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Gulliver's Travels

Chapter I.5
[The author, by an extraordinary stratagem, prevents an invasion. A high title of honour
is conferred upon him. Ambassadors arrive from the emperor of Blefuscu, and sue for
peace. The empress's apartment on fire by an accident; the author instrumental in saving
the rest of the palace.]
The empire of Blefuscu is an island situated to the north-east of Lilliput, from which 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 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 harbour, 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 north-east 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. Having thus fixed fifty hooks to as many cables, I
went back to the north-east coast, and putting off my coat, shoes, and stockings, walked
into the sea, in my leathern jerkin, about half an hour before high water. I waded with
what haste I could, and swam in the middle about thirty yards, till I felt ground. I arrived
at the fleet in less than half an hour. The enemy was so frightened when they saw me, that
they leaped out of their ships, and swam to shore, where there could not be fewer than
thirty thousand souls. I then took my tackling, and, fastening a hook to the hole at the
prow of each, I tied all the cords together at the end. While I was thus employed, the
enemy discharged several thousand arrows, many of which stuck in my hands and face,
and, beside the excessive smart, gave me much disturbance in my work. My greatest
apprehension was for mine eyes, which I should have infallibly lost, if I had not suddenly
thought of an expedient. I kept, among other little necessaries, a pair of spectacles in a
private pocket, which, as I observed before, had escaped the emperor's searchers. These I
took out and fastened as strongly as I could upon my nose, and thus armed, went on
boldly with my work, in spite of the enemy's arrows, many of which struck against the
glasses of my spectacles, but without any other effect, further than a little to discompose
them. I had now fastened all the hooks, and, taking the knot in my hand, began to pull;
but not a ship would stir, for they were all too fast held by their anchors, so that the
boldest part of my enterprise remained. I therefore let go the cord, and leaving the looks
fixed to the ships, I resolutely cut with my knife the cables that fastened the anchors,
 
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