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about the bigness of a spangle) and upon the whole, that it would be adviseable in the emperor to take the first fair occasion of dismissing me.
I am here obliged to vindicate the reputation os 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 1 solemnly declare to be a most infamous salshood without any grounds, farther 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, roy 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 placed them on a table, where I had fixed a moveable 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 fat in my chair, leaningmyface towards them; and, when [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 their best of it) Clustril af.d Drunlo, to prove that any person ever came to me incognito, except the secretary Reldrcsal, 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 fay 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 iJukc iii England; yet I allow he preceded
me in right of his post. These filfe informations, which I afterwards came to the knowledge of by an accident not proper to mention, made the treasurer shew 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 sound my interest decline very fast with the emperor himfeif, who was indeed too much governed by that favourite.
The author, being informed of a design to accuse him cf high treason, maketh bis efcapt to Blifufcu. 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 in* deed heard and read enough of the dispositions of great princes and ministers; but never expected to have found such terrible eftects of them in so remote a country, governed,as I thought, by very diiierent maxims from those in Europe.
When I was just preparing to pay my attendance on the emperor of Blefuicu, 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 roy house very privately at night in a close chair, and, without sending his name, desired admittance: the chairmen were dismissed; I pnt the chair, with his lordship in it, into ray coat-pocket; and, giving orders to a trusty servant to sav I was indisposed and gone to sleep, I fastened the door of my house, placed the chair on the table according tg my usual custom, and sat down by it. After the common salutations were over, ob« serving his lordship's countenance full of concern, and enquiring into the reason, he desired 1 would hear him with patience in a matter that highly concerned my honour and my life. His speech was tothe following effect, for I took notes of it as soon ai he left me.
You arc 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 Skyrcsh Bolgolam (galiet, or high-admiral) hath been your mortal enemy almost ever since your arrival: his original reasons I know not; but his hatred is increased since your great success ;:gainit Blefuscu, by which his glory, as admiral, is much obscured. This lord, in conjunction with Fiimnap the hightreasurer, whose enmity against you is notorious on account of his lady, Limtoc the general, Lalcon the chamberlain, and Balrnuff 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: 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 sl^a/n/? Quinbus Fleftrin, 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 deviliflily, 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, IS'c. against the duty, lie.
That the said Quinbus Flestrin having brought the imperial sieet 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 vice-roy from jhence, and to destroy and put to death not only all the big-entiian exiLs, but likewise .all the people of that empire, who would yiot immediately forsake the hig-enJian heresy: he the said Flestrin, like a false trai
tor 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.*
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 open war against his said majesty.
Article IV. That the said Quinbus Flestrin, contrary to the duty of a faithful subject, is nowpreparing to make a voyage to the court and empire of Blefuscu, for which he hath received only verbal licence from his imperial majesty; and under colour of the said licence doth falsely and traitorously intend to take the said voyage, and thereby to aid, comfort, and abet the emperor of Blefuscu, so late 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 mould be put to the most painful and ignominious death, by setting fire on 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 flesti, and die in the utmost torture. The general came into the fame opinion; so that for a long time there was a majority against you: but his majesty resolving, if possible,
• A lawyer thinks himself honest if he does the best he can for his client, and a statesman if lie promotes the interest of his country; but the dean here inculcates an higher notion of right ai:d wrung, and obligations to a larger community. . . 3R3 ttj 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 aimes to be great, but that still there was room for mercy, the moil commendable virtue in a prince, and for which his majesty was so justly celebrated. He said, the friendihip between you and him was so well known to th; world, that perhaps the most honouraide 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 order to pat out both your eyes, he humbly conceived, that by this expedient justice might in some measure be justified, 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 youtto fee 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 hfe of a traitor; that the services you had performed were, by all true reasons of state, the great aggravation of your crimes; th.it you, who was able to extinguiso 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 fame means to drown the whole palace; and the fame strength, which enabled you to bring over the enemy's fleet, might serve upon the first discontent to carry them bick: that he had good reasons to think you were a Big-endian in your beurt; and as treason begins in the heart before it appear in overt-acts, so he
accused you as a traitor on that acc«unrt and therefore insisted you sliould be put to death.
