Egyptian International Publishing Company – Longman
Part 1 A voyage to Lilliput
Before I begin my story, I would like to tell you a little about my early life. I was born on a large farm in the middle of England, the third of five sons, and my father called me Lemuel Gulliver. After I finished school, I studied in Cambridge for three years and then became an apprentice to a surgeon in London. The surgeon, Mr Bates, was a very good one, and I worked with him for four years. However, I always. Wanted to travel, so in my free time I learned how to sail so that one day I could leave England and explore the world.Mr Bates knew all about my desire to travel, so when I had finished my studies, he helped me to get work as a surgeon on a ship called The Swallow. For three and a half years, I worked for Captain Abraham Pannel on his ship as it travelled round the eastern seas .Once back in England, I met a kind woman called Mary Burton and we soon got married. I decided to stay in London with my new wife for a few years, but although Mr. Bates did all he could to help me, work was not easy to find. A year later, Mr Bates sadly died and I knew that my life would only become more difficult; we had only just enough money to live on.
“There’s little work for a surgeon in London, but my friends tell me I should be able to find work on a ship,” I said to Mary one day. She thought long and hard before saying, “I don’t want you to go, but if that’s the only way we can earn enough to live well, then so be it.”
My friends were right, because I quickly found another job as a ship’s surgeon, and for six years I travelled around the world. I earned good money, and as a surgeon is not always needed on a ship, I also had plenty of time to myself. I did not waste this time but used it well: I read books and taught myself to speak several languages.
My life changed after I got a new job on a ship called The Antelope. We left England in May and we had been at sea for about two months when The Antelope was hit by a violent storm. The ship was soon blown far away from our chosen route and we did not know where we were. The sea was so
violent that we lost some of our crew even before the ship was suddenly blown onto a rock. There was a terrible crash and I could see that the ship was in great danger.
“We’re going to sink!” shouted the captain. “Get into the lifeboats!”
Quickly climbing into a lifeboat with five other sailors, I was able to escape, but not everyone was so lucky: we watched in horror as The Antelope sank behind us. But although we rowed for some distance, the sea did not become calmer. A huge wave hit us and we were all thrown into the water.
The sea was rough and it was very hard to swim in my heavy clothes, but at least the water was not too cold. I looked around me and realised that I was alone. I did not know what had happened to the other sailors. Perhaps they were all dead. The wind and the waves decided the direction I went in, and I soon felt I had lost all the strength in my arms. Just when I thought I could not swim any more, my feet touched something hard. I had reached land. When I finally walked up the beach, I was cold, wet and exhausted. I looked around me ,but there were no houses or people that I could see, so I found
some soft grass, lay down and fell into a long sleep. When I woke up, it was early morning and the sun was just beginning to rise. I tried to stand up, but I found that this was impossible. I realised that my arms, my legs and even my hair were all somehow fastened to the ground. Thin ropes were tied around my body and neck, and I found I could only look up at the clear sky above me.
I heard some noises and then felt something climb onto my left leg. It moved up my body until it was close to my head. Only then could I see what it was.
It was a human, but this human was only about fifteen centimetres tall. He was carrying a bow and arrow. I then realised there were about forty other men of the same size all around me. They all looked the same, each one carrying a tiny bow and arrow.
“Who are you and what are you doing to me?” I cried. On hearing my voice, the little men looked worried and jumped away from me, so I tried to stand up again. Some of the ropes broke and now I could move my left arm.
The little men shouted something in a strange language and I felt hundreds of arrows hit me. Most of the arrows hit my thick clothes and I felt nothing, but some of them stuck in my left hand. The arrows were tiny, but there were so many of them that it hurt.
“Will you please stop that?” I shouted, but when they continued to shoot the arrows, I lay quietly on the ground and decided not to move or say anything. If I waited until nighttime, I thought I could use my left hand to untie the other ropes and escape when it was dark. Perhaps because they could see that I was not trying to escape, the little men became quiet. Later, they grew more confident and after about an hour, I could hear wood being cut next to me. I guessed that they were building something. Then the ropes around my head were cut free and I could finally lift my head. I saw a man standing on a wooden platform that had been built to the side of my head. The man was wearing important-looking clothes, and a servant stood on each side of him. He looked at me and started to give a talk, but I could not understand anything he said. I guessed from his expressions and intonation that he spoke with a mixture of threats and promises.
