵守上述各条,他每天即可得到足以维持我国一千七百二十八个国民生活的肉食与饮料。可随时谒见皇帝,同时享受皇帝的其他思典。

  我皇登极以来第九十一月十二日于伯尔法勃拉克宫。

  我心甘情愿地宣了誓,并且在条款上签了字。不过有几条不如我想象的那么体面,那完全是海军大将斯开瑞什·博尔戈兰姆心存不良所致。锁住我的链子一打开,我就获得了完全的自由。皇帝也特别赏光,亲临了整个仪式。我俯伏在皇帝脚下表示感恩,但是他命令我站起来,又说了很多好话,不过为了避免人们说我虚荣,我就不再在这里反复说明了。他又说,希望我做一名有用的仆从,不要辜负他已经赏赐于我并且将来还可以赏赐于我的恩典。

  读者也许会注意到,在让我恢复自由的最后一条中,皇帝规定每天供给我足以维持一千七百二十八个利立浦特人的肉食与饮料。不久以后,我问宫廷的一位朋友,他们如何得出了这样一个明确的数目。他告诉我说,皇帝手下的数学家们借助四分仪测定了我的身高。我身高超过他们,比例为十二比一,由于他们的身体大致相同,因此得出结论:我的身体至少可抵得上一千七百二十八个利立浦特人,这样也就需要可维持这么多人生活的相应数量的食物了。读者由此可以想象得到,这个民族是多么的足智多谋,这位伟大的君王的经济原则是多么的精明而精确。  

 

 

 

 

第四章

 

  关于利立浦特首都密尔敦多以及皇宫的描写——作者与一位大臣谈帝国大事——作者表示愿为皇帝效劳对敌作战。

  我获得自由后,第一个要求就是想获准参观首都密尔敦多。皇帝倒爽快地答应了,只是特别关照不得伤及当地居民和民房。人们也从告示里得知我将访问京城的计划。由于有高两英尺半,宽至少有十一英寸的城墙环绕京城,所以尽可驾驶一辆马车很安全地在上面绕行一周。城墙两侧每隔十英尺就是一座坚固的塔楼。我跨过西大门,轻手轻脚地前行,侧着身子穿过两条主要的街道,身上只穿了件短背心,因为我担心要是我穿了上衣,衣服的下摆也许会刮及民房的屋顶或屋檐。虽然有严令禁止任何人出门,否则就会有生命危险,但我走路还是非常小心,免得一脚踩到在街上游荡的人。阁楼的窗口和房顶上全都挤满了看热闹的人们,我不由得感觉到,在我的任何一次旅行中,从未见过像这样人口众多的地方。这座城市是一个标准的正方形,每边城墙长五百英尺。两条大街各宽五英尺,十字交叉将全城分作四个部分。胡同与巷子我就进不去了,只能从旁边路过时看一下,它们的宽度从十二到十八英寸不等。全城可容纳五十万人。房子有的高三层,有的高五层。有商店和市场,百货齐全。

  皇宫在全城的中心,正处于两条主要大街的交会之处,四周是高两英尺的围墙,宫殿离围墙还有二十英尺。我获得皇帝的许可后跨过了这道围墙。围墙与宫殿之间的空地很大,我可以很容易地绕行来看宫殿的每一面。外院四十英尺见方,其中又包括两座宫院。最里面的是皇家内院,我很想见识一下却发现非常困难,原因是从一座宫院通向另一座宫院的大门只有十八英寸高、七英寸宽。外院的建筑有五英尺高,虽然院墙由坚固的石块砌成,厚达四英寸,如果我就这么跨过去的话,很可能对整个建筑群造成极大的损害。皇帝这时候也很希望我去瞻仰一下他那金碧辉煌的宫殿,但我三天后才如愿。那三天,我用小刀在离城约一百码的皇家公园里砍下了几棵最大的树,做了两张凳子,每张高约三英尺,并且都能承受得起我的体重。市民们得到第二次通告后,我又进城了,手拿着两张凳子前往皇宫去。到达外院旁边,我站上一张凳子之后将另一张举过屋顶,轻轻地放到一院和二院之间那块宽约八英尺的空地上。这样从一张凳子到另一张凳子。我很轻便地就跨过了外院的楼群,之后我再用带弯钩的棍棒把第一张凳子钩了过来。我用这样的方法来到了皇家内院。我侧着身子躺下来,脸挨到中间几层楼那扇特地为我打开的窗子前,由此看到了人们所能想象到的最辉煌壮丽的内宫。

  我看到了皇后和年轻的王子们各自的寝宫里都有主要的一些侍从相随。皇后陛下很高兴,对我十分和蔼的笑了笑,又从窗子里伸出手来赐我一吻。

  但是我不想读者过多地来听这一类的描述了,因为我把它们留给了另一部篇幅更大的书;那书差不多就要出版了,里边概括地叙述了这个帝国由创建开始,历经各代君王的整个历史,特别叙述了该帝国的政治、法律、学术、宗教、动植物、特殊的风俗习惯以及其他稀奇而有趣的事情。眼下我主要是想描述一下我住在这个帝国约九个月的时间里发生在我以及公众身上的种种事情。

  获得自由后约两个星期的一天早上,内务大臣瑞尔德里沙(他们这么称呼他)来到我的寓所,只带了一个随身侍从。他吩咐他的马车在远处等候,请求我同他谈一个小时。由于他的身份和个人功绩,也由于我在向朝廷提出请求时他帮过不少忙,因此我很快就答应了他。为了我们之间听说方便我提出躺下来,这样我听他说话可以方便些,但他更希望我把他拿在手里交谈。他先是对我能获得自由表示祝贺。他说在这件事情上他自认为也有些功劳;不过他又说,要不是因为朝廷现在这个处境,我也许不会这么快就获得自由。“因为”他说,“在外国人看来可能我们的国势显得很昌隆,实际上却被两大危机所苦:一是国内党争激烈,一是国外强敌入侵的危险。至于第一个,你要知道,七十多个月以来,帝国内有两个党派一直在句心斗角。一个党叫做特莱姆克三,一个党叫做斯莱姆克三,区别就在于一个党的鞋跟高些,另一个党的鞋跟低些。事实上,据说高跟党最合古法,但不论怎样,皇帝却决意一切政府行政管理部门只起用低跟党人。这一点你是一定觉察得到的,皇帝的鞋跟就特别得低,和朝廷中任何一位官员比,他的鞋跟至少要低一‘都尔’(‘都尔’是一种长度,约等于十四分之一英寸)。两党间积怨极深,从不在一块儿吃喝或谈话。据我们估算,特莱姆克三或高跟党的人数要超过我们,但是权力却完全掌握在我们手中。我们担心的是,太子殿下有几分倾向于高跟党,至少我们清清楚楚地看到他的一只鞋跟比另一只要高些,所以走起路来一拐一拐。而正当我们内息方殷的时候,却又受到不来夫斯库岛敌人入侵的战争威胁。那是天地间又一个大帝国,据我们所知,他的面积与实力和我皇陛下治下的这个帝国及其他一些大国几乎不相上下。至于我们听你说到过世界上还有其他一些王国和国家,住着像你一般庞大的人类,我们的哲学家对此深表怀疑,他们宁可认为你是从月球或者其他某个星球上掉下来的,因为身躯像你这么大的人只要有一百个,短期内就肯定会将皇帝陛下领地上所有的果实与牲畜吃个精光。再者说,我们六千月的历史除了利立浦特和不来夫斯库两大帝国外,也从来没有提到过其他什么地方。我下面要告诉你的是,这两大强国在过去三十六个月里一直在苦战。战争开始是由于以下的原因:我们大家都认为,吃鸡蛋前,原始的方法是打破鸡蛋较大的一端。可是当今皇帝的祖父小时候吃鸡蛋,一次按古法打鸡蛋时碰巧将一个手指弄破了,因此他的父亲,当时的皇帝,就下了一道敕令,命令全体臣民吃鸡蛋时打破鸡蛋较小的一端,违令者重罚。老百姓们对这项命令极为反感。历史告诉我们,由此曾发生过六次叛乱,其中一个皇帝送了命,另一个丢了王位。这些叛乱大多都是由不来夫斯库国的国王大臣们煽动起来的。叛乱平息后,流亡的人总是逃到那个帝国去寻救避难。据估计,先后几次有一万一千人情愿受死也不肯去打破鸡蛋较小的一端。关于这一争端,曾出版过几百本大部著作,不过大端派的书一直是受禁的,法律也规定该派的任何人不得做官。在这一切麻烦纷乱的过程中,不来夫斯库的帝王们经常派大使前来规劝,说我们在宗教上闹门户分立,违背了我们伟大的先知拉斯特洛格在《布兰德克拉尔》(即他们的《古兰经》)第五十四章中的一条基本教义。不过我们认为这只是对经文的一种歪曲理解,因为原文是:‘一切真正的信徒应在他们觉得方便的一端打破鸡蛋。’何为方便的一端呢?依我浅见,似乎只有听凭各人的良知了,或者由主要行政长官来决定。流亡到不来夫斯库的大端派深受其朝廷的信任,又深受国内党羽的秘密援助和怂恿,这样两帝国之间就掀起了一场血战,三十六个月以来,双方各有胜负。这期间我们损失了四十艘主要战舰和数目更多的小艇,我们还折损了三万最精锐的水兵和陆军。据我们估计敌人所受的损失比我们的还要大些。可是他们又已经装备好了一支庞大的舰队,正准备向我们发起进攻。陛下深信你的勇气和力量,所以才命我来把这件事说与你听。”

