TWT logo

Together We Teach
Reading Room

Take time to read.
Reading is the
fountain of wisdom.

| Home | Reading Room Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels
by Jonathan Swift

< BACK    NEXT >




[Several adventurers that happened to the author. The execution
of a criminal. The author shows his skill in navigation.]

I should have lived happy enough in that country, if my
littleness had not exposed me to several ridiculous and
troublesome accidents; some of which I shall venture to relate.
Glumdalclitch often carried me into the gardens of the court in
my smaller box, and would sometimes take me out of it, and hold
me in her hand, or set me down to walk. I remember, before the
dwarf left the queen, he followed us one day into those gardens,
and my nurse having set me down, he and I being close together,
near some dwarf apple trees, I must needs show my wit, by a silly
allusion between him and the trees, which happens to hold in
their language as it does in ours. Whereupon, the malicious
rogue, watching his opportunity, when I was walking under one of
them, shook it directly over my head, by which a dozen apples,
each of them near as large as a Bristol barrel, came tumbling
about my ears; one of them hit me on the back as I chanced to
stoop, and knocked me down flat on my face; but I received no
other hurt, and the dwarf was pardoned at my desire, because I
had given the provocation.

Another day, Glumdalclitch left me on a smooth grass-plot to
divert myself, while she walked at some distance with her
governess. In the meantime, there suddenly fell such a violent
shower of hail, that I was immediately by the force of it, struck
to the ground: and when I was down, the hailstones gave me such
cruel bangs all over the body, as if I had been pelted with
tennis-balls; however, I made a shift to creep on all fours, and
shelter myself, by lying flat on my face, on the lee-side of a
border of lemon-thyme, but so bruised from head to foot, that I
could not go abroad in ten days. Neither is this at all to be
wondered at, because nature, in that country, observing the same
proportion through all her operations, a hailstone is near
eighteen hundred times as large as one in Europe; which I can
assert upon experience, having been so curious as to weigh and
measure them.

But a more dangerous accident happened to me in the same garden,
when my little nurse, believing she had put me in a secure place
(which I often entreated her to do, that I might enjoy my own
thoughts,) and having left my box at home, to avoid the trouble
of carrying it, went to another part of the garden with her
governess and some ladies of her acquaintance. While she was
absent, and out of hearing, a small white spaniel that belonged
to one of the chief gardeners, having got by accident into the
garden, happened to range near the place where I lay: the dog,
following the scent, came directly up, and taking me in his
mouth, ran straight to his master wagging his tail, and set me
gently on the ground. By good fortune he had been so well
taught, that I was carried between his teeth without the least
hurt, or even tearing my clothes. But the poor gardener, who
knew me well, and had a great kindness for me, was in a terrible
fright: he gently took me up in both his hands, and asked me how
I did? but I was so amazed and out of breath, that I could not
speak a word. In a few minutes I came to myself, and he carried
me safe to my little nurse, who, by this time, had returned to
the place where she left me, and was in cruel agonies when I did
not appear, nor answer when she called. She severely reprimanded
the gardener on account of his dog. But the thing was hushed up,
and never known at court, for the girl was afraid of the queen's
anger; and truly, as to myself, I thought it would not be for my
reputation, that such a story should go about.

This accident absolutely determined Glumdalclitch never to trust
me abroad for the future out of her sight. I had been long
afraid of this resolution, and therefore concealed from her some
little unlucky adventures, that happened in those times when I
was left by myself. Once a kite, hovering over the garden, made
a stoop at me, and if I had not resolutely drawn my hanger, and
run under a thick espalier, he would have certainly carried me
away in his talons. Another time, walking to the top of a fresh
mole-hill, I fell to my neck in the hole, through which that
animal had cast up the earth, and coined some lie, not worth
remembering, to excuse myself for spoiling my clothes. I
likewise broke my right shin against the shell of a snail, which
I happened to stumble over, as I was walking alone and thinking
on poor England.

