Page images

country very imperfect and confined. The together, with a noife and agitation greater laws, and military afairs, and parties in than thunder. That a proper quantity of the flatt.

this powder rammed into an hollow tube

of brass or iron, according to its bigness, Nothing but an extreme love of truth would drive a ball of iron or lead with such could have hindered me from concealing violence and speed, as nothing was able to this part of my story. It was in vain to suitain its force. That the largest balls thus discover my resentments, which were always discharged would not only destroy whole turned into ridicule; and I was forced to ranks of an army at once, but batter the rest with patience, while my noble and strongest walls to the ground, fink down most beloved country was só injuriouily ships, with a thousand men in each, to the treated. I ain as heartily sorry as any of bottom of the sea; and, when linked by a my readers can poflibly be, that such an chain together, would cut through mafts and occafion was given ; but this prince hap- rigging, divide hundreds of bodies in the pened to be so curious and inquisitive upon middle, and lay all wafte before them. That every particular, that it could not con we often put this powder into large hollow fitt either with gratitride or good man balls of iron, and discharged them by an ners to refuse giving him what satisfaction engine into some city we were besieging, I was able. Yet thus much 1 may be al. which would rip up the pavements, tear the lowed to say in my own vindication, that houses to pieces, burst and throw splinters I artfully eluded many of his questions, and on every side, dalhing out the brains of all gave to every point a more favourable turn who came near. That I knew the ingreby many degrees than the strictness of truth dients very well, which were cheap and would allow. For I have always borne that common; I understood the manner of comJaudable partiality to my own country, pounding them, and could direct his workwhich Dionyfius Halicarnaffensis with so men how to make those tubes of a size promuch justice recommends to an historian: portionable to all other things in his majes. I would hide the frailties and deforınities ty's kingdom, and the largest need not be of my political mother, and place her vir- above an hundred feet long; twenty or tues and beauties in the most advantageous thirty of which tubes, charged with the prolight. This was my sincere endeavour in per quantity of powder and balls, would those many discourses I had with that nio. batter down the walls of the strongest town narch, although it unfortunately failed of in his dominions in a few hours, or destroy success.

the whole metropolis, if ever it should preBut great allowances hould be given to tend to dispute his absolute commands

. a king, who lives wholly secluded from the This I humbly offered to his majesty as a reit of the world, and mult therefore be al- small tribute of acknowledgment in return together unacquainted with the manners for so many marks that I had received of and customs that most prevail in other na- his royal favour and protection. tions: the want of which knowledge will The king was struck with horror at the ever produce many prejudices, and a cer- description I had given of those terrible tain narrozeness of thinking, from which we engines, and the proposal I had made. and the politer countries of Europe are He was amazed, how' so impotent and wholly exempted. And it would be hard grovelling an infect as I (these were his exindeed, if, fo remote a prince's notions of pressions) could entertain such inhuman virtue and vice were to be offered as a ideas, and in so familiar a manner, as to apo standard for all mankind.

peas wholly unmoved at all the scenes of To confirm what I have now said, and blood and desolation, which I had painted further to shew the miserable effects of a as the common effects of those destructive confined education, I fall here insert a par- machines, whereof he said fome evil gejaye which will hardly obtain belief. In nius, enemy to mankind, must have been hopes to ingratiate myself farther into his the first contriver. As for himself, he promajesty's favour, I told him of an invention tested, that although few things delighted discovered between three and four hun- him so much as new discoveries in art or in dred years ago, to make a certain powder, nature, yet he would rather lose balf his into an heap, of which the smallest spark of kingdom, than be privy to such a secret, fire falling would kindle the whole in a which he commanded me, as I valued my moment, alihough it were as big as a life, never to mention any more. mountain, and make it all fly up in the air A strange effect of narrow principles and 3


