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Mortal Coils

Aldous Huxley

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

Gulliver's travels and adventures in Lilliput and Brobdingnag

by Jonathan Swift


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

1 Gulliver's Travels were originally designed to form part of a satire on the Abuse of Human Learning, projected by Pope, Swift, and Arbuthnot. In their joint publication, the "Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus," the sketch of the work is thus given by Pope:—

"It was in the year 1699, that Martin set out on his travels. Thou wilt certainly be very curious to know what they were. It is not yet time to inform thee; but what hints I am at liberty to give I will.

"Thou shall know, then, that in his first voyage he was carried by a prosperous storm to a discovery of the ancient Pygmean empire.

"That, in his second, he was happily shipwrecked on the land of the Giants, the most humane people in the world.

"That, in his third, he discovered a whole kingdom of philoso

great for a narrow fortune, I was bound apprentice to Mr. James Bates, an eminent surgeon in London, with whom I continued four years; and my father now and then sending me small sums of money, I

phers, who govern by the mathematics; with whose admirable schemes and projects he returned to benefit his own dear country; but had the misfortune to find them rejected by the envious ministers of Queen Anne, and himself sent treacherously away.

"And hence it is that in his fourth voyage he discovers a vein of melancholy, proceeding almost to a disgust of his species; but above all, a mortal detestation of the whole flagitious race of ministers, and a final resolution not to give in any memorial to the Secretary of State, in order to subject the lands he discovered to the crown of Great Britain.

"Now, if by these hints the reader can help himself to a farther discovery of the nature and contents of these travels, he is welcome to as much light as they afford him : I am obliged by all the ties of honour, not to speak more openly."

Pope, however, appears to have been displeased at the substitution of Lemuel Gulliver for Martinus Scriblerus; he adds, rather ill-naturedly:

"But if any man shall see such very extraordinary voyages, which manifest the most distinguishing marks of a philosopher, a politician, and a legislator, and can imagine them to belong to a surgeon of a ship, or a captain of a merchantman, let him remain in his ignorance."

Swift himself thus announces the approaching appearance of the work, in a letter to Pope, dated Dublin, September 29th, 1725: "I have employed my time (besides ditching) in finishing, correcting, amending, and transcribing my travels, in four parts complete, newly augmented, and intended for the press when the world shall deserve them, or rather when a printer shall be found bold enough to venture his ears."

The existence of a nation of pigmies was firmly believed in ancient times. The diminutive race is mentioned by Herodotus,

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

Aristotle, Pliny, and even by some of the earlier modern travellers. The following account is from Ctesiaa, who was cotemporary with Xenophon. "In the middle of India, there are black men called pigmies, using the same language as the other Indians; they are very little, the tallest of them being but two cubits, and most of them but a cubit and a half high. They have very long hair, reaching down to their knees and lower; and a beard larger than any man's. After their beards are grown long they wear no clothes, but the hair of their head falls behind a great deal below their hams, and that of their beard before comes down to their feet; then laying their hair thick all about their body, they afterwards gird themselves, making use of their hair for clothes. They are flat-nosed and ill-favoured. Their sheep are like lambs, and their oxen and asses scarce as big as rams, and their horses and mules, and all their other cattle, not bigger. Three thousand of these pigmies are household troops in the service of the king of India. They are good archers. They are very just, and use the same laws as the Indians do."

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