Select the desired text size
Voyage to Lilliput.
From The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang.
Start of Story
Age Rating 8 Plus.
Three days after my arrival, walking out of curiosity to the northeast
coast of the island, I observed at some distance in the sea something
that looked like a boat overturned. I pulled off my shoes and stockings,
and wading two or three hundred yards, I plainly saw it to be a real
boat, which I supposed might by some tempest have been driven from a
ship. I returned immediately to the city for help, and after a huge
amount of labor I managed to get my boat to the royal port of Blefuscu,
where a great crowd of people appeared, full of wonder at sight of so
prodigious a vessel. I told the Emperor that my good fortune had thrown
this boat in my way to carry me to some place whence I might return to
my native country, and begged his orders for materials to fit it up, and
leave to depart--which, after many kindly speeches, he was pleased to
Meanwhile the Emperor of Lilliput, uneasy at my long absence (but never
imagining that I had the least notice of his designs), sent a person of
rank to inform the Emperor of Blefuscu of my disgrace; this messenger
had orders to represent the great mercy of his master, who was content
to punish me with the loss of my eyes, and who expected that his brother
of Blefuscu would have me sent back to Lilliput, bound hand and foot,
to be punished as a traitor. The Emperor of Blefuscu answered with many
civil excuses. He said that as for sending me bound, his brother knew
it was impossible. Moreover, though I had taken away his fleet he was
grateful to me for many good offices I had done him in making the peace.
But that both their Majesties would soon be made easy; for I had found
a prodigious vessel on the shore, able to carry me on the sea, which
he had given orders to fit up; and he hoped in a few weeks both empires
would be free from me.
With this answer the messenger returned to Lilliput; and I (though the
monarch of Blefuscu secretly offered me his gracious protection if I
would continue in his service) hastened my departure, resolving never
more to put confidence in princes.
In about a month I was ready to take leave. The Emperor of Blefuscu,
with the Empress and the royal family, came out of the palace; and I lay
down on my face to kiss their hands, which they graciously gave me. His
Majesty presented me with fifty purses of sprugs (their greatest gold
coin) and his picture at full length, which I put immediately into one
of my gloves, to keep it from being hurt. Many other ceremonies took
place at my departure.
I stored the boat with meat and drink, and took six cows and two bulls
alive, with as many ewes and rams, intending to carry them into my own
country; and to feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay and a bag
of corn. I would gladly have taken a dozen of the natives; but this was
a thing the Emperor would by no means permit, and besides a diligent
search into my pockets, his Majesty pledged my honor not to carry away
any of his subjects, though with their own consent and desire.
Having thus prepared all things as well as I was able, I set sail. When
I had made twenty-four leagues, by my reckoning, from the island of
Blefuscu, I saw a sail steering to the northeast. I hailed her, but
could get no answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the wind
slackened; and in half an hour she spied me, and discharged a gun. I
came up with her between five and six in the evening, Sept. 26, 1701;
but my heart leaped within me to see her English colors. I put my cows
and sheep into my coat pockets, and got on board with all my little
cargo. The captain received me with kindness, and asked me to tell him
what place I came from last; but at my answer he thought I was raving.
However, I took my black cattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after
great astonishment, clearly convinced him.
We arrived in England on the 13th of April, 1702. I stayed two months
with my wife and family; but my eager desire to see foreign countries
would suffer me to remain no longer. However, while in England I made
great profit by showing my cattle to persons of quality and others; and
before I began my second voyage I sold them for 600_l_. I left 1500_l_.
with my wife, and fixed her in a good house; then taking leave of her
and my boy and girl, with tears on both sides, I sailed on board the