When the man finished talking, I tried to talk to him in English: “Sir, my name’s Lemuel Gulliver and my ship’s been lost in a storm. That’s why I’m here. You don’t need to tie me up, I won’t hurt anyone. Perhaps you could give me some food and a drink. “I could see from his expression that he did not understand me either. So I pointed to my mouth to show him that I was
hungry and thirsty.
The man said something to his servants. I watched as some of the little men went off, returning shortly with many baskets of food and little containers of water. They put ladders against my shoulder and carried the baskets and containers up to my mouth. They could not believe how much I drank and ate, but they seemed pleased. I think the little people realised that they could trust me and, with food in my stomach, I felt I could trust them, too.
“Thank you,” I said when I had finished eating. The little men smiled at me and nodded their heads. Another man arrived and it was clear that this was an
important person. The other men bowed to him and from his clothes I understood that this was the King of their country ,which I later found was called Lilliput. He, too, spoke to me from the wooden platform and I waited patiently until he finished speaking. “I’m pleased to meet you, sir, but please, can you set me free?” I asked him. I now knew we could not speak the same
language, but we managed to communicate with each other using signs with our hands. So I understood that he refused my request to be free, and that he said that I did not need to worry .He pointed and said something about moving me somewhere. Hundreds of tiny people were now standing around me .Slowly they picked me up and put me on a strange machine that had many wheels. Later I found out that the people of this land were great engineers and had designed this machine to carry heavy trees. It was pulled by a team of tiny black and white horses, each horse about eleven centimetres tall. Irealised that they wanted to take me to the capital city. Before we left, some of the men poured some medicine on the cuts where the arrows had hit my hand. The cuts immediately felt much better.
The city was perhaps a kilometre away, but it took all that night for the machine to carry me there. Because they had put some medicine in my food that made me sleepy, I slept for most of the journey, only waking up briefly when one of the soldiers decided to put a pole up my nose to see what would
happen. He quickly ran away when I woke up and sneezed.
The next morning, I awoke to find that the machine had carried me to an area close to the city gates. The horses stopped outside a building which I later found out was an ancient temple, the largest building in the land. No one used the empty building now, so the King decided that I should stay there. The building had a small garden around it which you could enter through two gates, each one a little more than a metre high. The King did not want me to escape, so he asked some of his men to fasten my legs to the gates using metal chains.
Opposite my new home there was a tower which was approximately two metres high. The King went to the top of this tower with his men so they could watch me, like you watch an animal in a zoo, although I could not see them.
During the next few days, hundreds of people from the city came out of the gates to see me lying on the strange machine next to my new home. At first, they used ladders to try to climb up on my body, but the King said this was not allowed. When the soldiers realised I could not escape with my legs chained to the gates, they cut the ropes that fastened me to the machine. Now I could stand up, although the chains on my legs stopped me from going very far. However, I could walk a little way around the empty building, and at night I could lie down to sleep on the hard floor of my new home.
The next morning, I got up and looked at the land around the city. It was a pretty scene which reminded me of a painting in a children’s book. There were lots of little fields and woods, the fields the size of small gardens and the trees only a little more than two metres tall. I watched as some men arrived with little vehicles which they pushed towards me on wooden wheels. Each vehicle carried food and drink, and the men left the vehicles at the point to which I could walk before the chains stopped me. I emptied twenty of these vehicles for my breakfast. I did not know what the food was, but it tasted nice.
As I was eating, I realised the King was watching me with his servants and some of his family. He was about 28 years old ,and tall compared to the other people, with strong arms and a handsome face. His clothes were the same as a king would wear in a European country, although he held up a sword to protect himself. It was perhaps seven centimetres long. He spoke to me again in a very high voice. ‘I’m sorry, Your Majesty,” I replied, “but I cannot understand what you’re saying to me.” I tried to answer in all the languages I knew: French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic, but he understood nothing.
After the King left, people from the city began to arrive to look at me again. Some of the braver people tried to climb on my body, but the guards stopped them.
One morning, I was sitting down by the door of my new house watching the little people who had come to see me; Six of them approached me with bows and arrows. They started shooting arrows at me and one arrow nearly hit my eye. “That’s not funny!” I shouted at them. “Stop it at once!”