I cannot tell whether I were more pleased or mortified to
observe, in those solitary walks, that the smaller birds did not
appear to be at all afraid of me, but would hop about within a
yard's distance, looking for worms and other food, with as much
indifference and security as if no creature at all were near
them. I remember, a thrush had the confidence to snatch out of my
hand, with his bill, a of cake that Glumdalclitch had just given
me for my breakfast. When I attempted to catch any of these
birds, they would boldly turn against me, endeavouring to peck my
fingers, which I durst not venture within their reach; and then
they would hop back unconcerned, to hunt for worms or snails, as
they did before. But one day, I took a thick cudgel, and threw
it with all my strength so luckily, at a linnet, that I knocked
him down, and seizing him by the neck with both my hands, ran
with him in triumph to my nurse. However, the bird, who had only
been stunned, recovering himself gave me so many boxes with his
wings, on both sides of my head and body, though I held him at
arm's-length, and was out of the reach of his claws, that I was
twenty times thinking to let him go. But I was soon relieved by
one of our servants, who wrung off the bird's neck, and I had him
next day for dinner, by the queen's command. This linnet, as
near as I can remember, seemed to be somewhat larger than an
English swan.

The maids of honour often invited Glumdalclitch to their
apartments, and desired she would bring me along with her, on
purpose to have the pleasure of seeing and touching me. They
would often strip me naked from top to toe, and lay me at full
length in their bosoms; wherewith I was much disgusted because,
to say the truth, a very offensive smell came from their skins;
which I do not mention, or intend, to the disadvantage of those
excellent ladies, for whom I have all manner of respect; but I
conceive that my sense was more acute in proportion to my
littleness, and that those illustrious persons were no more
disagreeable to their lovers, or to each other, than people of
the same quality are with us in England. And, after all, I found
their natural smell was much more supportable, than when they
used perfumes, under which I immediately swooned away. I cannot
forget, that an intimate friend of mine in Lilliput, took the
freedom in a warm day, when I had used a good deal of exercise,
to complain of a strong smell about me, although I am as little
faulty that way, as most of my sex: but I suppose his faculty of
smelling was as nice with regard to me, as mine was to that of
this people. Upon this point, I cannot forbear doing justice to
the queen my mistress, and Glumdalclitch my nurse, whose persons
were as sweet as those of any lady in England.

That which gave me most uneasiness among these maids of honour
(when my nurse carried me to visit then) was, to see them use me
without any manner of ceremony, like a creature who had no sort
of consequence: for they would strip themselves to the skin, and
put on their smocks in my presence, while I was placed on their
toilet, directly before their naked bodies, which I am sure to me
was very far from being a tempting sight, or from giving me any
other emotions than those of horror and disgust: their skins
appeared so coarse and uneven, so variously coloured, when I saw
them near, with a mole here and there as broad as a trencher, and
hairs hanging from it thicker than packthreads, to say nothing
farther concerning the rest of their persons. Neither did they
at all scruple, while I was by, to discharge what they had drank,
to the quantity of at least two hogsheads, in a vessel that held
above three tuns. The handsomest among these maids of honour, a
pleasant, frolicsome girl of sixteen, would sometimes set me
astride upon one of her nipples, with many other tricks, wherein
the reader will excuse me for not being over particular. But I
was so much displeased, that I entreated Glumdalclitch to
contrive some excuse for not seeing that young lady any more.

One day, a young gentleman, who was nephew to my nurse's
governess, came and pressed them both to see an execution. It
was of a man, who had murdered one of that gentleman's intimate
acquaintance. Glumdalclitch was prevailed on to be of the
company, very much against her inclination, for she was naturally
tender-hearted: and, as for myself, although I abhorred such kind
of spectacles, yet my curiosity tempted me to see something that
I thought must be extraordinary. The malefactor was fixed in a
chair upon a scaffold erected for that purpose, and his head cut
off at one blow, with a sword of about forty feet long. The
veins and arteries spouted up such a prodigious quantity of
blood, and so high in the air, that the great JET D'EAU at
Versailles was not equal to it for the time it lasted: and the
head, when it fell on the scaffold floor, gave such a bounce as
made me start, although I was at least half an English mile