  我请内务大臣回奏皇上:虽然我是个外国人,不便干预党派纷争,但为了保卫皇帝陛下和他的国家,我甘冒生命危险,随时准备抗击一切入侵者。  

 

 

 

 

第五章

 

  作者用特别的战略方法阻止了敌人的侵略进攻——被授予高级荣誉称号——不来夫斯库皇帝遣使求和——皇后寝宫失火,作者帮忙抢救了其余的宫殿。

  不来夫帝国是与利立浦特帝国只隔一条宽八百码海峡的东北方的一个岛国。我还没有见过这个岛。自从得到敌人企图入侵的消息以后,我就避免去那一带海岸露面,为的是不使敌人的船只发现我,因为他们至今还没有得到关于我的任何情报。战争期间两国间的来往一律严格禁止,违者将被处死刑;皇帝同时下令任何船只统统禁运。我向皇帝提出了我构想的一个如何夺取敌人整个舰队的方案。据我们的前线侦察员报告,敌人的舰队正停泊在一处不容易发现的港湾,一但顺风,立刻起航。我向经验最丰富的海员打听海峡的深度。他们多次测量过,海峡中心高水位时有七十“格兰姆格兰夫”深,大约相当于欧洲度量单位的六英尺;其他地方最多不过五十“格兰姆格兰夫”。我向东北海岸走去,正对面就是不来夫斯库。我在一座小山丘后趴了下来,取出我的袖珍望远镜,看到了停泊在港口的由约五十艘战舰和大量运输舰组成的敌军舰队。然后我回到住所,下令(皇帝颁发了一份委任状给我)赶制大量最结实的缆绳和铁棍。缆绳的粗细与包扎线差不多,铁棍的长度和大小则与编织用针一样。我把三根缆绳拧成一股,这样就更结实了;同样,我又把三根铁棍扭到一起,两头弯成钩形。我这样将五十只钩子拴上五十根缆绳之后,又回到了东北海岸。我脱去上衣和鞋袜,穿着件皮背心走下海去,这时离涨潮大约还有半个小时。我赶紧泅水而过,中心部位游了大约三十码,直到我的脚能够得着海底。不到半个小时,我就到达了敌舰队,当敌人见到我的时候吓得魂飞魄散,纷纷跳下船向岸边游去,约有三万多人。我拿出工具,把钩子在每一只船船头的一个孔里套牢,所有缆绳的另一端收拢扎在一起。我这么做的时候,敌人放射了几千支箭,许多箭射中了我的手和脸,不仅使我极度疼痛,工作也大受干扰。我最担心的是我的眼睛,要不是我忽然想到了应急的措施,一双眼睛肯定是没了。我前面已经说过,我在一只秘密口袋里藏了一些日常的小用品,其中就有一副眼镜,这些东西都逃过了皇帝派来的人的搜查。我把眼镜拿出来,尽可能牢地戴在鼻子上;有了这装备之后,就继续大胆地工作起来。尽管敌人还在放箭,好多箭也射中了镜片,但也只是对玻璃片稍有损伤罢了。现在我已套牢了所有的钩子,我拿起绳结,开始拉,可是船一动不动,原来它们都下了错,死死地停在那里,这样,最需要力气的活儿还在后头呢。我因此先放下绳索,铁钩仍旧搭在船上,取出小刀,果断地割断了系着铁锚的缆绳,这时我的脸上和手上大约中了两百支箭。接着我重又拾起系着铁钩的绳索,轻而易举地将敌方最大的五十艘战舰拖了就走。

  不来夫斯库人根本没有想到我要干什么,起初只是一片惊慌失措。他们看到我割绳,还以为我只是想让船只随波漂流或互相撞击而沉,可当他们发现整个舰队竟秩序井然地动起来而我在一头拉着时,立即尖叫起来,那种悲哀绝望的喊叫声简直难以形容,不可想象。我脱离险境之后,稍稍停了一会儿,拔出手上。脸上的箭,搽了一点油膏;这我前面已提到过,是我初到时利立浦特人给我的。然后我摘下眼镜,等到潮水略微退一些后,再带着我的战利品,涉水走过海峡的中心,安全返回利立浦特皇家港口。

  皇帝以及全朝官员站在岸边,等待这一次伟大冒险行动的结果。他们只看见船形成一大半月形向前推进,却看不到我的人,因我在水中,水已没过我的胸脯。当我到达海峡中心时,他们就越发愁闷了,因这时的水已没及我的脖子。皇帝断定我是淹死了,半月形的敌舰队正在向我们发动进攻。但过了一会他很快就放心了;我越往前走,海水就越浅,不一会儿功夫,就走到了彼此可以听见喊声的地方。我举起拖舰队来的缆绳的一端,高声呼喊:“最强大的利立浦特皇帝万岁!”这位伟大的君王迎我上岸,对我竭尽赞颂,当场就封了他们那里最高的荣誉称号“那达克”给我。

  皇帝的野心很大,他要再找机会把敌人的船舰都拉回他的港口,甚至想把不来夫斯库整个帝国灭掉,划作一个行省,派上一位总督去统治。他想彻底消灭大端派的流亡者,强迫那个国家的人民也都打破蛋的小端,那样他就可以做全世界独一无二的君主。但是,我尽力设法让他打消这种念头,从政策到正义,我向他列举了许多论据。我坦白地表示,我不愿做人家的工具,使一个自由、勇敢的民族沦为奴隶。这件事在国务会议上辩论的时候,大臣中最聪明的一部分人都赞同我的意见。

  由于我的这一公开而大胆的声明完全违背了皇帝的计划与政策,他因此永远也不会宽恕我。他在国务会议上以一种很策略的方式提到了这事。据说,最聪明的几位大臣至少是以沉默的方式表示了他们是赞成我的意见。可是另一些人是我的死敌,忍不住就要说话,旁敲侧击地中伤我。从此,皇帝与一小撮对我不怀好意的大臣之间就开始达成一项阴谋;不到两个月,阴谋暴露,却差点儿以我的彻底消灭而告终。最大的功绩在君王眼里又能算什么,你一拂逆他,不使其野心得到满足,再大的功劳也等于零。