fort views! that a prince, poflefled of words the number of letters in their alpha-
every quality which procures veneration, bet, which confifts only of two-and-twenty.
love, and esteem; of trong parts, great But indeed few of them extend even to that
wisdom, and profound learning, endowed length. They are exprefled in the most
with admirable talents for government, and plain and simple terms, wherein those peo-
almost adored by his subjects, should, from ple are not mercurial enough to discover
a nice unnecessary fcruple, whereof in Europe above one interpretation : and to write a
we can have no conception, let flip an comment upon any law is a capital crime.
opportunity put into his hands, that would As to the decision of civil causes, or pro-
have made him absolute master of the ceedings against criminals, their precedents
lives, the liberties, and the fortunes of are so few, that they have little reason to
his people. Neither do I say this with boat of any extraordinary kill in either.
the least intention to detract from the many They have had the art of printing, as
virtues of that excellent king, whose cha. well as the Chinese, time out of mind: but
racter I am sensible will on this account their libraries are not very large; for that
be very much lessened in the opinion of an of the king, which is reckoned the largest,
English reader; but I take this defect doth not amount to above a thousand vo-
among them to have risen from their lumes, placed in a gallery of twelve hun-
ignorance, by not having hitherto reduc- dred feet long, from whence I had liberty
ed politics into a science, as the more to borrow what books I pleased. The
acute wits of Europe have done. For queen's joiner had contrived in one of
I remember very well in a discourse one Glumdalclirch's rooms a kind of wooden
day with the king, when I happened to machine five-and-twenty feet high, formed
say there were leveral thousand books fike a ftanding ladder, the steps were each
among us written upon the art of govern- fifty feet long: it was indeed a moveable
ment, it gave him (directly contrary to pair of stairs, the lowest end placed at ten
my intention) a very mean opinion of our feet distance from the wall of the chambers
understandings. He professed both tò abo- The book I had a mind to read was put up
minate and despise all mystery, refinement, leaning against the wall; I first mounted to
and intrigue, either in a prince or a mi- the upper step of the ladder, and turning
nister. He could not tell what I meant my face towards the book, began at the top
by secrets of state, where an enemy, or of the page, and so walking to the right
some rival nation, were not in the case. and left about eight or ten paces, according
He confined the knowledge of governing to the length of the lines, till I had gotten
within very narrow bounds, to common a little below the level of mine eye, and
sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to then defcending gradually till I came to
the speedy determination of civil and cri- the bottom; after which I mounted again,
minal causes; with some other obvious and began the other page in the same man-
topics which are not worth confidering. ner, and fo turned over the leaf, which I
And he gave it for his opinion, that who could easily do with both my hands, for it
ever could make two ears of corn, or two was as chick and ftiff as a pasteboard, and
blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of in the largest folios not above eighteen or
ground where only one grew before, would twenty feet long.
deserve better of mankind, and do more Their style is clear, masculine, and
essential service to his country, than the smooth, but not florid; for they avoid no-
whole race of politicians put together. thing more than multiplying unnecessary

The learning of this people is very dė. words, or using various expressions. I have fe&tive, consisting only in morality, history, perused many of their books, especially those poetry, and mathematics, wherein they must in history and morality. Among the rest, I be allowed to excel. But the last of these was very much diverted with a little old is wholly applied to what may be useful in treatife, which always lay in Glumdallife, to the improvement of agriculture,and clitch's bed-chamber, and belonged to her all mechanical arts; so that among us it governess, a grave elderly gentlewoman, would be little esteemed. And as to ideas, who dealt in writings of morality and deentities, abstractions, and transcendentals, Í votion. The book treats of the weakness could never drive the lealt conception into of human kind, and is in little esteem, extheir heads.

cept among the women and the vulgar. No law of that country must exceed in However, I was curious to see what an au


[ocr errors]

3 T2

thor of that country could say upon such a exercises, and under very good discipline, fubject This writer went through all the wherein I saw no great merit; for how usual topics of European moralifts, fhewing should it be otherwise, where every farmer how diminutive, contemptible, and help is under the command of his own landlord, less an animal was man in his own nature; and every citizen under that of the prinkow unable to defend himself from incle cipal men in his own city, chosen after the mencies of the air, or the fury of wild beasts; manner of Venice by ballot ? how much he was excelled by one creature I have often seen the militia of Lorbrul. in strength, by another in speed, by a third grud drawn out to exercise in a great field in forefight, by a fourth in industry. He near the city of twenty miles square. They added, that nature was degenerated in these were in all not above twenty-five thousand latter declining ages of the world, and foot, and fix thousand horse; but it was imcould now produce only small abortive poslible for me to compute their number, births, in comparison of those in ancient considering the space of ground they took times. He said it was very reasonable to up. A cavalier, mounted on a large feed, think, not only that the species of men were might be about ninety feet high. I have originally much larger, but also that there seen this whole body of horse, upon a word must have been giants in former ages; of command, draw their swords at once, and which, as it is asserted by history and tra brandish them in the air. Imagination can dition, so it hath been confirmed by huge figure nothing so grand, so surprising, and bones and skulls casually dug up in several fo astonishing ! it looked as if ten thousand parts of the kingdom, far exceeding the flashes of lightening were darting at the conimon dwindled race of man in our days. fame time from every quarter of the sky. He argued, that the very laws of nature ab I was curious to know how this prince, solutely required we hould have been made to whose dominions there is no access from in the beginning of a size more large and any other country, came to think of armies, robust, not so liable to deitruction from or to teach his people the practice of milievery little accident of a tile falling from tary discipline. But I was soon informed, an house, or a stone cast from the hand of both by conversation and reading their hisa boy, or being drowned in a little brook. tories: for in the course of many ages they From this way of reasoning, the author have been troubled with the same disease to drew several moral applications useful in which the whole race of mankind is subje&t: the conduct of life, but needless here to the nobility often contending for power, repeat. For my own part, I could not the people for liberty, and the king for abavoid reflecting how universally this talent folute dominion. All which, however hapwas spread, of drawing lectures in morality, pily tempered by the laws of that kingdom, or indeed rather matter of discontent and have been sometimes violated by each of repining, from the quarrels we raise with the three parties, and have more than once

