Gulliver's Travels HTML version

Chapter II.8
[The king and queen make a progress to the frontiers. The author attends them. The
manner in which he leaves the country very particularly related. He returns to England.]
I had always a strong impulse that I should some time recover my liberty, though it was
impossible to conjecture by what means, or to form any project with the least hope of
succeeding. The ship in which I sailed, was the first ever known to be driven within sight
of that coast, and the king had given strict orders, that if at any time another appeared, it
should be taken ashore, and with all its crew and passengers brought in a tumbril to
Lorbrulgrud. He was strongly bent to get me a woman of my own size, by whom I might
propagate the breed: but I think I should rather have died than undergone the disgrace of
leaving a posterity to be kept in cages, like tame canary-birds, and perhaps, in time, sold
about the kingdom, to persons of quality, for curiosities. I was indeed treated with much
kindness: I was the favourite of a great king and queen, and the delight of the whole
court; but it was upon such a foot as ill became the dignity of humankind. I could never
forget those domestic pledges I had left behind me. I wanted to be among people, with
whom I could converse upon even terms, and walk about the streets and fields without
being afraid of being trod to death like a frog or a young puppy. But my deliverance came
sooner than I expected, and in a manner not very common; the whole story and
circumstances of which I shall faithfully relate.
I had now been two years in this country; and about the beginning of the third,
Glumdalclitch and I attended the king and queen, in a progress to the south coast of the
kingdom. I was carried, as usual, in my travelling-box, which as I have already described,
was a very convenient closet, of twelve feet wide. And I had ordered a hammock to be
fixed, by silken ropes from the four corners at the top, to break the jolts, when a servant
carried me before him on horseback, as I sometimes desired; and would often sleep in my
hammock, while we were upon the road. On the roof of my closet, not directly over the
middle of the hammock, I ordered the joiner to cut out a hole of a foot square, to give me
air in hot weather, as I slept; which hole I shut at pleasure with a board that drew
backward and forward through a groove.
When we came to our journey's end, the king thought proper to pass a few days at a
palace he has near Flanflasnic, a city within eighteen English miles of the seaside.
Glumdalclitch and I were much fatigued: I had gotten a small cold, but the poor girl was
so ill as to be confined to her chamber. I longed to see the ocean, which must be the only
scene of my escape, if ever it should happen. I pretended to be worse than I really was,
and desired leave to take the fresh air of the sea, with a page, whom I was very fond of,
and who had sometimes been trusted with me. I shall never forget with what
unwillingness Glumdalclitch consented, nor the strict charge she gave the page to be
careful of me, bursting at the same time into a flood of tears, as if she had some forboding
of what was to happen. The boy took me out in my box, about half an hours walk from
the palace, towards the rocks on the sea-shore. I ordered him to set me down, and lifting
up one of my sashes, cast many a wistful melancholy look towards the sea. I found