  在我立下功劳的第三个星期,不来夫斯库正式派特使,卑躬屈膝,提出求和。不久,两国缔结了对我们皇帝极为有利的和约。和约的内容大家可想而知,我就不再叙述了。大使有六位,随行人员差不多五百人;入境仪式十分隆重,一点也没有损失主子的威严,也表示其使命的重大。和约签订之后,有人私下里告诉那几位大使,说我实为他们的朋友。我凭借自己当时在朝中的声望——至少表面看来是这样,也确实在签约过程中帮了他们一些忙,他们因此礼节性地来拜访了我。他们先说了一大堆恭维话,赞扬我勇敢、慷慨,紧跟着以他们皇帝陛下的名义邀请我访问他们的王国。他们听说了许许多多关于我力大无穷的神奇传说,很希望能观赏一下我的表演,看看到底如何。我爽快地答应了他们,详细情况就不对读者们赘述了。

  我花了一些时间招待了这几位大使阁下,使他们无比满意又十分惊奇。我提出想请他们代我向他们皇帝致以最诚挚的敬意。大皇仁德远扬,举世同钦,在我回到自己祖国之前是一定要去晋见的。这样,我后来一次谒见我们皇帝时,就请求他准许我前去拜会不来夫斯库的君王。他到是答应了,可我能看得出来,他的态度十分冷淡。我猜不出是什么原因。后来有个人悄悄告诉我,是佛利姆奈浦和博尔戈兰姆把我和那几位大使交谈的情况报告了皇帝,说那是我怀有二心的表现。不过我敢说,这件事情上我完全问心无愧。我第一次开始对朝廷和大臣们产生并非完美无缺的看法。

  有一点值得注意,这些大使是通过翻译与我交谈的。两帝国的语言和欧洲任何两个国家的语言一样,彼此差别很大。每一国都夸耀自己民族的语言美丽、有力,历史悠久,而对邻国的语言公然蔑视。可是,我们皇帝仗着夺了人家舰队的优势,强硬的要求不来夫斯特国的人用利立浦特语递交国书并致词。同时也承认,因为两国间的商贸往来很多,因为彼此都不断接受对方的流亡人员,又因为两个帝国都有互派贵族及富家子弟到对方国家留学以增长见识,了解异域风土人情的风尚,所以名门望族和住在沿海地区的商人、海员,几乎没有人不会说两国话的。这一点我在几个星期后去朝见不来夫斯库皇帝时就发现了。由于我的敌人们不怀好意,当时我正身处种种不幸之中,但这次朝见还是一件让人开心的乐事;这件事,我以后还要在适当的地方加以叙述。

  读者也许还记得,在签订使我恢复自由的那些条款时,有几条我很不喜欢,因为它们使我看起来很像个奴隶;要不是当时万不得已,我是决不会屈从的。但现在我是帝国最高头衔的“那达克”了,再履行这样的义务未免有失身份;说句公平话,皇帝后来也没有提起要我做那些事。不过,时隔不久我就得到了一次为皇帝陛下效劳的机会,至少我当时认为我是立了一大功。一天半夜,突然有几百人在我门口呼喊把我惊醒了,由于突然被惊醒,我心里有些恐惧。我听到有人不停地喊“布尔格兰姆”有几位朝廷大臣从人群中挤了过来,恳请我立刻赶到宫中去。原来是一位女侍官不小心,看传奇小说时睡着了,以致皇后的寝宫失火。我赶忙爬了起来,这时已有命令让众人给我让开道路,又因为这是一个月明之夜,所以我一路小心赶到宫中,一个人也没有踏伤。我看他们已在寝宫周围把梯子和水桶之物都准备好了,只是水源离这儿还有一段距离。这些木桶只有大针箍那么大小,可怜的人们以最快的速度把一桶接一桶的水递给我,但火势太猛,无济于事。本来我可以用我的上衣很容易地将火扑灭,不幸的是匆忙之中只穿一件皮背心就跑出来了。事情很惨,看来已毫无希望。要不是忽然我想出了一条妙计(这种时候并不多),这么一座富丽堂皇的宫殿是肯定要烧成平地了。前一天晚上我喝了大量的一种名叫“格力姆格瑞姆”的美酒(不来夫斯库人管它叫“福禄奈克”,但比我们的酒更好一点),这酒有很好的利尿作用。也很凑巧,我一次小便都还没有解过呢。我靠火焰很近,又在忙着将火扑灭,身上一吸热,酒就开始发生作用而变成尿了。我狠狠地撒了一泡,撒的也正是地方,结果三分钟火就整个儿被浇灭了,花了多少年心血建成的其他皇家建筑也终于免遭毁灭,被救了下来。

  天已亮了,我没等皇帝向我道谢就回到了自己的家,因为虽说我立了一大奇功,但说不准皇帝对我这种立功的方式很反感。根据这个国家的基本法令,任何人不管其地位如何,如果在皇宫区内小便,一律处死。不过皇帝给我的一则通知又使我稍稍感到了一些宽慰,他说他会向司法部下令赦我无罪的,只是我没能拿到赦免证书。有人私下里告诉我,皇后对我的所作所为极其痛恨,她已远远地搬到皇宫的另一边去了。她坚决不让修复那被毁的寝宫,她再也不会去住了,在几个心腹面前,她发誓一定要报复我。  

 

  

 

 

第六章

 

  本章介绍一下利立浦特的居民情况,它包括学术、法律、风情,怎样教育儿童和作者在该国的生活方式以及他为一贵妇人辩护。

  尽管我打算写一篇专门的文章来描述这个帝国的一切,但同时倒也乐意先介绍一点大概的情况来满足读者们的好奇心。由于当地人一般身高不超过六英寸,所以其他的动物、植物都有与之相称的严格的比例。例如,最高的马和牛身高是四五英寸,绵羊大约一英寸半,鹅大概就只有麻雀那么大,依次往下推,一直到最小的种类,我是很难看见的。不过大自然使利立浦特人的眼睛已经适应了他们眼前那一切特殊的东西,他们能看得非常清楚,只是看不太远。我饶有兴致地看到一位厨师在一只不及普通苍蝇大小的百灵鸟身上扌寻毛,也曾看到一位年轻姑娘拿着根细得看不见的丝线在穿一枚小得看不见的针。这些都说明他们对近处的物体有着十分敏锐的视力。在他们那里最高的树木大约有七英尺,我指的是皇家大公园里的那几棵,我举起攒着的拳头刚好够得着树顶。其他蔬菜之类同样也有一定的比例,那些就留给读者自己去想像吧。

  他们的学术已经十分发达,不知历经了多少代。这些就不用我说了。不过他们写字的方法很特别,既不像欧洲人那样从左到右,又不像阿拉伯人那样从右到左,不像中国人那样自上而下,也不像卡斯卡吉人那样自下而上。而是从纸的一角斜着写到另一角,和英国的太太小姐们一个样子。

  他们埋葬死人时是将死人的头直接朝下,因为他们持这么一种意见,就是:一万一千个月之后死人全都要复活,那时的地球(他们以为是扁平的)会上下翻个个儿;按照这样的埋法,死人到复活的时候,就该是稳稳当当地站在地上了。当然,他们中有见识的人也都承认这种说法荒诞不经,但为了沿袭世俗的习惯,这种做法仍在延用。

  这个帝国有些法律和风俗非常奇特,要不是它们与我亲爱的祖国的法律和风俗完全相反的话,我真想替他们说几句辩解的话。但愿我们也能实行就好。首先我要提到的是关于告密者的法律,一切背叛国家的罪行在此均会受到最严厉的惩罚。但如果被告能在开庭审叛时表明自己清白无罪,则原告将被立即处死,落个可耻的下场;同时无辜者还可以从原告的财产或土地中获得四项赔偿,这四项赔偿包括损失的时间,经历的危险,监禁的痛苦,以及全部的辩护费用。假如原告的财产不够赔偿的费用,则多半由皇家负担。皇帝还要公开对被告有所恩赐,同时颁发通告,向全城宣布被告无罪。

