One day the King, who had not seen him eat since this table had been built, sent a message that he and the Queen desired to be present that day while Gulliver dined. They arrived just before his dinner hour, and he at once lifted the King and Queen and the Princes, with their attendants and guards, on to the table.
Their Majesties sat in their chairs of state all the time, watching with deep interest the roasts of beef and mutton, and whole flocks of geese and turkeys and fowls disappear into Gulliver’s mouth. A roast of beef of which he had to make more than two mouthfuls was seldom seen, and he ate them bones and all. A goose or a turkey was but one bite.
Certainly, on this occasion, Gulliver ate more than usual, thinking by so doing to amuse and please the court.
But in this he erred, for it was turned against him. Flimnap, the Lord High Treasurer, who had always been one of his enemies, pointed out to the King the great daily expense of such meals, and told how this huge man had already cost the country over a million and a half of sprugs (the largest Lilliputian gold coin). Things, indeed, were beginning to go very ill with Gulliver.
Now it happened about this time that one of the King’s courtiers, to whom Gulliver had been very kind, came to him by night very privately in a closed chair, and asked to have a talk, without any one else being present.
Gulliver gave to a servant whom he could trust orders that no one else was to be admitted, and having put the courtier and his chair upon the table, so that he might better hear all that was said, he sat down to listen.
Gulliver was told that there had lately been several secret meetings of the King’s Privy Council, on his account. The Lord High Admiral (who now hated him because of his success against the Blefuscan fleet), Flimnap, the High Treasurer, and others of his enemies, had drawn up against him charges of treason and other crimes. The courtier had brought with him a copy of these charges, and Gulliver now read them.
It was made a point against him that, when ordered to do so by the King, he had refused to seize all the other Blefuscan ships. It was also said that he would not join in utterly crushing the empire of Blefuscu, nor give aid when it was proposed to put to death not only all the Big endians who had fled for refuge to that country, but all the Blefuscans themselves who were friends of the Big-endians. For this he was said to be a traitor.
He was also accused of being over-friendly with the Blefuscan ambassadors; and it was made a grave charge against him that though his Majesty had not given him written leave to visit Blefuscu, he yet was getting ready to go to that country, in order to give help to the Emperor against Lilliput.
There had been many debates on these charges, said the courtier, and the Lord High Admiral had made violent speeches, strongly advising that the Great Man Mountain should be put to death. In this he was joined by Flimnap, and by others, so that actually the greater part of the council was in favor of instant death by the most painful means that could be used.