Gulliver’s Travels

by: Jonathan Swift

Part I, Chapters VI–VIII

1

As the common size of the natives is somewhat under six inches, so there is an exact proportion in all other animals, as well as plants and trees: for instance, the tallest horses and oxen are between four and five inches in height, the sheep an inch and half, more or less; their geese about the bigness of a sparrow, and so the several gradations downwards, till you come to the smallest, which to my sight, were almost invisible; but nature hath adapted the eyes of the Lilliputians to all objects proper for their view: they see with great exactness, but at no great distance.

2

They bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet. The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues, in compliance to the vulgar.

3

And these people thought it a prodigious defect of policy among us, when I told them that our laws were enforced only by penalties, without any mention of reward.

4

For the Lilliputians think nothing can be more unjust, than that people, in subservience to their own appetites, to bring children into the world, and leave the burthen of supporting them on the public.

5

It was a custom introduced by this prince and his ministry (very different, as I have been assured, from the practice of former times) that after the court had decreed any cruel execution, either to gratify the monarch’s resentment, or the malice of a favourite, the Emperor always made a speech to his whole council, expressing his great lenity and tenderness, as qualities known and confessed by all the world.