Seeing that I was angry, the guards quickly arrested the six people who had done this. They tied their hands together and pushed them towards me, perhaps thinking that I could punish them. They all looked very worried.
“So, why are you shooting at me?” I asked as I picked them up one at a time.
“You five can wait here, in my pocket,” I said, holding the sixth man in my hand. I looked at him with interest.
Laughing, I said to him, “You’re so small and so very weak.” I picked up a knife and moved it towards the little man’s hands. ·
“You think I’m going to eat you, don’t you?” I said. The little man and even the guards looked horrified. I held the little man who had shot arrows at me and felt his five friends moving in my pocket. I took the knife and moved
it towards the man in my hand. He looked very frightened. But this fright turned to surprise when I used the knife to cut the strings that had tied his hands together.
“Off you go,” I said to him as I put him down on the ground. “Your King wants to keep me tied up, but I don’t mind if you’re free.” Then I took his friends from my pocket and put them down next to the first man.
“You can all go, too,” I told them, and I laughed when they all quickly ran away, shouting loudly .I later found out that the guards had told the King about my kindness to the people who had tried to hurt me, and I think this helped my situation. The King decided to make me a bed. He asked workmen to fit together 600 of their beds to make one which I could sleep on, and my nights became more comfortable.
During the next few weeks, people came from all over the land to see me. The King became worried because some of the villages were now so empty that there were not enough people to work in the fields. So he made a new law saying that no one could see me without a license, which people had to pay for .I later discovered that the King had other worries about me.
He had many meetings with his advisers to ask them what would happen if I escaped. The advisers were also worried because I needed so much food and drink and they were not sure if they could afford to keep me. As a result, it was decided that all the people living near the city should supply sixty cows, forty sheep, bread and fruit every morning to help feed me. The King said that another six hundred people would be paid to look after me and that they could live in tents close to my home. Another three hundred people would be employed to make my clothes, and six of the King’s best advisers would become my teachers, helping me to learn their language. I have always been good with languages, and within about three weeks, I had already begun to speak their language quite well. The King often visited me and was pleased to talk to me and to help me learn more.
When I realised that the King could understand me, I was very pleased to talk to him and tell him my thoughts. “Your Highness, you know that I won’t hurt your people, so please, can you set me free?” I asked him one day outside my home .”I can see that you’re not a violent man, but this will take time and you need to be patient,” he explained. “First of all ,you must allow two of my soldiers to search your clothes for any weapons that could be a danger to us.”
”I’m happy to be searched,” I told him.
“Good,” continued the King. “Whatever we find in your pockets, we’ll keep, but I promise we’ll return your things to you when you leave our country, or we’ll pay for whatever we do not return.”
“Very well,” I said.
The King then called over two of his soldiers and asked them to search me. I picked them up and put them first into my coat pockets and then in my other pockets. The soldiers noted down everything they saw: a handkerchief, a letter to my wife ,a comb, a watch, a wallet, two guns and my sword. These were ordinary things that any traveller would carry, but to these little men they seemed amazing. They showed the list to the King. He seemed pleased, although he did not realise that the soldiers had not found a pair of glasses and some other things that I had kept in a secret pocket.
When the King read that I had a sword and some guns, he asked me to show them to him. However, as soon as I picked up my sword, the King’s men were shocked by its size and cried out in surprise.
“Your sword looks extremely dangerous,” said the King bravely. “Please put it down on the ground.” This I did, before I showed him my two guns.
“What are these strange things?” he asked.
“I’ll show you, but please, don’t be worried,” I said.
“They’ll make a very loud noise.”
