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Voyage to Lilliput.
From The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.
Start of Story
Age Rating 8 Plus.
"You are aware," he said, "that Skyresh Bolgolam has been your mortal
enemy ever since your arrival, and his hatred is increased since
your great success against Blefuscu, by which his glory as admiral is
obscured. This lord and others have accused you of treason, and several
councils have been called in the most private manner on your account.
Out of gratitude for your favors I procured information of the whole
proceedings, venturing my head for your service, and this was the charge
"First, that you, having brought the imperial fleet of Blefuscu into the
royal port, were commanded by his Majesty to seize all the other ships,
and put to death all the Bigendian exiles, and also all the people of
the empire who would not immediately consent to break their eggs at the
smaller end. And that, like a false traitor to his Most Serene Majesty,
you excused yourself from the service on pretence of unwillingness to
force the consciences and destroy the liberties and lives of an innocent
"Again, when ambassadors arrived from the Court of Blefuscu, like a
false traitor, you aided and entertained them, though you knew them to
be servants of a prince lately in open war against his Imperial Majesty.
"Moreover, you are now preparing, contrary to the duty of a faithful
subject, to voyage to the Court of Blefuscu.
"In the debate on this charge," my friend continued, "his Majesty often
urged the services you had done him, while the admiral and treasurer
insisted that you should be put to a shameful death. But Reldresal,
secretary for private affairs, who has always proved himself your friend
suggested that if his Majesty would please to spare your life and only
give orders to put out both your eyes, justice might in some measure be
satisfied. At this Bolgolam rose up in fury, wondering how the secretary
dared desire to preserve the life of a traitor; and the treasurer,
pointing out the expense of keeping you, also urged your death. But his
Majesty was graciously pleased to say that since the council thought the
loss of your eyes too easy a punishment, some other might afterward be
inflicted. And the secretary, humbly desiring to be heard again, said
that as to expense your allowance might be gradually lessened, so that,
for want of sufficient food you should grow weak and faint, and die in
a few months, when his Majesty's subjects might cut your flesh from your
bones and bury it, leaving the skeleton for the admiration of posterity.
"Thus, through the great friendship of the secretary the affair was
arranged. It was commanded that the plan of starving you by degrees
should be kept a secret; but the sentence of putting out your eyes was
entered on the books. In three days your friend the secretary will come
to your house and read the accusation before you, and point out the
great mercy of his Majesty, that only condemns you to the loss of
your eyes--which, he does not doubt, you will submit to humbly and
gratefully. Twenty of his Majesty's surgeons will attend, to see the
operation well performed, by discharging very sharp-pointed arrows into
the balls of your eyes as you lie on the ground.
"I leave you," said my friend, "to consider what measures you will take;
and, to escape suspicion, I must immediately return, as secretly as I
His lordship did so; and I remained alone, in great perplexity. At first
I was bent on resistance; for while I had liberty I could easily with
stones pelt the metropolis to pieces; but I soon rejected that idea with
horror, remembering the oath I had made to the Emperor, and the favors
I had received from him. At last, having his Majesty's leave to pay
my respects to the Emperor of Blefuscu, I resolved to take this
opportunity. Before the three days had passed I wrote a letter to my
friend the secretary telling him of my resolution; and, without waiting
for an answer, went to the coast, and entering the channel, between
wading and swimming reached the port of Blefuscu, where the people, who
had long expected me, led me to the capital.
His Majesty, with the royal family and great officers of the Court, came
out to receive me, and they entertained me in a manner suited to the
generosity of so great a prince. I did not, however, mention my disgrace
with the Emperor of Lilliput, since I did not suppose that prince would
disclose the secret while I was out of his power. But in this, it soon
appeared, I was deceived.