Gulliver's Travels HTML version

Chapter II.2
[A description of the farmer's daughter. The author carried to a market-town, and then to
the metropolis. The particulars of his journey.]
My mistress had a daughter of nine years old, a child of towardly parts for her age, very
dexterous at her needle, and skilful in dressing her baby. Her mother and she contrived to
fit up the baby's cradle for me against night: the cradle was put into a small drawer of a
cabinet, and the drawer placed upon a hanging shelf for fear of the rats. This was my bed
all the time I staid with those people, though made more convenient by degrees, as I
began to learn their language and make my wants known. This young girl was so handy,
that after I had once or twice pulled off my clothes before her, she was able to dress and
undress me, though I never gave her that trouble when she would let me do either myself.
She made me seven shirts, and some other linen, of as fine cloth as could be got, which
indeed was coarser than sackcloth; and these she constantly washed for me with her own
hands. She was likewise my school-mistress, to teach me the language: when I pointed to
any thing, she told me the name of it in her own tongue, so that in a few days I was able
to call for whatever I had a mind to. She was very good-natured, and not above forty feet
high, being little for her age. She gave me the name of Grildrig, which the family took
up, and afterwards the whole kingdom. The word imports what the Latins call
nanunculus, the Italians homunceletino, and the English mannikin. To her I chiefly owe
my preservation in that country: we never parted while I was there; I called her my
Glumdalclitch, or little nurse; and should be guilty of great ingratitude, if I omitted this
honourable mention of her care and affection towards me, which I heartily wish it lay in
my power to requite as she deserves, instead of being the innocent, but unhappy
instrument of her disgrace, as I have too much reason to fear.
It now began to be known and talked of in the neighbourhood, that my master had found
a strange animal in the field, about the bigness of a splacnuck, but exactly shaped in
every part like a human creature; which it likewise imitated in all its actions; seemed to
speak in a little language of its own, had already learned several words of theirs, went
erect upon two legs, was tame and gentle, would come when it was called, do whatever it
was bid, had the finest limbs in the world, and a complexion fairer than a nobleman's
daughter of three years old. Another farmer, who lived hard by, and was a particular
friend of my master, came on a visit on purpose to inquire into the truth of this story. I
was immediately produced, and placed upon a table, where I walked as I was
commanded, drew my hanger, put it up again, made my reverence to my master's guest,
asked him in his own language how he did, and told him HE WAS WELCOME, just as
my little nurse had instructed me. This man, who was old and dim-sighted, put on his
spectacles to behold me better; at which I could not forbear laughing very heartily, for his
eyes appeared like the full moon shining into a chamber at two windows. Our people,
who discovered the cause of my mirth, bore me company in laughing, at which the old
fellow was fool enough to be angry and out of countenance. He had the character of a
great miser; and, to my misfortune, he well deserved it, by the cursed advice he gave my
master, to show me as a sight upon a market-day in the next town, which was half an