  他们把欺诈看作比偷窃更为严重的犯罪,因此欺诈的人没有不被处死的。他们认为,一个人只要小心谨慎,提高警惕,再加上有点一般的常识,自己的东西就不会被偷掉,可是对于老奸巨滑的人来说,诚实的人是防不胜防的。既然人们需要不断地买卖,信用交易,如果我们允许和纵容欺诈行为,或者没有相应的法律对其进行制裁,那么诚实的生意人就永远吃亏,流氓无赖反倒获利非浅。我记得有一次,我曾在国王面前替一个拐骗了主人一大笔钱的罪犯说情,那人奉主人之命去收款,随后竟携款潜逃。我对皇帝说,这只是一种背信弃义的行为,希望能减轻对他的量刑。皇帝觉得我荒谬到了极点,竟会将最能加重其罪行的理由提出来替他辩护。说真的,我当时无言以对,只好泛泛地回答说,也许是各国有各国不同的习俗吧。必须承认,我那时确实羞愧难当。

  虽然我们把赏与罚认为是一切政府动作的两个枢纽,但除了在利立浦特之外,我还没见过有任何一个国家能真正实行这一原则。不论是谁,只要能拿出充分证据,证明自己在七十三个月内一直严守国家法律,就可以享受一定的特权,根据其地位及生活状况的不同,从专用的基金中,领取相应的一笔款子,同时还可以获得“斯尼尔普尔”或“守法者”的称号,不过这种称号不能传给后代。我告诉他们,我们的法律只有刑罚没有奖赏,他们认为这是我们政策上的一大缺点。也正式如此,他们的裁判厅里的正义女神像塑有六只眼睛,两只在前,两只在后,左右还各有一只,表示正义女神谨慎周全。女神右手拿一袋金子,袋口开着,左手持一柄宝剑,剑插在鞘中,这表示她喜欢奖赏而不是责罚。

  在选人任职方面,他们更注重优良的品德而非卓越的才能。他们认为,既然人类必须要有政府管理事务,那么人类的一般才能就可以胜任各种职务;上天从来就没有想到要把公共事务的管理弄得非常神秘,好像只有极少数杰出的天才才搞得懂,而这样的天才一个时代也难得有那么三个。相反,他们认为每个人身上都有真诚、正义、节制等美德,大家只要实践这些美德,加上经验和为善之心,就都能为国服务,不过还需经过一段时间的学习罢了。但是他们认为,如果一个人没有德行,那么他的才能再高也是没有用的,任何事务都决不能交给那些有才无德的危险分子去办。一个品行端正的人如果由于无知而犯错,至少也不会像那些存心腐败的人那样给社会利益造成致命的后果。这些人本事不小,能够加倍地营私舞弊,同时还能掩饰自己的腐败行径。

  不相信上帝的人也同样不能为公众服务。利立浦特人认为,既然国王们宣称自己是上帝的代表,他所任用的人竟不承认他所凭借的权威,那就再荒唐不过了。

  在谈到这些法律以及下面的法律时,读者应该明白我指的只是他们原先的那些制度,而并不是后来的腐败政治。由于人类天性堕落而导致这些人已经陷入腐败之中去了。读者要注意,那些凭借在绳子上跳舞而获取高位,在御杖上下跳跃或爬行以赢得思宠和荣誉勋章等的无耻做法,最初是由当今皇上的祖父首先开始的,随着党派纷争的愈演愈烈,这些劣迹遂渐发展到了目前的地步。

  以他们的做法来看,忘恩负义该判死罪,我们在书上读到其他一些国家也有这样的法律。他们的理由是这样的:无论是谁,如以怨报德,就应该是人类的公敌,不知报恩的人,根本不配活在世上。

  他们关于父母亲和子女责任的一些观念也和我们的观念完全不同。男女结合是建立在伟大的自然法则的基础上的,为的是传宗接代,利立浦特人也该有这样一种结合。他们认为,和别的动物一样,男女结合的动机在于性欲,而对其儿女的怜爱呵护也是出于同样的自然法则。根据这一道理,他们绝对不认为一个孩子因为父亲生了他,或者母亲把他带到了这个世上,而必须对父是尽什么义务。想想人生的悲惨,生儿育女本身也没有什么好处,做父母的也没有想到要生儿育女,相遇相爱时,心思还用在别的上面呢。根据这些还有其他一些理由与之相似,他们认为最不应该让父母亲来教育他们的子女。因此,他们的每个城镇都办有公共学校,除村民和劳工以外,所有父母的儿女一到二十个月被认为具备一定受教条件时,必须将他们送去学校接受培养和教育。学校有好多种,以适应不同等级与性别。有经验丰富的教师,他们训练孩子们养成一种与其父母亲地位相符同时又符合自身能力及爱好的生活方式。我先来谈谈男校的情况,然后再谈女校。

  接收名门贵族子弟的男学校配有受人爱戴而又博才多学的教师,他们手下还有助教。孩子们的衣食简单朴素。他们受到荣誉、正义、勇敢、谦虚、仁慈、宗教、爱国等等方面原则性的培养教育,除了短暂的吃饭、睡觉时间以及包括身体锻炼在内的两小时娱乐活动之外,他们总有些事情要做。四岁以前男仆给他们穿衣服,之后则不管身份多高,都得自己穿衣。女仆们年纪相当于我们的五十岁,只做那最粗贱的活儿。孩子们绝不准许同仆人交谈,只许一小伙或大群地在一块儿玩耍,还总得有一位教师或者助教在旁,这样他们就不会像我们的孩子那样幼年时代染上愚顽的恶习。一年中父母亲只准看望孩子们两次,每次看望的时间只有一小时,见面和分别时可以吻一下自己的子女,但那种时候总有一位教师在旁,他们不允许做父母的窃窃私语或对孩子表示爱抚,也不允许他们带进玩具、糖果之类的礼物。

  每家必须交付子女的教育及娱乐费用,过期不缴由朝廷官吏征收。

  在接收一般绅士、商人、做小买卖和手艺人子弟的学校里,也按照同样的方法相应管理。不过那些预备要做生意的孩子十一岁就得放出去当学徒,而贵族子弟则继续在校学留到十五岁(相当于我们的二十一岁),只是最后三年的管教比较松。

  在女子学校里,高贵人家出身的女孩子所受的教育大致和男孩子差不多,不过替他们穿衣服的是整洁端庄的女仆,每次同时有一位教师或助教在场,一直到五岁她们可以自己穿衣服为止。如果发现这些女仆违反纪律擅自给女孩子讲一些恐怖、愚蠢的故事,或者玩那些我们的侍女所惯于玩弄的愚蠢把戏来给姑娘们取乐,就边鞭打她们边在全城游街示众三次,再监禁一年,最后终身流放到这个国家最最荒凉的地方。所以那里的女孩子和男孩子一样,都耻于成为懦夫和呆子,也鄙视一切不洁不正派的个人打扮。我并没有发现她们的教育因为性别的不同而有什么差别,只是女子的运动不像男孩子们的那么剧烈罢了。她们要学一些家政方面的规则,研究学问的范围也较小些,因为这里人的信条是,女人不可能永远年轻,贵族人家的主妇却应该永远做一个懂道理、和蔼可亲的伴侣。女孩子到了十二岁,在他们看来就是结婚的年龄了,父母或监护人把她们领回家,对老师是千恩万谢;姑娘与同伴别离却都是泪流满面。

