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Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift

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[A description of the farmer's daughter. The author carried to a
market-town, and then to the metropolis. The particulars of his

My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly
parts for her age, very dexterous at her needle, and skilful in
dressing her baby. Her mother and she contrived to fit up the
baby's cradle for me against night: the cradle was put into a
small drawer of a cabinet, and the drawer placed upon a hanging
shelf for fear of the rats. This was my bed all the time I staid
with those people, though made more convenient by degrees, as I
began to learn their language and make my wants known. This
young girl was so handy, that after I had once or twice pulled
off my clothes before her, she was able to dress and undress me,
though I never gave her that trouble when she would let me do
either myself. She made me seven shirts, and some other linen, of
as fine cloth as could be got, which indeed was coarser than
sackcloth; and these she constantly washed for me with her own
hands. She was likewise my school-mistress, to teach me the
language: when I pointed to any thing, she told me the name of
it in her own tongue, so that in a few days I was able to call
for whatever I had a mind to. She was very good-natured, and not
above forty feet high, being little for her age. She gave me the
name of GRILDRIG, which the family took up, and afterwards the
whole kingdom. The word imports what the Latins call NANUNCULUS,
the Italians HOMUNCELETINO, and the English MANNIKIN. To her I
chiefly owe my preservation in that country: we never parted
while I was there; I called her my GLUMDALCLITCH, or little
nurse; and should be guilty of great ingratitude, if I omitted
this honourable mention of her care and affection towards me,
which I heartily wish it lay in my power to requite as she
deserves, instead of being the innocent, but unhappy instrument
of her disgrace, as I have too much reason to fear.

It now began to be known and talked of in the neighbourhood, that
my master had found a strange animal in the field, about the
bigness of a SPLACNUCK, but exactly shaped in every part like a
human creature; which it likewise imitated in all its actions;
seemed to speak in a little language of its own, had already
learned several words of theirs, went erect upon two legs, was
tame and gentle, would come when it was called, do whatever it
was bid, had the finest limbs in the world, and a complexion
fairer than a nobleman's daughter of three years old. Another
farmer, who lived hard by, and was a particular friend of my
master, came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth of
this story. I was immediately produced, and placed upon a table,
where I walked as I was commanded, drew my hanger, put it up
again, made my reverence to my master's guest, asked him in his
own language how he did, and told him HE WAS WELCOME, just as my
little nurse had instructed me. This man, who was old and
dim-sighted, put on his spectacles to behold me better; at which
I could not forbear laughing very heartily, for his eyes appeared
like the full moon shining into a chamber at two windows. Our
people, who discovered the cause of my mirth, bore me company in
laughing, at which the old fellow was fool enough to be angry and
out of countenance. He had the character of a great miser; and,
to my misfortune, he well deserved it, by the cursed advice he
gave my master, to show me as a sight upon a market-day in the
next town, which was half an hour's riding, about two-and-twenty
miles from our house. I guessed there was some mischief when I
observed my master and his friend whispering together, sometimes
pointing at me; and my fears made me fancy that I overheard and
understood some of their words. But the next morning
Glumdalclitch, my little nurse, told me the whole matter, which
she had cunningly picked out from her mother. The poor girl laid
me on her bosom, and fell a weeping with shame and grief. She
apprehended some mischief would happen to me from rude vulgar
folks, who might squeeze me to death, or break one of my limbs by
taking me in their hands. She had also observed how modest I was
in my nature, how nicely I regarded my honour, and what an
indignity I should conceive it, to be exposed for money as a
public spectacle, to the meanest of the people. She said, her
papa and mamma had promised that Grildrig should be hers; but now
she found they meant to serve her as they did last year, when
they pretended to give her a lamb, and yet, as soon as it was
fat, sold it to a butcher. For my own part, I may truly affirm,
that I was less concerned than my nurse. I had a strong hope,
which never left me, that I should one day recover my liberty:
and as to the ignominy of being carried about for a monster, I
considered myself to be a perfect stranger in the country, and
that such a misfortune could never be charged upon me as a
reproach, if ever I should return to England, since the king of
Great Britain himself, in my condition, must have undergone the
same distress.

My master, pursuant to the advice of his friend, carried me in a
box the next market-day to the neighbouring town, and took along
with him his little daughter, my nurse, upon a pillion behind
him. The box was close on every side, with a little door for me
to go in and out, and a few gimlet holes to let in air. The girl
had been so careful as to put the quilt of her baby's bed into
it, for me to lie down on. However, I was terribly shaken and
discomposed in this journey, though it was but of half an hour:
for the horse went about forty feet at every step and trotted so
high, that the agitation was equal to the rising and falling of a
ship in a great storm, but much more frequent. Our journey was
somewhat farther than from London to St. Alban's. My master
alighted at an inn which he used to frequent; and after
consulting awhile with the inn-keeper, and making some necessary
preparations, he hired the GRULTRUD, or crier, to give notice
through the town of a strange creature to be seen at the sign of
the Green Eagle, not so big as a SPLACNUCK (an animal in that
country very finely shaped, about six feet long,) and in every
part of the body resembling a human creature, could speak several
words, and perform a hundred diverting tricks.