The queen, who often used to hear me talk of my sea-voyages, and
took all occasions to divert me when I was melancholy, asked me
whether I understood how to handle a sail or an oar, and whether
a little exercise of rowing might not be convenient for my
health? I answered, that I understood both very well: for
although my proper employment had been to be surgeon or doctor to
the ship, yet often, upon a pinch, I was forced to work like a
common mariner. But I could not see how this could be done in
their country, where the smallest wherry was equal to a
first-rate man of war among us; and such a boat as I could manage
would never live in any of their rivers. Her majesty said, if I
would contrive a boat, her own joiner should make it, and she
would provide a place for me to sail in. The fellow was an
ingenious workman, and by my instructions, in ten days, finished
a pleasure-boat with all its tackling, able conveniently to hold
eight Europeans. When it was finished, the queen was so
delighted, that she ran with it in her lap to the king, who
ordered it to be put into a cistern full of water, with me in it,
by way of trial, where I could not manage my two sculls, or
little oars, for want of room. But the queen had before
contrived another project. She ordered the joiner to make a
wooden trough of three hundred feet long, fifty broad, and eight
deep; which, being well pitched, to prevent leaking, was placed
on the floor, along the wall, in an outer room of the palace. It
had a cock near the bottom to let out the water, when it began to
grow stale; and two servants could easily fill it in half an
hour. Here I often used to row for my own diversion, as well as
that of the queen and her ladies, who thought themselves well
entertained with my skill and agility. Sometimes I would put up
my sail, and then my business was only to steer, while the ladies
gave me a gale with their fans; and, when they were weary, some
of their pages would blow my sail forward with their breath,
while I showed my art by steering starboard or larboard as I
pleased. When I had done, Glumdalclitch always carried back my
boat into her closet, and hung it on a nail to dry.

In this exercise I once met an accident, which had like to have
cost me my life; for, one of the pages having put my boat into
the trough, the governess who attended Glumdalclitch very
officiously lifted me up, to place me in the boat: but I
happened to slip through her fingers, and should infallibly have
fallen down forty feet upon the floor, if, by the luckiest chance
in the world, I had not been stopped by a corking-pin that stuck
in the good gentlewoman's stomacher; the head of the pin passing
between my shirt and the waistband of my breeches, and thus I was
held by the middle in the air, till Glumdalclitch ran to my

Another time, one of the servants, whose office it was to fill my
trough every third day with fresh water, was so careless as to
let a huge frog (not perceiving it) slip out of his pail. The
frog lay concealed till I was put into my boat, but then, seeing
a resting-place, climbed up, and made it lean so much on one
side, that I was forced to balance it with all my weight on the
other, to prevent overturning. When the frog was got in, it
hopped at once half the length of the boat, and then over my
head, backward and forward, daubing my face and clothes with its
odious slime. The largeness of its features made it appear the
most deformed animal that can be conceived. However, I desired
Glumdalclitch to let me deal with it alone. I banged it a good
while with one of my sculls, and at last forced it to leap out of
the boat.

But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom, was
from a monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen.
Glumdalclitch had locked me up in her closet, while she went
somewhere upon business, or a visit. The weather being very
warm, the closet-window was left open, as well as the windows and
the door of my bigger box, in which I usually lived, because of
its largeness and conveniency. As I sat quietly meditating at my
table, I heard something bounce in at the closet-window, and skip
about from one side to the other: whereat, although I was much
alarmed, yet I ventured to look out, but not stirring from my
seat; and then I saw this frolicsome animal frisking and leaping
up and down, till at last he came to my box, which he seemed to
view with great pleasure and curiosity, peeping in at the door
and every window. I retreated to the farther corner of my room;
or box; but the monkey looking in at every side, put me in such a
fright, that I wanted presence of mind to conceal myself under
the bed, as I might easily have done. After some time spent in
peeping, grinning, and chattering, he at last espied me; and
reaching one of his paws in at the door, as a cat does when she
plays with a mouse, although I often shifted place to avoid him,
he at length seized the lappet of my coat (which being made of
that country silk, was very thick and strong), and dragged me
out. He took me up in his right fore-foot and held me as a nurse
does a child she is going to suckle, just as I have seen the same
sort of creature do with a kitten in Europe; and when I offered
to struggle he squeezed me so hard, that I thought it more
prudent to submit. I have good reason to believe, that he took
me for a young one of his own species, by his often stroking my
face very gently with his other paw. In these diversions he was
interrupted by a noise at the closet door, as if somebody were
opening it: whereupon he suddenly leaped up to the window at
which he had come in, and thence upon the leads and gutters,
walking upon three legs, and holding me in the fourth, till he
clambered up to a roof that was next to ours. I heard
Glumdalclitch give a shriek at the moment he was carrying me out.
The poor girl was almost distracted: that quarter of the palace
was all in an uproar; the servants ran for ladders; the monkey
was seen by hundreds in the court, sitting upon the ridge of a
building, holding me like a baby in one of his forepaws, and
feeding me with the other, by cramming into my mouth some
victuals he had squeezed out of the bag on one side of his chaps,
and patting me when I would not eat; whereat many of the rabble
below could not forbear laughing; neither do I think they justly
ought to be blamed, for, without question, the sight was
ridiculous enough to every body but myself. Some of the people
threw up stones, hoping to drive the monkey down; but this was
strictly forbidden, or else, very probably, my brains had been
dashed out.