  在较为低等一级的女子学校里,孩子们学习各种符合她们性别和不同身份等级的工作。打算当学徒的九岁退学,其余的留到十一岁。

  有孩子在这些学校里上学的小户人家,除每年要交低得不能再低的学费之外,还得将每月所得,缴一小部分给学校的财政主管,作为分给孩子的一份财产,所以父母的开支是受法律限制的。利立浦特人认为,人们为了满足自己一时的欲望,把小孩子生到这个世上,却要公众来负担教养,也未免太不公平了。至于有身份的人,“也要根据各人的情况,保证拨一笔一定数量的资产留给每一个孩子。这部分基金将永远按照勤俭节约的原则,绝对公平地管理和使用。

  村民和劳工们则把孩子养在家里,他们的本分就是耕种田地,因此他们的教育对公众来说就显得无足轻重了。不过他们中,年老多病的人养老院会来抚养,因为这个国家中没有一个乞丐,也就是没有乞丐这一行。

  我在这个国家住了有九个月零十三天,好奇的读者一定想知道我在那里是怎么过日子的。我天生长有一个具有机械才能的脑袋,同时也由于生活中迫切需要,我就用皇家公园里最大的树木给自己做了一套相当方便适用的桌椅。两百名女裁缝受雇给我制作衬衫、床单和台布,用的虽是最牢最粗的料,却还得几层相叠缝到一起,因为他们最厚的布和我们的上等细麻布比,还是要精细几等。亚麻布在他们那里通常是三英寸宽,三英尺长算一匹。我躺在地上给女裁缝们量尺寸,她们一个站在我脖子那儿,一个站在我腿肚那儿,各执一端拉直一根粗线,再由第三个人拿一根一英寸长的尺子来量粗线的长度。接着,量过我右手的大拇指后,她们就不再要量什么了,因为按照数学的方法来计算,大拇指的两周就等于手腕的一周,以次类推,她们又算出了脖子和腰围的粗细;我再把我的一件旧衬衫摊在地上给她们做样子参考,结果她们做出的衬衣非常合我的身。他们又雇了三百名裁缝师给我做外衣,不过他们用另一种方法来为我量尺寸。我跪在地上,他们竖起一架梯子靠在我脖子上,由一人爬上梯子,将一根带铅锤的线从我的衣领处垂直放到地面,这恰好就是我外衣的长度。但腰身和手臂由我自己来量。这些衣服全是在我自己的屋子里做的,因为他们最大的房子也放不下这样大的衣服。衣服做成,看上去就像英国太太们做的百袖衣一般,只是我的衣服全身一种颜色罢了。

  约有三百名厨师给我做饭,他们带了家人住在我房子附近很小的茅屋里。每位厨师给我做两种菜。我一手拿起二十名服务员把他们放到桌上,另外的一百名在地面上侍候,有的端着一盘盘的肉,有的肩上扛着一桶桶的葡萄酒和其他酒类。我说要吃,在上面的服务员就用绳索以一种很巧妙的方法将这些食物往上吊,就像我们欧洲人从井里往上拉水一样。他们的一盘肉够我吃一大口,一桶酒也够我喝一口的。他们的羊肉不及我们的好,但他做的牛肉味道却特别好站。我曾吃到一块牛腰肉,非常大,咬了三口才吃完,不过这种时候很难得。我像在我们国家吃百灵鸟的腿肉一样,将那些肉连骨头什么的一股脑吞了下去,仆人们见了非常惊讶。他们的鹅和火鸡我通常是一口一只;应该承认,它们的味道远比我们的要好。至于他们的小家禽,我用刀尖一挑就是二三十只。

  皇帝陛下听说我的情形后,竟然有一天就提出要带皇后和年轻的王子、公主来同我一起同享吃饭的快乐(他喜欢这么说)。他们真的还就来了。我把他们放在桌上的御椅上,正和我面对着面。在他们四周站着侍卫。财政大臣佛利姆奈浦手里拿着他那根白色权杖也在一旁侍奉。我发觉他不时从一旁酸溜溜地看我,我不愿多理会,反而吃得比平常还要多,一来为了我亲爱的祖国,二来也想让朝廷惊叹一下。我私下里总感觉皇帝的这一次驾临,又给了佛利姆奈浦一次在他的主子面前算计我的机会。这位大臣一向暗地里与我为敌,表面上却又表示爱我,就其阴暗乖僻的本性来看,他这么做是不正常的。他向皇帝报告说,目前的财政状况很不景气,往下拨款都得打折扣,国库券的价值比票面价值低百分之九才能流通。总之,我已经花掉皇帝陛下一百五十多万“斯普鲁格”了(这是他们最大的金币,大约有我们缝在衣服上作装饰用的小金属片那么大小);从全局考虑,皇帝应该一有适当的机会就把我打发走。

  在这里,我必须为一位品质高尚的夫人的名誉辩护一下,她因为我蒙受了不白之冤。财政大臣也真够可以的,竟会猜忌到自己的妻子身上。有人心怀不测,嚼着舌头跟财政大臣说他的夫人疯狂地爱上了我。这个丑闻一时在朝廷里传播开来,说她有一次曾秘密到过我的住处。我郑重声明这事毫无根据,纯属造谣,只不过是夫人喜欢用天真无邪的坦诚和友谊善待我罢了。我承认她常到我家来,但每次都是公开的,马车里也总是另外带着三个人,多半是她的姊妹、年轻的女儿和某个特殊的相识,可这在朝廷的其他贵夫人身上也是司空见惯的呀!而且我还要请我身边的仆人作证,他们什么时候看到我门口停着辆马车,却不知道里面坐的是什么人了。每次有人来,总是先由仆人通报,我则照例立即到门口迎接;施过礼之后,我非常小心地拿起马车和两匹马(如果是六匹马,车夫总要解下其中的四匹)放到桌子上;为了防止出事,我在桌子周围安了五英寸高的活动桌边。常常是我的桌上同时有四辆马车,里边全坐满了人,这时我就在椅子里坐好,脸朝着他们。我和一辆马车中的客人交谈时,马车夫就驾着其余几辆车在桌子上慢慢兜圈子,我就在这样的交谈中度过了许多愉快的下午。可是我要向财政大臣或者向他告密的那两个人挑战(我要说出他俩的名字,让他们看着办好了),这两个人就是克拉斯特利尔和德隆洛。我要他们拿出证据来,除了我以前说到过的瑞尔德里沙内务大臣曾奉皇帝陛下特遣来过以外,还有什么人隐姓埋名私下来找过我。要不是这件事和一位贵夫人的名誉密切相关,我是不会絮絮叨叨说这么多的,我自己的名誉受损也就算了。当时我的爵位是“那达克”,财政大臣没有我职位高,大家都知道他只是一个“克拉姆格拉姆”,比我要低一级,就像在英国侯爵比公爵要低一级一样乙但是我承认,他在朝廷的地位比我的要高。这些虚假的谣言是后来一次偶然的机会得知的,至于怎么得知的却不太好提;谣言曾使佛利姆奈浦一度尽给他太太脸色看,对我就更坏了。尽管他最终还是醒悟了,并与太太重归于好,但我却永远失去了他的信任。皇帝对我也很快越来越没了兴趣,他实在太受制于他那位宠臣了。  

 

 

 

 

第七章

 

  作者得到消息,有人阴谋指挥他犯有严重的叛国罪,他只好逃往不来夫斯库——在那里他受到欢迎。

  下面叙述一下我是怎样离开这个王国的情形,似乎该把两个月来一直在进行着的,一桩针对我的阴谋告诉给读者。

  到那时为止,对朝廷里的事情我一直都很不熟悉,我地位低微,也没有资格知道同时参子宫廷的事。关于君王和大臣们的性情脾气,我倒还是听过很多,书上也读过不少,但决没有想到对如此偏远的一个国家,它们竟然也会产生这么可怕的影响。我本来认为这个国家的统治原则与欧洲国家的原则是完全不一样呢。

