GULLIVER IS FREED, AND CAPTURES THE BLEFUSCAN FLEET
By this time Gulliver’s clothes were almost in rags. The three hundred tailors had not yet been able to finish his new suit, and he had no hat at all, for that had been lost as he came ashore from the wreck. So he was greatly pleased one day when an express message came to the King from the coast, saying that some men had found on the shore a great, black, strangely-shaped mass, as high as a man; it was not alive, they were certain. It had never moved, though for a time they had watched, before going closer. After making certain that it was not likely to injure them, by mounting on each other’s shoulders they had got on the top, which they found was flat and smooth, and, by the sound when stamped upon, they judged that it was hollow. It was thought that the object might possibly be something belonging to the Man Mountain, and they proposed by the help of five horses to bring it to the city.
Gulliver was sure that it must be his hat, and so it turned out. Nor was it very greatly damaged, either by the sea or by being drawn by the horses over the ground all the way from the coast, except that two holes had been bored in the brim, to which a long cord had been fixed by hooks. Gulliver was much pleased to have it once more.
Two days after this the King took into his head a curious fancy. He ordered a review of troops to be held, and he directed that Gulliver should stand with his legs very wide apart, while under him both horse and foot were commanded to march. Over three thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry passed through the great arch made by his legs, colors flying and bands playing. The King and Queen themselves sat in their State Coach at the saluting point, near to his left leg, and all the while Gulliver dared not move a hair’s-breadth, lest he should injure some of the soldiers.
Shortly after this, Gulliver was set free. There had been a meeting of the King’s Council on the subject, and the Lord High Admiral was the only member in favor of still keeping him chained. This great officer to the end was Gulliver’s bitter enemy, and though on this occasion he was out-voted, yet he was allowed to draw up the conditions which Gulliver was to sign before his chains were struck off.
The conditions were:
First, that he was not to quit the country without leave granted under the King’s Great Seal.
Second, that he was not to come into the city without orders; at which times the people were to have two hours’ notice to keep indoors.
Third, that he should keep to the high roads, and not walk or lie down in a meadow.
Fourth, that he was to take the utmost care not to trample on anybody, or on any horses or carriages, and that he was not to lift any persons in his hand against their will.
Fifth, that if at any time an express had to be sent in great haste, he was to carry the messenger and his horse in his pocket a six-days’ journey, and to bring them safely back.