Gulliver's Travels eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 154 pages of information about Gulliver's Travels.
islands, which, I had reason to believe, lay to the northeast of Van Diemen’s Land.  I discovered nothing all that day; but upon the next, about three o’clock in the afternoon, when I had, by my computation, made twenty-four leagues from Blefuscu, I descried a sail steering to the southeast:  my course was due east.  I hailed her, but could get no answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the wind slackened.  I made all the sail I could, and in half-an-hour she spied me, then hung out her ancient,[37] and discharged a gun.

It is not easy to express the joy I was in, upon the unexpected hope of once more seeing my beloved country, and the dear pledges I left in it.  The ship slackened her sails, and I came up with her, between five and six in the evening, September twenty-sixth; 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 of provisions.  The vessel was an English merchantman returning from Japan by the North and South Seas; the captain, Mr. John Biddle, of Deptford, a very civil man and an excellent sailor.  We were now in the latitude of 30 degrees south.  There were about fifty men in the ship; and here I met an old comrade of mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good character to the captain.  This gentleman treated me with kindness, and desired I would let him know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound; which I did in few words, but he thought I was raving, and that the dangers I had underwent had disturbed my head; whereupon I took my black cattle and sheep out of my pocket, which, after great astonishment, clearly convinced him of my veracity.  I then showed him the gold given me by the emperor of Blefuscu, together with his majesty’s picture at full length, and some other rareties of that country.  I gave him two purses of two hundred sprugs each, and promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a present of a cow and a sheep.

[Illustration]

I shall not trouble the reader with a particular account of this voyage, which was very prosperous for the most part.  We arrived in the Downs[38] on the thirteenth of April, 1702.  I had only one misfortune, that the rats on board carried away one of my sheep; I found her bones in a hole, picked clean from the flesh.  I got the rest of my cattle safe ashore, and set them a-grazing in a bowling-green at Greenwich, where the fineness of the grass made them feed very heartily, though I had always feared the contrary:  neither could I possibly have preserved them in so long a voyage, if the captain had not allowed me some of his best biscuits, which, rubbed to powder, and mingled with water, was their constant food.  The short time I continued in England, I made a considerable profit by showing my cattle to many persons of quality and others:  and before I began my second voyage I sold them for six hundred pounds.

Since my last return, I find the breed is considerably increased, especially the sheep, which I hope will prove much to the advantage of the woollen manufacture, by the fineness of the fleeces.

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Gulliver's Travels from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.