  就在我正要去朝见不来夫斯库皇帝的时候,朝廷的一位要人(他有一次大大地触怒了皇帝,我一度曾帮了他大忙)夜里忽然坐着暖轿十分隐秘地来到了我家。并不通报他的姓名,只说是要见我。他把轿夫打发走后,我就将这位老爷连同他乘坐的轿子一起放进了上衣口袋。我吩咐心腹仆人,要是有人来就说我身体不太舒服已经睡下了。我闩上大门,把轿子放到桌上,像平时一样,在桌子边坐了下来。经过一番寒暄之后,我发觉这位老爷一脸的忧虑,就问他是为什么。他说他希望我耐心地听他讲,这事与我的荣誉及生命有重大关系。他的讲话大意是这样的,他人一走我立即用笔记了下来。

  “你要知道,”他说,“为了你的事,国务会议的几个委员会最近召集了一次极为秘密的会议,皇帝两天前作出了最后的决定。”

  “你应该清楚,差不多你一到这里,斯开瑞什·博尔戈兰姆(“葛贝特”,即海军大将)就成了你不共戴天的敌人。他起初为什么恨你我不知道,不过自从你大败不来夫斯库之后,使他这个海军大将毫无颜面,所以他对你的仇恨就更加深了。这位大臣与财政大臣佛利姆奈浦(他因太太的事对你怀恨在心,这是尽人皆知的)、陆军大将利姆托克、掌礼大臣拉尔孔和大法官巴尔墨夫拟就了一份弹劾书,指控你犯有叛国和其他重大罪行。”

  他这一段开场白听得我急不可耐,想要马上去打断他,因为我觉得自己只有功没有罪。但是他请我不要讲话,自己接着说了下去:

  “为了报答你对我的恩情,我冒被处死的危险设法探听到了全部消息,并且弄到了一份弹劾书的原文。”

 

  巨人山昆布斯·弗莱斯纯的弹劾书

  第一条

  大皇帝卡林·德法·普鲁思陛下在位时制定过一项法令,是:规定凡在皇宫范围内小便者,一律以严重叛国罪论处。当事人昆布斯·弗莱斯纯公然违反该项法令,借口扑救皇后寝宫火灾,竟敢撒尿救火,居心叵测,忤逆不忠,形同恶魔。不经允许又擅自进入皇宫内院起卧,不仅违反该项法令,且有越权擅职之举。

  第二条

  当事人昆布斯·弗莱斯纯曾将不来夫斯库皇家舰队押来我皇家港口,皇帝陛下命其前往捕捉不来夫斯库的残余船只,把这个国家变为我国的行省,专派总督管辖。亡命该国的大端派及该国不愿立即放弃大端邪说者,一律斩尽杀绝,弗莱斯就像个奸诈件逆之徒,以不愿违背良心去摧残一个无辜民族的自由与生命为借口,来抗拒洪福齐天尊贵威严的皇帝陛下,呈请免派他去执行上述任务。

  第三条

  不来夫斯库派来特使向我朝求和,当事人弗莱斯与奸诈忤逆之徒无样,竟帮助、教唆、安慰、款待该国使臣,而且当事人知道这些人是最近与我皇陛下公然为敌、公开宣战的敌国君王的走年。

  第四条

  当事人昆布斯·弗莱斯是个不履行忠顺臣民天职的人,仅是皇帝陛下口头答应了,就准备前往不来夫斯库帝国。藉此口头允诺,该当事人背信弃义,意欲前往辅助、安慰、教唆不来夫斯库皇帝。向前边说的那样,该国皇帝就在不久前还公然与我皇为敌,向陛下宣战。

 

  “还有其他的条文,但就这几条是最重要的,我已扼要地念给你听了。”

  “在这宗弹劾案的几次辩论中,应当承认,皇帝陛下有不少宽大为怀的表现,他不止一次强调你为他建立的功绩,想帮你减轻罪行。但是财政大臣和海军大将却坚持要将你处死,他们要在夜里放火烧你的房子,让你极其痛苦地死去,落个可耻的下场;陆军大将率两万人用毒箭射你的脸和手。他们还要秘密命令你的几个仆人将毒汁洒到你的衬衣上,这样你自己就会把皮肉抓烂,受尽折磨而死。陆军大将也都赞成这些意见,所以有很长一段时间多数人都是同你对立的,倒是皇帝陛下决定尽可能地保全你的性命,最后争取到了掌礼大臣。

  “关于此事,皇帝还令内务大臣瑞尔德里沙发表看法。内务大臣一向自认为是你忠实的朋友。他说了,从他发表的意见看来,你对他印象不错还是有道理的。他承认你罪行重大,但尚有可以宽恕之处,而宽恕是一个君王最值得人赞美的美德,皇帝陛下也正以胸襟宽怀而天下闻名。因为所有的人都知道你和他是朋友,所以尊敬的阁员认为他是在偏护你。不过既然皇帝要他说,他也就愿意坦率地谈谈自己的看法。假如陛下能念你的功劳,慈悲为怀保你一命,他可以下令只把你的两只眼睛弄瞎。他说依他的看法,用这一个办法可以相对满足公正的要求,全世界都会交口赞颂皇帝仁慈,有幸做陛下阁僚的人也是办事公正而大方。你眼睛虽然没了,但并不会影响到体力,一样可以为陛下效命;再说盲目可以增加勇气,因为你看不到危险;当初也就是因为你担心眼睛被射瞎,再没有第二次拉回敌人的剩余战舰。所以你以后由大臣们来替你看也就够了,伟大的君王就是这么办的。”

  “这个建议遭到全体阁员的坚决反对。尤其是海军大将博尔戈兰姆都控制不住了,怒气冲冲地站了起来,说他觉得奇怪,内务大臣怎么胆敢随随便便主张要保全一个叛徒的性命。从执政者的一切实际理由来考虑,你所建立的那些功劳只能加重你的罪行。你既然撒泡尿就可以将皇后寝宫的大火扑灭(他提到这事惊骇不已),那么用同样的方法,下次你就可能带来大水泛滥,把整座皇宫淹没。你能把敌舰拖来同样也可以把敌舰再拖回去,如果你不高兴的时候,他还有充分的理由认为,你骨子里是个大端派。叛逆开始总是先在心里盘算,然后才公开行动,因此他指控你是叛徒,并坚持要把你处死。

  “财政大臣的意见同他是一样的。他指出,你的生活,开支巨大,皇家财政已经到了十分窘迫的地步,如果再这样下去,很快就要供不起了。内务大臣提出弄瞎你的眼睛远不是消灭这一祸害的良策,说不定反会使祸害加重;从弄瞎某类家禽的一般情形来看,很明显,这些家禽眼瞎之后吃得更多,很快发胖。神圣的皇帝和阁员就是你的审判官,他们凭着各自的是非心完全可以认为你有罪,这就足以判你死刑,并不需要有法律明文规定的正式证据。”

  “但是皇帝陛下拿定主意反对把你处死,他仁慈地说,既然阁员们觉得弄瞎眼睛的刑罚太轻了点,以后还可以加其他刑嘛。这时你的朋友内务大臣谦恭地要求再次得到发言的机会,来答复财政大臣提出的反对他的理由:皇帝为了维持你的生活耗资巨大。他说既然阁下有全权处理皇帝的财政,不妨逐渐减少你的定量,这样这个祸害很容易就可以得到解决。吃不到足够的食物,你就会因身体而昏死过去,没有胃口,结果是很快你就会被饿死。到那时你的体重轻了一大半,尸体发出的臭气也就不会有太大危害了。你一死,五六千个老百姓两三天就可以把你的肉从骨头上割下来,用货车运走,埋的远远的,免得传染,留下你的骨架作为纪念,供后人瞻仰。”

  “就这样,多亏你与内务大臣建立了伟大友情,整个事情才得到了拆衷的解决。皇帝严令:一步步将你饿死的计划必须在密密中进行,不让别人知晓,但弄瞎你眼睛的判决却写在弹劾书中。除海军大将博尔戈兰姆之外,大家一致同意。博尔戈兰姆是皇后的奴才,皇后陛下一直让他坚持把你处死;自从你那次用可耻而非法的手段扑灭了她寝宫的大火,她对你一直怀恨在心。”

