Gulliver’s Travels

by: Jonathan Swift

Part III, Chapters IV–XI

1

The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection; and in the mean time the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes.

2

He had been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers.

3

The other was a scheme for entirely abolishing all words whatsoever; and this was urged as a great advantage in point of health as well as brevity. For it is plain, that every word we speak is in some degree a diminution of our lungs by corrosion, and consequently contributes to the shortening of our lives.

4

The women were proposed to be taxed according to their beauty and skill in dressing, wherein they had the same privilege with the men, to be determined by their own judgment. But constancy, chastity, good sense, and good nature, were not rated, because they would not bear the charge of collecting.

5

This is the court style, and I found it to be more than matter of form: for upon my admittance two days after my arrival, I was commanded to crawl up on my belly, and lick the floor as I have advanced; but on account of my being a stranger, care was taken to have it made so clean, that the dust was not offensive.