Gulliver's Travels HTML version

Chapter II.4
[The country described. A proposal for correcting modern maps. The king's palace; and
some account of the metropolis. The author's way of travelling. The chief temple
I now intend to give the reader a short description of this country, as far as I travelled in
it, which was not above two thousand miles round Lorbrulgrud, the metropolis. For the
queen, whom I always attended, never went farther when she accompanied the king in his
progresses, and there staid till his majesty returned from viewing his frontiers. The whole
extent of this prince's dominions reaches about six thousand miles in length, and from
three to five in breadth: whence I cannot but conclude, that our geographers of Europe are
in a great error, by supposing nothing but sea between Japan and California; for it was
ever my opinion, that there must be a balance of earth to counterpoise the great continent
of Tartary; and therefore they ought to correct their maps and charts, by joining this vast
tract of land to the north- west parts of America, wherein I shall be ready to lend them my
The kingdom is a peninsula, terminated to the north-east by a ridge of mountains thirty
miles high, which are altogether impassable, by reason of the volcanoes upon the tops:
neither do the most learned know what sort of mortals inhabit beyond those mountains, or
whether they be inhabited at all. On the three other sides, it is bounded by the ocean.
There is not one seaport in the whole kingdom: and those parts of the coasts into which
the rivers issue, are so full of pointed rocks, and the sea generally so rough, that there is
no venturing with the smallest of their boats; so that these people are wholly excluded
from any commerce with the rest of the world. But the large rivers are full of vessels, and
abound with excellent fish; for they seldom get any from the sea, because the sea fish are
of the same size with those in Europe, and consequently not worth catching; whereby it is
manifest, that nature, in the production of plants and animals of so extraordinary a bulk,
is wholly confined to this continent, of which I leave the reasons to be determined by
philosophers. However, now and then they take a whale that happens to be dashed against
the rocks, which the common people feed on heartily. These whales I have known so
large, that a man could hardly carry one upon his shoulders; and sometimes, for curiosity,
they are brought in hampers to Lorbrulgrud; I saw one of them in a dish at the king's
table, which passed for a rarity, but I did not observe he was fond of it; for I think,
indeed, the bigness disgusted him, although I have seen one somewhat larger in
The country is well inhabited, for it contains fifty-one cities, near a hundred walled
towns, and a great number of villages. To satisfy my curious reader, it may be sufficient
to describe Lorbrulgrud. This city stands upon almost two equal parts, on each side the
river that passes through. It contains above eighty thousand houses, and about six
hundred thousand inhabitants. It is in length three glomglungs (which make about fifty-
four English miles,) and two and a half in breadth; as I measured it myself in the royal
map made by the king's order, which was laid on the ground on purpose for me, and