The ladders were now applied, and mounted by several men; which
the monkey observing, and finding himself almost encompassed, not
being able to make speed enough with his three legs, let me drop
on a ridge tile, and made his escape. Here I sat for some time,
five hundred yards from the ground, expecting every moment to be
blown down by the wind, or to fall by my own giddiness, and come
tumbling over and over from the ridge to the eaves; but an honest
lad, one of my nurse's footmen, climbed up, and putting me into
his breeches pocket, brought me down safe.

I was almost choked with the filthy stuff the monkey had crammed
down my throat: but my dear little nurse picked it out of my
mouth with a small needle, and then I fell a-vomiting, which gave
me great relief. Yet I was so weak and bruised in the sides with
the squeezes given me by this odious animal, that I was forced to
keep my bed a fortnight. The king, queen, and all the court,
sent every day to inquire after my health; and her majesty made
me several visits during my sickness. The monkey was killed, and
an order made, that no such animal should be kept about the palace.

When I attended the king after my recovery, to return him thanks
for his favours, he was pleased to rally me a good deal upon this
adventure. He asked me, "what my thoughts and speculations were,
while I lay in the monkey's paw; how I liked the victuals he gave
me; his manner of feeding; and whether the fresh air on the roof
had sharpened my stomach." He desired to know, "what I would
have done upon such an occasion in my own country." I told his
majesty, "that in Europe we had no monkeys, except such as were
brought for curiosity from other places, and so small, that I
could deal with a dozen of them together, if they presumed to
attack me. And as for that monstrous animal with whom I was so
lately engaged (it was indeed as large as an elephant), if my
fears had suffered me to think so far as to make use of my
hanger," (looking fiercely, and clapping my hand on the hilt, as
I spoke) "when he poked his paw into my chamber, perhaps I should
have given him such a wound, as would have made him glad to
withdraw it with more haste than he put it in." This I delivered
in a firm tone, like a person who was jealous lest his courage
should be called in question. However, my speech produced
nothing else beside a laud laughter, which all the respect due to
his majesty from those about him could not make them contain.
This made me reflect, how vain an attempt it is for a man to
endeavour to do himself honour among those who are out of all
degree of equality or comparison with him. And yet I have seen
the moral of my own behaviour very frequent in England since my
return; where a little contemptible varlet, without the least
title to birth, person, wit, or common sense, shall presume to
look with importance, and put himself upon a foot with the
greatest persons of the kingdom.

I was every day furnishing the court with some ridiculous story:
and Glumdalclitch, although she loved me to excess, yet was arch
enough to inform the queen, whenever I committed any folly that
she thought would be diverting to her majesty. The girl, who had
been out of order, was carried by her governess to take the air
about an hour's distance, or thirty miles from town. They
alighted out of the coach near a small foot-path in a field, and
Glumdalclitch setting down my travelling box, I went out of it to
walk. There was a cow-dung in the path, and I must need try my
activity by attempting to leap over it. I took a run, but
unfortunately jumped short, and found myself just in the middle
up to my knees. I waded through with some difficulty, and one of
the footmen wiped me as clean as he could with his handkerchief,
for I was filthily bemired; and my nurse confined me to my box,
till we returned home; where the queen was soon informed of what
had passed, and the footmen spread it about the court: so that
all the mirth for some days was at my expense.



Top of Page

< BACK    NEXT >

| Home | Reading Room Gulliver's Travels




Why not spread the word about Together We Teach?
Simply copy & paste our home page link below into your emails... 

Want the Together We Teach link to place on your website?
Copy & paste either home page link on your webpage...
Together We Teach 





Use these free website tools below for a more powerful experience at Together We Teach!

****Google™ search****

For a more specific search, try using quotation marks around phrases (ex. "You are what you read")


*** Google Translate™ translation service ***

 Translate text:


  Translate a web page:

****What's the Definition?****
(Simply insert the word you want to lookup)

 Search:   for   

S D Glass Enterprises

Privacy Policy

Warner Robins, GA, USA