I fired both guns into the air. The noise made his soldiers fall onto the ground in fear, and even the brave King looked very nervous. I then put the guns on the ground next to my sword. “Here are my guns, but please be very careful with them.” Finally I showed him my watch, which puzzled the King
greatly. “What’s this strange machine for,” he asked, “and why does it make that continuous noise?”I tried to explain that it was used to measure time The King asked his soldiers to take these things back to his palace where
his experts could examine them. The King’s people now understood that I was not a dangerous person, and those who came to see me were no longer afraid of me. Sometimes I lay down and let five or six people climb up to dance in my hand. Children played games around me too. I began to hope that soon I would be set free and did everything I could to please the King. This seemed to be successful, as the King soon invited me to some important
events. First, I was invited to watch some of the country’s best athletes. Two men held the ends of a long pole and the athletes took turns to jump over the pole. After each successful jump ,the pole was raised higher and higher. The person who jumped the highest was given a blue coloured ribbon by the King, the person who was second got a red ribbon, and the person whowas third got a green ribbon. The winners were very proud ofthese ribbons and I sometimes saw the athletes wearing them pinned to their ordinary clothes as they walked around the city. When I stood up, the King said my legs were taller than the highest gate in the city. So on another day, he ordered three
thousands of his soldiers to ride their horses in a line between my legs while I stood without moving, to show me how big his army was. Then the King wanted his soldiers to show me what expert riders they were, too. He asked me to hold out my arm a few centimetres from the ground, and the soldiers took it in turns to jump over it. The people watching loved this and
I had now asked the King almost every day if I could be unchained. However, the King had one adviser called Skyresh Bolgolam who neither liked nor trusted me and he did all he could to stop me from being free. When the King’s other advisers suggested that my freedom was possible, Skyresh Bolgolam only agreed if I made a number of promises. The promises he read out to me in an important voice :”You must promise not to enter the city unless you are asked, and if you do enter, we must warn the people that you are coming for their own safety. You must promise not to step on any of the people of Lilliput or pick them up without their permission. You must walk along roads and not lie down in any fields in case you damage our crops. You must agree not to leave the country without a license. Finally, you must promise to fight for the King if there is ever a war with Blefuscu, the country next to ours.”
I agreed to all of this happily and so the chains around my legs were finally unlocked. I was free at last. When I next saw the King, I bowed down to him. “Your Highness, I want to thank you for removing my chains,” I said. “You’re welcome,” replied the King. “I’m sure you’ll be a useful servant to me and prove that I’ve been right to help feed you and give you clothes.”
“I promise I’ll do my best to please you,” I said, “but perhaps you can also do something for me. Can I visit your great capital city, Mildendo?”
“Yes, I can allow this,” said the King, “but you must be very careful not to damage any of the buildings or hurt any of the people.”
After I had agreed to his demands, the King asked his men to put up a notice warning the people about my visit and told them all to stay indoors.
I stepped over the western gate into the city and walked slowly down the main city street. I needed to be careful that my coat did not damage the roofs of the small houses, which all had four or five floors. It was a busy, crowded city with many shops and little markets and in the center of the city stood one of its largest buildings, the King’s palace. I stepped over the wall around the palace into a big open square to look at the beautiful building, which stood almost two metres high. The King wanted me to see inside, but I could not climb over the palace walls into a central square without damaging them, and the windows in this part of the palace were too small to see inside.
So I visited the King’s park, which was nearby, and cut down some of the largest trees I could find. I used a knife to make the trees into two wooden stools. These I carried back to the palace. I stood on one of them and passed the other over the roof of the palace. I was now able to step over the palace
without damaging any walls, and I was now inside the small central square. Now I could lie down and look inside the larger windows of the palace and see the King’s rooms. I was very pleased to see the beautiful furniture and the King’s servants at work. The Queen was also there and she waved at me with a smile ..
About two weeks after I had explored the capital city, I was visited by Reldresal, an important official who worked for the King.I have something important to tell you,” he said. “Very well,” I answered. “Would you like me to lie down so you can speak to me more easily? ” “Perhaps it would be easier if I stood in your hand instead? ” he suggested. So I picked him up and he began to tell me the latest news. “We are all pleased that you are now free, but you must understand that this is only because of the difficult situationin Lilli put,” he said. “You see, there are two problems in our country at this time. The first problem is inside the country. There has been a great argument between the two main political groups. One group, the Tramecksan, believe that people should wear high heels on their shoes because this is the country’s tradition. The other group, the Slamecksan, believe that you should wear low heels because this is more modern. The King wants to wear low heels and has told all his men to do the same, although his son the Prince likes to wear high heels.” “So what has happened?” I asked. “Well, now the two political groups refuse to talk to each other,” he said. “There are more people in the Tramecksan group, but the King’s group, the Slamecksan, is more powerful.””I see,” I said.
“The other problem’s outside the country,” Reldresal continued. “The King’s worried that Lilliput will be attacked by our enemies from Blefuscu. This island’s nearly as large and as powerful as Lilliput, and the countries have been fighting each other for many years.”
