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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.
One morning, about a fortnight after I had obtained my liberty, Reldresal, principal secretary of state (as they style him) for private affairs, came to my house attended by only one servant. He ordered his coach to remain at a distance, and desired I would give him an hour's audience. 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 told me that the kingdom was threatened with an invasion from the island of Blefuscu, which they considered the other great empire of the universe. “A bloody war,” said he, "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 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 was ready with the hazard of my life to defend his person and state against all invaders.
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 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 at the first fair wind. I procured a great quantity of the strongest cable, with several bars of iron. The cable was about as thick as pack-thread, and the bars of the length and size of a knittingneedle. 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 leather jerkin, about halfan-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 were 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 book to the hole in the prow of each ship, 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, besides the excessive smart, gave me much disturbance in my work. My greatest apprehension was for my 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; 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 them struck against the glasses of my spectacles, but without any other effect 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 hooks 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 perceive. When I got out of danger, I stopped a while to pick out the arrows that stuck in my hands and face, and rubbed on some ointment. 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 at every step I made, I came in a short time within hearing, and holding up the end of the cables by which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a loud voice, “Long live the most puissant emperor of Lilliput !” This great prince received me at my landing with all possible encomiums, and created me a nardac on 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 the enemy's ships into his port. And so unmeasurable 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, 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 brare 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. And from this time began an intrigue between his majesty and a junto of ministers 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 peace; which was soon concluded upon terms very advantageous to our emperor. When their treaty was finished they paid me a visit, and invited me to their 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. In this I readily obliged them, but shall not trouble the reader with the particulars.
The Warden of the Cinque Ports.
MIST was driving down the British Channel,
The day was just begun,
Streamed the red autumn sun.
And the white sails of ships;
Hailed it with feverish lips.
Were all alert that day,
When the fog cleared away.
Their cannon through the night,
The sea-coast opposite.
On every citadel;
That all was well.
And down the coast, all taking up the burden,
Replied the distant forts,
And Lord of the Cinque Ports.
No drum-beat from the wall,
Awaken with its call.
No more, surveying with an eye impartial
The long line of the coast,
Be seen upon his post !
In sombre harness mailed,
The rampart wall has scaled.
The dark and silent room,
The silence and the gloom.
But smote the Warden hoar;
And groan from shore to shore.
The sun rose bright o'erhead;
H. W. LONGFELLOW.
GREAT king had a daughter, who was very beautiful, but so proud, and haughty, and conceited, that none of the princes who came to ask her in marriage were good enough for her, and she only made sport of them.
Once upon a time the king held a great feast, and invited all her suitors; and they sat in a row accord
ing to their rank, kings and princes and dukes and earls. Then the princess came in and passed by them all; but she had something spiteful to say
The first was too fat : “He's as round as a tub," said she. The next was too tall : “What a Maypole !” said she. The next was too short : “What a dumpling!” said she. The fourth was too pale, and she
to every one.