And, I believe, upon a strict en cccasioned civil wars, the last whereof was quiry, those quarrels might be thewn as ill. happily put an end to by this prince's grounded among us, as they are among grandfather in a general composition; and that people *:

the militia, then lettled with common conAs to their military affairs, they boast fent, hath been ever since kept in the that the king's army confifts of an hundred ftri&teft duty, and seventy-six thousand foot, and thirtytwo thousand horse: if that may be called

CH A P. VIII. an army, which is made up of tradesmen in The king and queen make a progress to the the several cities, and farmers in the coun frontiers. The author attends them. Ibe try, whose commanders are only the nobi manner in which he leaves the country lity and gentry without pay or reward. very particularly related. He returns to They are indecd perfe&t enough in their England.

I had always a strong impulse, that I The author's zeal to justify Providence has should some time recover my liberty, though before been remarked ; and these quarrels with na it was impossible to conjecture by what ture, or in other words with God, could not have been more forcibly reproved than by Ahewing, chat

means, or to form any project with the leaft the complaints upon which they are founded would hope of fucceeding. The thip in which I be equally specious among beings of such astonishing failed was the first ever known to be drifuperiority of Atature and strength.

ven within fight of that coaft, and the king




had given ftri&t orders, that, if at any time very fond of, and who had sometimes been another appeared, it should be taken a fhore, trusted with me. I fhall never forget with and with all its crew and passengers brought what unwillingness Glomdalclitch confentin a tumbril to Lorbrulgrud. He was ed, nor the strict charge she gave the page to ftrongly bent to get me a woman of my be careful of me, buriting at the fame time own lize, by whom I might propagate the into a flood of tears, as if he had some forebreed: but'I think I should rather have boding of what was to happen. The boy died, than undergone the disgrace of leav- took me out in my box about half an hour's ing a posterity to be kept in cages like tame walk from the palace towards the rocks on canary-birds, and perhaps in time fold the sea-shore. I ordered him to set me about the kingdom to persons of quality for down, and lifting op one of my fathes, cast curiosities. I was indeed treated with much many a wistful melancholy look towards the kindness: I was the favourite of a great sea. 'I found myself not very well, and told king and queen, and delight of the whole the page that I had a mind to take a nap in court; but it was upon such a foot, as ill my hammock, which I hoped would do me became the dignity of human kind. I could good. I got in, and the boy fhut the winnever forget those domestic pledges I had dow close down to keep out the cold. I soon left behind me. I wanted to be among fell asleep, and can conjecture is, that people with whom I could converfe apon while I fept, the page, thinking no danger even terms, and walk about the streets and could happen, went among the rocks to fields, without being afraid of being trod to look for birds eggs, having before observed death like a frog, or young puppy. But my him from my window fearching about, and deliverance eame sooner than I expected, picking up one or two in the clefts. Be and in a manner not very common: the that as it will, I found myself suddenly whole story and circumstances of which I awaked with a violent pull upon the ring, hall faithfully relate.

which was fastened at the top of my bux for I had now been two years in this coun. the conveniency of carriage. I felt my try; and about the beginning of the third raised very high in the air, and then borne Glomdalclitch and I attended the king and forward with prodigious speed. The first queen in a progress to the south coast of the jolt had like to have shaken me out of my kingdom. I was carried as usual in my tra- hanímock, but afterwards the motion was velling box, which, as I have already de- easy enough. I called out several times as fcribed, was a very convenient closet of loud as I could raise my voice, but all tono twelve feet wide. And I had ordered a ham- purpose. I looked towards my windows, mock to be fixed by filken ropes from the and could see nothing but the clouds and sky. four corners at the top, to break the jolts, I heard a noise just over my head like the when a servant carried me before him on clapping of wings, and then began to perhorseback, as I sometimes desired, and ceive the woful condition I was in, that some would often sleep in my hammock while we eagle had got the ring of my box in his were upon the road. On the roof of my beak, with an intent to let it fall on a rock claset, not directly over the middle of the like a tortoise in a fhell, and then pick out hammock, I ordered the joiner to cut out a my body, and devour it; for the fagacity hole of a foot square, to give me air in hot and smell of this bird enabled him to disweather, as I sept; which hole I fhut at cover his quarry at a great distance, though pleasure with a board, that drew backwards better concealed than I could be within a and forwards through a groove.