He then explained how the war had begun. “The traditional way to break an egg before you eat it in Lilliput is to break it at the larger end. However, the King’s grandfather, when he was a boy, cut his finger when opening an egg in this way. So he introduced a law that said that everyone should break their eggs at the smaller end. People who opened an egg at the larger end would be punished.” “Of course,” I said, thinking to myself that this sounded ridiculous. “This rule was not at all popular,” he continued, “and therewere many rebellions because of it. The rebellions were never successful, and the people who took part in them always ran away to Blefuscu, where they were welcomed as friends.Because of this, a war began between the two countries. Lilliput has lost at least forty ships and around thirty thousand
soldiers. Although Blefuscu has lost a similar number of people, it seems likely that they are planning to attack Lilliput any day soon.”
“That’s not good news,” I said.
“For this reason, the King has asked me to tell you about our problem, because he wants you to help us.”
“I understand,” I said. “Well, I’m certainly ready to help to defend your country from any coming attack.”
“Good,” said Reldresal. “I’m very pleased to hear this. I’llinform the King at once.”
When he had left, I sat down and thought about what I had promised. Had I done the right thing? I did not want to hurt anyone, but it seemed the time for fighting was near. Blefuscu was an island about 800 metres to the northeast of Lilli put. I had not yet seen the island and, after Reldresal
had told me about a possible attack, I decided not to go to that side of the island in case I was seen by the enemies of Lilliput.
I heard that there was no communication between the two countries, so they did not yet know anything about me.
One day, I told the King that I had an idea. “If it can help us, then I want to hear it,” he said.”Your spies tell me that Blefuscu’s fleet of ships is prepared
to attack us,” I said. “That’s right,” said the King.
“Well, my plan is that I can easily take all of Blefuscu’s
ships away from them.”
The King liked this idea very much and called in his advisers. I asked one of the King’s best sailors how deep the water was between the two islands.
“It’s about two metres deep at most,” he said.
That afternoon, I walked to the northeast of Lilliput and lay down on some fields next to the coast so that I could not be seen from Blefuscu. I used my pocket telescope to look at the island next to ours. I could see about fifty ships, together with some smaller boats, in a small harbour. I returned to the city and asked for some strong chains and fifty metal poles. I shaped the poles into large hooks and fastened these onto the chains before returning to the northeast coast. Now I was ready to carry out my plan.
I then took off my shoes and socks and walked into the cold sea, carrying the chains and hooks. Because the sea was not very deep, I could walk for most of the way, although I had to swim a little where it was deepest, before arriving in Blefuscu’ s harbour about half an hour later.
When the people of Blefuscu saw me, they were terrified. Sailors jumped from the ships and swam as fast as they could to the shore. Meanwhile, I fastened the metal hooks onto each ship in the harbour and tied the chains together. While I was doing this, Blefuscu’s soldiers started to shoot arrows at me from the shore. The arrows hit my arms and hands, but my main worry was for my eyes, so I put on the glasses which were hidden in my pocket. These protected my eyes from any arrows while I began to pull the chains.
At first, the ships would not move and I realised that they were all tied up to the harbour wall. So I took out a knife and cut all the ropes. More arrows were hitting my hands now, but although this hurt, they did not stop me. Using the hooks and chains, I was able to pull all fifty boats away from the harbour. The soldiers suddenly stopped shooting and watched in great surprise when they realised what was happening. I heard little cries behind me, but they could do nothing. Soon, I was back in deep water. I removed some of the arrows from my hands and prepared to swim back to Lilliput.
The King later told me that back in Lilliput, he was waiting nervously with his men on the northeast coast. A soldier called out, “I can see some ships! But there’s no sign of Gulliver.” “Surely the enemy fleet is attacking,” one of his advisers told him. “Gulliver’s plan has not succeeded.”
“I fear you are right,” said the King. “Perhaps Gulliver has drowned.”
At that moment, however, my feet touched the bottom of the sea and I was able to stand up. I shouted, “Long live the King of Lilliput!”
Now the King could see me, he laughed loudly.
“My hero!” he cried. “For what you’ve done, you’ll get the most important medal in the land.”
That evening, it became clear that after my success, the King had more plans for me. “Listen,” he told me. “With your help, we could easily take control of all of Blefuscu and put all of my enemies in prison, including the people from Lilliput who still want to open their eggs at the larger end.”
