I desired the secretary to present my humble duty to the emperor, and to let him know that I thought it would not become me, who was a foreigner, to interfere with parties; but I was ready, with the hazard of my life, to defend his person and state against all invaders.
THE AUTHOR, BY AN EXTRAORDINARY
STRATAGEM, PREVENTS AN INVASION. A
HIGH TITLE OF HONOR IS CONFERRED UPON HIM. AMBASSADORS ARRIVE FROM
THE EMPEROR OF BLEFUSCU, AND SUE FOR PEACE. THE EMPRESS’S APARTMENT
ON FIRE, BY ACCIDENT; THE AUTHOR INSTRUMENTAL IN SAVING THE REST OF
The empire of Blefuscu is an island, situate to the north northeast of Lilliput, from whence it is parted only by a channel of eight hundred yards wide. I had not yet seen it; and upon this notice of an intended invasion, I avoided appearing on that side of the coast, for fear of being discovered by some of the enemy’s ships, who had received no intelligence of me, all intercourse between the two empires having been strictly forbidden during the war, upon the pain of death, and an embargo laid by our emperor upon all vessels whatsoever.
I communicated to his majesty a project I had formed, of seizing the enemy’s whole fleet; which, as our scouts assured us, lay at anchor in the harbor, ready to sail with the first fair wind. I consulted the most experienced seamen upon the depth of the channel, which they had often plumbed; who told me, that in the middle, at high water, it was seventy glumgluffs deep, which is about six feet of European measure; and the rest of it fifty glumgluffs at most. I walked towards the northeast coast, over against Blefuscu; where, lying down behind a hillock, I took out my small perspective glass, and viewed the enemy’s fleet at anchor, consisting of about fifty men-of-war, and a great number of transports; I then came back to my house, and gave orders (for which I had a warrant) for a great quantity of the strongest cable and bars of iron. The cable was about as thick as packthread, and the bars of the length and size of a knitting needle. I trebled the cable, to make it stronger; and, for the same reason, I twisted three of the iron bars together, bending the extremities into a hook.