  “三天后,你的朋友内务大臣就会来你家向你宣读弹劾书,随后还要向你表明皇帝陛下以及阁员们的宽大与思典,正是仰仗这宽大与恩典,你才仅仅被判处弄瞎眼睛。皇帝陛下十分相信你会感激涕零、低声下气地接受这一判决。之后将有二十名御医前来监督,保证手术顺利进行:你在地上躺着,他们将十分尖利的箭射人你的眼球。”

  “你要采取什么对策你自己去考虑吧。为了不引起人怀疑,我得像刚才来的时候那样赶紧偷偷地回去了。”

  这位老爷走了,我心中疑惑不解,一片茫然。

  这位君王和他的内阁采用了一种惯例(有人跟我说,这种惯例和从前的做法大不相同),就是,每当朝廷颁布一项严酷的判决,不论那是为了替君王泄忿,还是为了替宠臣报怨,皇帝总要在全体内阁会议上发表一通演说,表明他如何宽大、仁爱,说他这些品质是天下闻名,举世公认的。演说很快刊行全王国。再没有比歌颂皇帝仁慈那样的话让老百姓更害怕的了,因为大家看得出来,这样的颂词越夸张越强调,刑罚肯定更惨无人道,而受害人也就更加冤枉了。拿我自己来说,我得承认,无论是我的出身还是所受的教育,我都决没有做朝臣的资格。但我觉得,这一判决对我没有任何宽大和恩典可言,而且是苛刻得不能再苛刻了。有时我想,就去受审吧;弹劾状上说我的那几条事实我不否认,但总希望他们还能容许将我的刑罚再减轻一点。但是我一生中也曾经仔细阅读过许多由国家提出起诉的政治案件的审判,我发觉到头来都是由判官自以为是的结案了事。这种关头,面对如此有权势的敌人,这样危险的一个决定我怕是靠不住的。我一度又极力想反抗;我现在还有自由,这个帝国整个的力量用上也很难将我制服,只要用些石块,我就可以轻轻松松地把京城砸得粉碎。可是,一想起我对皇帝曾宣过誓,回忆起他给我的思典,以及授予我的“那达克”的崇高荣誉,我马上就惶恐地取消了这样的念头。我也没有这么快就学会朝臣们那种报恩的办法,于是安慰自己说,既然现在皇帝对我这么严酷,以前那一切应尽的义务也就拉倒吧。

  最终,我作出了一个决定。这决定也许要招来某些非议,那倒也不一定没有道理,因为我承认是由于我草草行事没有经验,才保全了双眼,获得了自由。因为,要是我那时就知道帝王与大臣们的性格(这是我后来在其他许多朝廷里观察得来的),以及他们对待罪行比我轻的犯人的手段,我一定会心甘情愿地服从这么便宜的刑罚。可那时由于自己年轻急躁,又有皇帝的许可,准我前去朝见不来夫斯库皇帝,我就利用这个机会,趁这三天还没有过去,发了一封信给我的朋友内务大臣,表明按照我已得到的许可,决定当天早上就动身前往不来夫斯库。还没等大臣回复,我就来到了舰队停泊的海边。我抓了一艘大战舰,在舰头拴上一根缆绳,拔起锚,脱掉衣服,将衣服连同腋下夹来的被子一起放人船中。我抱起船,半涉水半游泳地到达了不来夫斯库皇家港口。那里的人民早就在海边迎接我了。他们给我派了两名向导带我前往首都,不来夫斯库。我把两人拿在手里,一直走到离城门不到两百码的地方。我让他们去通报一位大臣,就说我到了,让他知道我在此等候皇帝的命令。过了大约有一个钟头,我得到回报,说皇帝陛下已经率皇室及朝廷重臣出来迎接我了。我又往前走了一百码。皇帝及其随从从马上下来,皇后和贵妇们也都下了车,看不出他们有任何害怕或忧虑的表现,我卧在地上吻了皇帝和皇后的手。我告诉皇帝,我是来践约的,为我能征得皇帝的许可前来拜见他这么一位伟大的君主,而感到不胜荣幸。我愿尽力为他效劳,这也与我为自己君王尽义务完全一致。我对我失宠的事一个字也没提,因为我到那时为止并没有接到正式通知,可以完全装作对这事一无所知。我现在不在他的势力范围之内,推想皇帝也不可能公开那件密谋的。然而不久我就发现我这种想法错了。

  我不想把这个朝廷如何接待我的详细情形再来说给读者听了,总之,这种接待是和这么一位伟大君王的慷慨气度相称的。我也不想再来多说我怎么没有房子没有床,被迫裹了被子睡在地上等等困难情形了。  

 

 

 

 

第八章

 

  作者侥幸找到了离开不来夫斯库的办法,他经历一些困难安全地回到自己的祖国。

  我到达后三天,由于好奇心的驱使我来到了这个岛的东北海岸。在离海岸约半里格的海面上,我发现了一样东西,看上去像是一只翻了的小船。我脱下鞋袜,涉水走了两三百码,发现那东西被潮水冲得越来越近了,接着我非常清楚地看见那就是一艘小船,我猜测那大概是什么暴风雨把它从一艘大船上吹落下来的。我马上回到城里,请皇帝陛下将他舰队损失后剩下的其中二十艘最大的军舰,以及三千名水手全都借给我。这支舰队绕道而行,我则抄最近的一条路回到原先发现小船的地方。我看到潮水把小船推得离岸更近了。水手们全都带着绳索,我事先都已将它们结结实实地拧到了一起。当军舰到了的时候,我立即脱掉衣服,涉水向前,走到离小船不到一百码的地方后,就只好泅水向前了。游到小船旁边,水手们将绳索的一头扔给我,我将它在小船前部的一个小孔里扣住,另一头缚到一艘军舰上。可是我发现我做的这一切都不管用,因为我的脚够不到水底,没有办法工作。没有办法我只好游到小船的后面去,用一只手尽可能地把小船朝前推。潮水帮了我的大忙,我一直向前游去,直到双脚可以探着水底,这时下巴刚好露出水面。休息两三分钟后,我又推了一阵,一直到海水只够着我胳肢窝的地方。最艰巨的工作总算完成了,我又拿出放在一艘军舰中的另外一些绳索,”将它们一头系着小船,另一头系在供我调遣的九艘军舰上。这时是顺风,水手们在前面拉,我在后面推,一直到我们离岸不足四十码的地方。潮水退后,我把小船弄出水,多亏有两千人用绳索和机器帮忙,我才得以将它底朝天地翻了过来,这时发现船才稍稍受了点损伤。

  我不想把我修理船时遇到的困难讲给读者了,总之我是花了十天功夫做了几把桨,然后把小船划进了不来夫斯库的皇家港口。我到那的时候,只见人山人海,大家见这么庞大的一艘船,都万分惊奇。我对皇帝说,上天赐了我这艘船真是我的好运,它可以载着我到别的地方去,我说不定再从那里就可以回到祖国了。我请求皇帝下令供给我材料以便我把小船修好,又请他发给我离境许可证。他先是好心地劝了我一阵,接着倒也欣然批准了。

  这些日子里我一直觉得很奇怪,为什么没有听说我们皇帝在我的事上给不来夫斯库朝廷来过什么紧急文书呢?直到后来才有人悄悄地告诉我说,皇帝陛下怎么也没有想到我会知道他的计划,他想我只是按照他的许可到不来夫斯库去践约了,但这事朝廷上下是非常清楚的。他想我朝见仪式一结束,几天就可以回去的。但是我这么长时间没有返回终于使他苦恼起来。在和财政大臣以及那个小集团的其他成员商量之后,他派遣一名要员带了一份我的弹劾状前来不来夫斯库。这位使臣奉命向不来夫斯库君王陈述了他主公的宽大仁慈,说不过是判了我刺瞎双眼的罪,可是我却逃脱正义的惩罚;又说我若两小时后不回去,马上就剥夺我“那达克”的爵位同时宣布我为叛国犯。这位使臣还说,为了维持两帝国间的和平友好,他主公希望不来夫斯库皇兄能下令将我手脚捆起送回利立浦特,以叛国罪受到处罚。