However, I told him that I did not want the free people of Blefuscu to become prisoners. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I can’t help you with these ambitions.” The King did not look pleased.
I was surprised how quickly the King’s opinion of me changed. When he asked to see me the next day, he was not friendly at all.
“I cannot make you attack Blefuscu,” he said. “But if you won’t help, you’ll no longer be a hero in Lilliput. I’m sorry to say that your life won’t be so easy from today.”
He was right. I soon found out that, although some of his advisers agreed with my opinions, I also had many enemies.
Despite my brave visit to Blefuscu, my situation in Lilliput had become more dangerous. Around three weeks later, a group of six officials from
Blefuscu came to meet the King. They asked what they could do to end the war peacefully and they also asked if they could meet the enormous man who had taken their ships. When they saw me, they did not seem frightened but bowed down before me. “We would like to thank you for not hurting any of our people when you came to Blefuscu,” one of them said. “We can see how strong and brave you’ve been. Would it be possible for you to meet our own King? We’d very much like you to visit our country again, but this time as a guest.” I told them that I would be happy to do this. I did not realise
that my promise would later create many problems for me.
One night, an adviser to the King visited me without warning with some important news. He told me what many of the King’s other advisers were suggesting, and it did not sound very promising. “Flimnap, the treasurer, has told the King that you’re costing too much money, and it would be better if they removed you from the land,” he told me. “Flimnap’s not the only person who has a problem with you, either. An important officer in the navy is angry with you because, now that Blefuscu doesn’t have a fleet of ships, his job is no longer important. And Skyresh Bolgolam, who I’m afraid has never liked you, says that you haven’t kept many of the promises you
agreed to when they set you free.” “I see,” I replied nervously.
“I’m sorry to say there’s a bigger problem. Many of the
King’s advisers have told him that you’re planning to work with the King of Blefuscu against Lilliput. Because of this, they want to punish you.”
I was extremely worried when I heard what they were planning to do to punish me. Some of my enemies said I should be shot with poisonous arrows, others suggested that it would be easier if they set fire to my house, with me inside.
“You are lucky,” the adviser continued. “The King doesn’twant you to die, so it was agreed that you’ll be made blind. In this way, you’ll still be strong enough to help the King if necessary, but you’ll no longer be a danger. However, the treasurer, Flirnnap, said that if you were blind, you would still
need to be given food and clothes, and this would cost too much. So it was finally agreed that after you are made blind, you’ll no longer be given any food, as this will save the King money.”
“You said the King doesn’t want me to die!” I told my visitor. “But if I’m not given any food, I’ll soon die of hunger.”
“I think you’re right,” he said. “I’m sorry. But at least I’ve told you what’s planned for you. It’s best if you’re prepared for what’s to come.”
I thanked him for warning me and thought of my options.
I could easily fight the King and his men; if I threw a few stones at the city, I could quickly destroy it. But I remembered the ordinary people who lived there and also the fact that the King had been kind to me when I first arrived. So I made a different plan. I sat down and wrote a letter to the King, and
then quickly walked to the other side of the island before it got light. There, I took one of the largest ships I could find, took off my clothes and put them inside the ship. I then swam across to Blefuscu, pulling the ship behind me. Then, when I arrived at Blefuscu, I put on my dry clothes again before finding my way to their capital city.
The King of Blefuscu was called by his guards and about an hour later, he came out to welcome me with his family and advisers. I was surprised that none of his family seemed at all frightened of me. I told him that I was very pleased to meet him and would happily help him in any way I could. I said
nothing of the problems I had left behind me in Lilli put. That night, I had an uncomfortable night on the hard ground because there was no building as large as the one that was my home in Lilliput. During the next few days, I explored the small island, which was not very different from Lilliput.
One morning, I was walking along the northeast coast of the island when I saw something in the sea. I looked carefully and suddenly felt excited: it was a real boat, big enough for me to go in! However, a storm had turned the boat over and it was floating some way off the coast.
I hurried back to the city and asked the King if I could borrow some of his ships. Of course I had taken most of his ships to Lilliput, but he found twenty other ships, which his best sailors agreed to sail around the coast. I walked back to where I had seen the boat, which was now closer to the island.