two-inch board. When we came to our journey's end, In a little time I observed the noise and the king thought proper to pass a few days flutter of wings to increase very fast, and at a palace he hath near Flanfiaľnic, a city my box was tossed up and down like a sign within eighteen English miles of the sea-side, in a windy day. I heard several bangs or Glumdalclitch and I were much fatigued; buffets, as I thought, given to the cagle I had gotten a small cold, but the poor girl (for such I am certain it must have been was so ill as to be confined to her chamber. that held the ring of my box in his beak) I longed to see the ocean, which must be the and then all on a sudden felt myself falling only icene of my escape, if ever it fhould perpendicularly down for above a minute, happen. I pretended to be worse than I but with such incredible swiftness that I really was, and desired leave to take the almoft loft my breath. My fall was stopfresh air of the sea with a page whom I was ped by a terrible squa h, that sounded louder

3 T 3


to my ears than the cataract of Niagara *; tainly should have done, and sat on the top after which I was quite in the dark for of it, where I might at least preserve my. another minute, and then my box began to self some hours longer than by being that jise so high that I could see light from the up (as I may call it) in the hold. Or if I tops of the windows. I now perceived that escaped these dangers for a day or two, I was fallen into the sea. My box, by the what could I expect but a miserable death weight of my body, the goods that were of cold and hunger? I was four hours onin, and the broad plates of iron fixed for der these circumstances, expecting, and strength at the four corners of the top and indeed wishing, every moment to be my bottom, poated about five feet deep in wa.

latt. ter. I did then, and do now suppose, that I have already told the reader that there the eagle which flew away with my box were two strong staples fixed upon that fide was pursued by two or three others, and of my box which had no window, and into forced to let me drop while he defended which the servant who used to carry me on himself against the rest, whọ hoped to thare horseback would put a leathern belt, and in the prey. The plates of iron fastened buckle it about his waist. Being in this at the bottom of the box (for those were disconsolare state, I heard, or at least the strongett) preserved the balance while thought I heard, some kind of grating it fell, and hindered it from being broken noise on that side of my box where the itaon the surface of the water. Every joint ples were fixed, and soon after I began of it was well grooved; and the door did to fancy, that the box was pulled or lowed pot move on hinges, but up and down like along in the sea; for I now and then felt a sash, which kept my closet so tight that a sort of tugging, which made the waves very little water came in. I got with much rise near the tops of my windows, leaving difficulty out of my hammock, having first me almost in the dark. This gave me ventured to draw back the Nip-board on

fome faint hopes of relief; although I was the roof already mentioned, contrived on not able to imagine how it could be brought purpose to let in air, for want of which į about. I ventured to unscrew one of my found myself almost stifled.

chairs, which were always fastened to the How often did I then with myself with floor; and having made a hard shift to my dear Glumdalclitch, from whom one screw it down again directly under the single hour had so far divided me! And I nipping-board that I had lately opened, I may say with truth, that in the midst of my mounted on the chair, and, putting my own misfortunes I could not forbear la mouth as near as I could to the hole, I menting my poor nurse, the grief she would called for help in a loud voice, and in all suffer for my loss, the displeasure of the the languages I understood. I then fait. queen, and the ruin of her fortune. Per. ened my handkerchief to a ftick I usually haps many travellers have not been under carried, and thrusting it up the hole, waved greater difficulties and distress than I was it several times in the air, that if any boat at this juncture, expecting every moment or ship were near, the seamen might conto see my box dashed to pieces, or at lealt je&ture some unhappy mortal to be hut up overset by the first violent blait or rifing in the box. wave. A breach in one single pane of glais I found no effect from all I could do, but would have been immediate death: "nor plainly perceived my closet to be moved could any thing have preserved the win. along; and in the space of an hour, or dows but the strong lattice-wires placed on better, that side of the box where the ftathe outside against accidents in travelling. ples were, and had no window, struck aI saw the water ooze in at several crannies, gainst something that was hard. I apprealthough the leaks were not considerable, hended it to be a rock, and found myself and I endeavoured to stop them as well tossed more than ever. I plainly heard a as I could. I was not able to lift up the noise upon the cover of my closet like that roof of my closet, which otherwise i cer of a cable, and the grating of it as it passed

through the ring. I then found myself Niagara. is a settlement of the French in hoisted up by degrees aš least three feet North America, and the catar.ct is produced by higher than I was before. Whereupon I the fall of a conflux of water (formed of the four vait lakes of Canada) from a roa ky precipice, the

again thrust

up my stick and handkerchief, perpendicular height of which is one hundred and calling for help till I was almost hoarse. thirty-leven feet; and it is said to have been heard In return to which, I heard a great shout fifteen leagues.

repeated three times, giving me such trans


« PreviousContinue »