I was placed upon a table in the largest room of the inn, which
might be near three hundred feet square. My little nurse stood
on a low stool close to the table, to take care of me, and direct
what I should do. My master, to avoid a crowd, would suffer only
thirty people at a time to see me. I walked about on the table
as the girl commanded; she asked me questions, as far as she knew
my understanding of the language reached, and I answered them as
loud as I could. I turned about several times to the company,
paid my humble respects, said THEY WERE WELCOME, and used some
other speeches I had been taught. I took up a thimble filled
with liquor, which Glumdalclitch had given me for a cup, and
drank their health, I drew out my hanger, and flourished with it
after the manner of fencers in England. My nurse gave me a part
of a straw, which I exercised as a pike, having learnt the art in
my youth. I was that day shown to twelve sets of company, and as
often forced to act over again the same fopperies, till I was
half dead with weariness and vexation; for those who had seen me
made such wonderful reports, that the people were ready to break
down the doors to come in. My master, for his own interest,
would not suffer any one to touch me except my nurse; and to
prevent danger, benches were set round the table at such a
distance as to put me out of every body's reach. However, an
unlucky school-boy aimed a hazel nut directly at my head, which
very narrowly missed me; otherwise it came with so much violence,
that it would have infallibly knocked out my brains, for it was
almost as large as a small pumpkin, but I had the satisfaction to
see the young rogue well beaten, and turned out of the room.

My master gave public notice that he would show me again the next
market-day; and in the meantime he prepared a convenient vehicle
for me, which he had reason enough to do; for I was so tired with
my first journey, and with entertaining company for eight hours
together, that I could hardly stand upon my legs, or speak a
word. It was at least three days before I recovered my strength;
and that I might have no rest at home, all the neighbouring
gentlemen from a hundred miles round, hearing of my fame, came to
see me at my master's own house. There could not be fewer than
thirty persons with their wives and children (for the country is
very populous;) and my master demanded the rate of a full room
whenever he showed me at home, although it were only to a single
family; so that for some time I had but little ease every day of
the week (except Wednesday, which is their Sabbath,) although I
were not carried to the town.

My master, finding how profitable I was likely to be, resolved to
carry me to the most considerable cities of the kingdom. Having
therefore provided himself with all things necessary for a long
journey, and settled his affairs at home, he took leave of his
wife, and upon the 17th of August, 1703, about two months after
my arrival, we set out for the metropolis, situate near the
middle of that empire, and about three thousand miles distance
from our house. My master made his daughter Glumdalclitch ride
behind him. She carried me on her lap, in a box tied about her
waist. The girl had lined it on all sides with the softest cloth
she could get, well quilted underneath, furnished it with her
baby's bed, provided me with linen and other necessaries, and
made everything as convenient as she could. We had no other
company but a boy of the house, who rode after us with the

My master's design was to show me in all the towns by the way,
and to step out of the road for fifty or a hundred miles, to any
village, or person of quality's house, where he might expect
custom. We made easy journeys, of not above seven or eight score
miles a-day; for Glumdalclitch, on purpose to spare me,
complained she was tired with the trotting of the horse. She
often took me out of my box, at my own desire, to give me air,
and show me the country, but always held me fast by a
leading-string. We passed over five or six rivers, many degrees
broader and deeper than the Nile or the Ganges: and there was
hardly a rivulet so small as the Thames at London-bridge. We
were ten weeks in our journey, and I was shown in eighteen large
towns, besides many villages, and private families.

On the 26th day of October we arrived at the metropolis, called
in their language LORBRULGRUD, or Pride of the Universe. My
master took a lodging in the principal street of the city, not
far from the royal palace, and put out bills in the usual form,
containing an exact description of my person and parts. He hired
a large room between three and four hundred feet wide. He
provided a table sixty feet in diameter, upon which I was to act
my part, and pallisadoed it round three feet from the edge, and
as many high, to prevent my falling over. I was shown ten times
a-day, to the wonder and satisfaction of all people. I could now
speak the language tolerably well, and perfectly understood every
word, that was spoken to me. Besides, I had learnt their
alphabet, and could make a shift to explain a sentence here and
there; for Glumdalclitch had been my instructor while we were at
home, and at leisure hours during our journey. She carried a
little book in her pocket, not much larger than a Sanson's Atlas;
it was a common treatise for the use of young girls, giving a
short account of their religion: out of this she taught me my
letters, and interpreted the words.



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