The King’s ships sailed as close as they could to the boat, then I swam into the water and succeeded in carrying several ropes from the ships to the front of the boat. I tied the ropes to the boat and called for the ships to try and pull the boat towards the coast. I helped by pushing the boat in the water as I swam. The wind helped us, and soon the boat was pushed onto a long beach. With the help of one thousand men and many ropes, we turned the boat over and I examined it carefully. I could see there was little damage.
I spent the next few days repairing the boat and making new oars from the island’s biggest trees. It was not easy work, but soon I was ready to row the boat round to the city. A crowd of amazed people came to see me arrive in my new boat. When it was safely tied up near the palace, I went to see the King. “As you have heard, I’ve found a boat,” I told him. “This is exactly what I need to return to the country where I was born.
If you could help me to find some materials, I’ll soon be able to leave.”
“I’m pleased for you,” said the King. “I’ll do what I can to help.”
The next day, however, I found that the King of Blefuscu was less certain about what to do with me. He had just received a letter from the King of Lilliput, in which he wrote that I had escaped punishment and should be sent back. He added that if I was not tied up and returned to Lilliput at once, the war between the two countries would begin again.
The King of Blefuscu spoke for some time with his advisers. Finally, he wrote a letter to the King ofLilliput saying that it was impossible for him to send me back. Although I had taken a fleet of his ships, I had helped to stop the fighting between the two countries and had hurt no one. He also explained that now I had found a boat, I would soon be gone and would no longer be a problem for either country.
After he had sent this letter, he promised to protect me if I would continue to help him, yet I no longer felt sure it was a good idea to help either of the Kings. “Thank you for your offer,” I said. “However, I think it would be best for me and your country if I left. Will you allow this?”
He thought for a minute and then agreed with a smile. “I’ll ask my men to help you to prepare your boat,” he said.
Five hundred of them were employed to make new sails using hundreds of sheets, and a huge stone was found that could be used as an anchor. After about a month, the boat was ready.
One morning, the King came down to the beach with his family to say goodbye to me. Before I left, he gave me a painting of himself. It was extremely small, so I put it inside my glove to stop it from getting wet during the journey. He also gave me some tiny cows and sheep to supply me with enough food and drink for several weeks at sea, and I finally
left Blefuscu on 24th September l70l at six in the morning.The wind took me north and I passed a small island. Thefirst night was clear and I slept well before another day’ssailing in the same direction. I planned to sail to some islandsthat I believed lay to the northeast of where my ship sank all
those months ago. The next day I saw no land at all, but the day after that I saw another boat not far from me. I tried for some time to catch up with the boat and after many hours, it finally saw my sails. As I got closer, I was happy to see the boat had an English flag, and it was not a tiny ship but the
correct size. I was safe! I sailed my boat next to the English boat, put my cows and sheep in my pocket, and climbed onto the larger boat. Soon the
captain came to welcome me. I found the boat belonged to a trader called John Biddel, who was travelling back to London from Japan. He had around fifty sailors, and they were very kind to me when I got onto their boat. John Biddel then asked me where I had been, so I told him about my adventures. I
could see that he thought I was completely mad, so I showed him the tiny cows and sheep that I had in my pocket and the painting inside my glove. He was amazed. “If you hadn’t shown me these things,” he said, “I would
have thought it impossible.” “I can understand that,” I said. “But look, keep the little sheep. Give them to your children when you get home. They’ll
love them.” He was very pleased by this, and every day from then on
during our journey, I saw him feed the sheep on his best sea biscuits.
It was a long journey back to England, but a good one.
On 13th April 1702, we finally arrived back in England and I was so very happy to see my wife and family again. How tall my children had become! I sold my small animals for a lot of money (although I lost one of the cows, which was eaten by a rat) and soon I was able to help my family to move to a larger house in an expensive part of the town. My son, Johnny, was now at a good school, and my daughter, Betty, had a good job making clothes. My family were comfortable and happy, but I found life in the city difficult and work was hard to find. Once again, I began to think it would be better ifl took another job as a ship’s surgeon. So after just two and a half months back in England, I was offered a new job on a ship called The Adventure. I
accepted the job and prepared for another journey. I felt tears in my eyes when I said goodbye to my wife and children yet again and stepped onto the The Adventure. It was a good name for my ship, too, because I was about to have an even bigger adventure on the seas.