  不来夫斯库皇帝和大臣们商议了三天,然后给了一个答复,其中说了不少请求原谅的客套话。他说,至于把我捆绑了送回去,皇兄也知道那是办不到的。虽然我以前夺走了他的舰队,但议和时我帮过他不少忙,他是非常感激的。而且两国君王不久就可以宽心了,因为我在海边找到了一艘庞大的船,可以载我出海,他已下令在我的帮助和指导下把船修好。他希望再过几个星期两国就都可以解脱了,就不用再负担这么一个养不起的累赘。

  被派使臣带着答复回利立浦特去了。不来夫斯库皇帝把事情的全部经过都告诉了我,同时在极其保密的情况下向我表示,如果我愿意继续为他出力,他将尽力保护我。我虽然相信他是诚心诚意的,但我已下定决心,只要有可能回避,我再也不来和帝王大臣们推心置腹了。我对他的好意表示感谢并同时恭敬的请求他的谅解谦卑的乞求他能原谅。我告诉他,既然命运赐了我一只船,是吉是凶,我都是决意要冒险出洋了,我不愿这么两位伟大的君主再因我而彼此不和。我没有发现皇帝有什么不满,后来一次偶然的机会我看出他对我的决定还蛮高兴,他的大部分大臣也都是这样。

  这种种考虑促使我提前离开,朝廷中人巴不得我早点走,都高高兴兴的帮我的忙。五百名工人在我的指挥下把十三块最最结实的亚麻布缝到一起,给我的小船做成了两面帆。做缆绳特别费事,我得将十根、二十根或三十根最粗最牢的绳索拧成一股。我又找了好久,终于在海边碰巧寻着了一块大石头,就用它来作船锚。我得到三百头牛的油脂,我把它们的一部分涂在船身上,另一部分留着应急之用。砍大树做桨和桅真是苦不堪言了,不过我得到了皇家船匠的大力帮助,我先把粗活做好,然后他们帮我精加工。

  一个月后所有的一切都准备好了,我就派人向皇帝请示,并向他告别。皇帝带着皇宫大臣出了宫。我趴在地上,皇帝仁慈地伸出手来让我亲吻,皇后和公主也都让我吻了手。陛下赠了我五十只钱袋,每只钱袋里是两百块“斯普鲁格”,还送了我一幅他的全身画像,我马上把它放进一只手套里,免得弄坏。下边是繁杂的告别仪式,我就不再向读者多说了。

  我在船上装上一百头牛和三百只羊,相应数量的面包和饮料以及大量的熟肉,做成这么多熟肉需要用四百名厨师。我又随身带了六头活母牛和两头活公牛,六只活母羊和两只活公羊,打算带回祖国去繁殖。为了在船上给它们喂养,我又带了一大捆干草和一袋谷子。我本来很想再把十二个本地人带走,可这件事皇帝怎么也不答应;除了对我的衣袋仔仔细细搜查外,皇帝还要我以我的名誉作担保不带走他的任何臣民,就是他自己想去也不行。

  我尽可能地将一切准备好,就在一七O一年的九月二十四号清晨六点钟开船出发了。我向北行驶了约四里格远的路,这时正刮着东南风。晚上六点,在西北方向约半里格的地方,我发现有一座小岛。我一直向小岛开去,在小岛背风的一面抛锚停船。这里似乎是座无人的荒岛。我吃了点东西后就休息了。我睡得很香,想来至少也有六个钟头,因为我发现我醒来后两个钟头天才放亮。那晚天很晴朗。太阳出来前,我吃过早饭就又开始航行了。这时风很顺,我就按照袖珍罗盘的指示,按前一天相同的航向驾船前进。我的愿望是,只要有可能,就把船开到我想是位于凡迪门兰东北面的一个岛那里去。一整天下来我什么也没有发现,可是第二天下午大约三点钟左右,我估计那时驶离不来夫斯库已有二十四里路,我正朝正东方向行驶,忽然发现一艘帆船正在向东南方向开去。我向那船呼叫,但没有反应,不过风势已弱,我发现我已在逼近那帆船。我扬帆全速前进,大约过了半个小时,那船发现了我,就拉起了一面旗,同时放了一枪。没想到我还有希望再次见到我亲爱的祖国和我留在那里的我的亲人,那样的快乐真是难以表达!那船降帆慢行,我就在九月二十六日傍晚的五六点钟终于赶上了它。看到那船上的英国国旗,我的心直跳。我把牛羊都装人上衣口袋,带着我所有的给养和货物上了那艘船。这是一艘英国商船,经北太平洋和南太平洋由日本返航。船长是戴浦特津[]的约翰·毕得尔先生,是位彬彬有礼而且十分出色的海员。这时我们的位置是在南纬二十度,船上大约有五十个人,在这里我竟然还碰到了我的一个老同事,叫彼得·威廉姆斯,他向船长直称赞我人不错。这位先生对我很友好,他要我告诉他我从哪里来又到哪里去。我答了几句,可他以为我是在说胡话,是我经历的种种危险使我的大脑出了问题。我从口袋里掏出黑牛和黑羊,他见了无比惊讶,这才完全相信我说的是实话。接着我又给他看了不来夫斯库皇帝送我的金币、皇帝的全身画像以及那个国家的其他一些稀罕玩意儿。我送了他两袋钱,每只袋里装有两百个“斯普鲁格”,并同时向他许诺回到英国以后,再送他一头怀孕的母牛和一只怀孕的母羊。

  这次航行的具体情况,我就不再一一说明了,总之一切都还很顺利。我们于一七○二年四月十三号到达唐兹[]锚地。航行中我只遇到了一次不幸的事:船上的老鼠拖走了我的一只羊,我后来在一个洞里发现了羊的骨头,肉已经全被啃光了。剩下的我都把它们安全的带到了岸上。我把它们放在格林威治的一个滚木球场草地上吃草,那里的草很细嫩,它们吃得非常痛快,虽然我总担心它们吃不好。在那么漫长的航行途中,要不是船长给了我几块精致的饼干,拿来研成粉末,和上水,当作它们日常的食粮,我也许就保不住它们的性命。在接下来我留在英国的短短的一段时间内,我因为把这些牛羊拿给许多贵人及其他一些人看,所以有了一笔可观的收入。在作第二次航海前,我把它们卖了,得了六百英镑。我发现自我回来以后它们繁殖得相当快,特别是羊。但愿这种精细的羊毛能给毛纺工业带来更大的收益。

  我和妻子儿女一起只住了两个月,由于我极想去异国他乡观光,不能再往下去了。我给妻子留下一千五百英镑,并把她安顿在瑞德里夫的一所好房子里。其余存货我随身带走,有现金,也有物品,希望能够增加我的家当。我的大伯父约翰在易平[]附近给我留了一块田产,一年大约有三十英镑的收入。我又把脚镣巷的黑公牛旅馆长期出租,一年的进项还远不止三十镑,所以用不着担心在我走后,家人要去靠教区接济。我儿子约翰尼是按他叔叔的名字起的,这时已上中学,倒是个有出息的孩子。女儿贝蒂已出嫁,有了自己的孩子,只能在家做点针线活儿。我和妻子儿女告别,大家都伤心的掉了泪。我上了载重三百吨的一艘名叫“冒险号”的商船,准备到苏拉特[]去。指挥这艘船的是利物浦[]的约翰·尼古拉斯?

 

 

 

 

 

       



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