Gulliver's Travels HTML version

Chapter I.1
[The author gives some account of himself and family. His first inducements to travel. He
is shipwrecked, and swims for his life. Gets safe on shore in the country of Lilliput; is
made a prisoner, and carried up the country.]
My father had a small estate in Nottinghamshire: I was the third of five sons. He sent me
to Emanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old, where I resided three years, and
applied myself close to my studies; but the charge of maintaining me, although I had a
very scanty allowance, being too great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to
Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years. My
father now and then sending me small sums of money, I laid them out in learning
navigation, and other parts of the mathematics, useful to those who intend to travel, as I
always believed it would be, some time or other, my fortune to do. When I left Mr. Bates,
I went down to my father: where, by the assistance of him and my uncle John, and some
other relations, I got forty pounds, and a promise of thirty pounds a year to maintain me
at Leyden: there I studied physic two years and seven months, knowing it would be
useful in long voyages.
Soon after my return from Leyden, I was recommended by my good master, Mr. Bates, to
be surgeon to the Swallow, Captain Abraham Pannel, commander; with whom I
continued three years and a half, making a voyage or two into the Levant, and some other
parts. When I came back I resolved to settle in London; to which Mr. Bates, my master,
encouraged me, and by him I was recommended to several patients. I took part of a small
house in the Old Jewry; and being advised to alter my condition, I married Mrs. Mary
Burton, second daughter to Mr. Edmund Burton, hosier, in Newgate-street, with whom I
received four hundred pounds for a portion.
But my good master Bates dying in two years after, and I having few friends, my
business began to fail; for my conscience would not suffer me to imitate the bad practice
of too many among my brethren. Having therefore consulted with my wife, and some of
my acquaintance, I determined to go again to sea. I was surgeon successively in two
ships, and made several voyages, for six years, to the East and West Indies, by which I
got some addition to my fortune. My hours of leisure I spent in reading the best authors,
ancient and modern, being always provided with a good number of books; and when I
was ashore, in observing the manners and dispositions of the people, as well as learning
their language; wherein I had a great facility, by the strength of my memory.
The last of these voyages not proving very fortunate, I grew weary of the sea, and
intended to stay at home with my wife and family. I removed from the Old Jewry to
Fetter Lane, and from thence to Wapping, hoping to get business among the sailors; but it
would not turn to account. After three years expectation that things would mend, I
accepted an advantageous offer from Captain William Prichard, master of the Antelope,