The treasurer was of the fame opinion: he (hewed to what streights 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 fowl, 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 punilhment, was graciously pleased to say, that since the council thought the loss of your eyes too easy a censure, some other may be insticted 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, wiight easily provide against that evil, by gradually lellening your establistiment; by which, for want of sufficient food, you would grow weak and saint, and lose your appetite, and consume in a few months; neither would the stench of your carcase be then so dangerous, when it sliould 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 flefli from your bones, take it away by cartloads, 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 se
• There is something so odious in whatever is wrong, th^t even those whom it does not subject to punishment endeavour to colour it with an appearance os right; but the attempt is always unsuccessful, and only betrays a consciousness of deformity by ihewing a desire to hide it. Thus the Lilliputian court' pretended a right to dispense with the strict letter of the law to put Gulliver to death, though by the strict letter of the li* only he could be convicted of a crime ; the intention of the statute not being to suffer the palace :-•;>« to be burnt than pilled upon.
cretary cretary the whole affair was compromised. It was strictly enjoined, that the project of starving you by degrees should be kept a secret, tut 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's, was perpetually instigated by her majesty to insist upon your death, (he 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 doth riot question you will gratefully and humbly submit to; and twenty of hit majesty's surgeons will attend in order to fee the operation well peiformed, by discharging \-ery 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 practices 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 w hole council, expressing his great lenity and tenderness, as qualities known and confessed by all the world. This speech was immediately published through the kingdom; nor did any thing terrify the people so much as thole 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 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 1 could not deny the facts
alledged in the several articles, yet I hoped they would admit of some extenuation. But having in my life perused many statetrials, 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 remembaring the oath 1 had made to the emperor, the favours I had received from him, and the high title of narJac he conferred upon me. Neither had I so soon learned the gratitude of courtiers, to persuade myself, that his majesty's present severities acquitted me of all past obligations.
At last I fixed upon a resolution, for which it is probable 1 may incur some censure, and not unjustly; for 1 confess I owe the preserving 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 let's 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 licence to pay my attendance upon the emperor of Blefufcu, I took this opportunity, before th» three days were elapsed, to send a letter to my friend the secretary, signifying my resolution of setting out that morning for Blefufcu, pursuant to the leave I had
?ot; and, without waiting for an answer, went to that fide 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 stript myself, put my cloaths (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 Blefufcu, where the people had long expected me; they lent me two guides to direct me to the capital city, which is of the fame name. I held them in my hands, till 1 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, ia about an hour, that his majesty, attended 3 R 4 'by 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 hand. I told his majesty that I was come according to my promise, and with the licence 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 1 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 os the difficulties I was in for want of a house and bed, being forced to lie on the ground, wrapt up in my coverlet.
The author, by a lucky accident, finds meant to leave Blefufcu; and, after some difficulties, returns fase to his native country.
Three Jays after my arrival, walking but 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 oft" my shoes and stockings, and, wading 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 aster the loss of his fleet, and three thousand seamen, under the command of his viceadmiral. This fleet sailed round, while I went back the shortest way to the coast, where 1 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 suffi
cient strength. When the ships came np, I stript myself, and waded till I came within a hundred yards of 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 forwards 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 seel the ground. I rested two or three minutes, and then gave the boat another (hove, and so on till the sea was no higher than my arm-pits'; and now, th- 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, till wearrived within forty yards of the shore, and, waiting till the tide was out, 1 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 mall 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 Blefufcu, where a mighty concourse of people appeared upon my arrival, full of wonder at the fight 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, from whence I might return into my native country, and b?gged his majesty's orders for getting materials to fit it up, together with his licence 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 Blefufcu. But I was afterwards given privately to understand, that his imperial majesty, never imagining 1 had the least notice of his designs, believed I was gone tt Blefufcu in performance of my promise, according to the licence 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 ia pain at my long absence; and, after consulting with the treasurer and the rest of