Lemuel Gulliver, a physician, takes the post of ship’s doctor on the Antelope, which sets sail from Bristol for the South Seas in May, 1699. When the ship is wrecked in a storm somewhere near Tasmania, Gulliver has to swim for his life. Wind and tide help to carry him close to a low-lying shore, where he falls, exhausted, into a deep sleep. Upon awakening, he finds himself held to the ground by hundreds of small ropes. He soon discovers that he is the prisoner of humans six inches tall. Still tied, Gulliver is fed by his captors; then he is placed on a special wagon built for the purpose and drawn by fifteen hundred small horses. Carried in this manner to the capital city of the small humans, he is exhibited as a great curiosity to the people of Lilliput, as the land of the diminutive people is called. He is kept chained to a huge Lilliputian building into which he crawls at night to sleep.
Gulliver soon learns the Lilliputian language, and through his personal charm and natural curiosity, he comes into good graces at the royal court. At length, he is given his freedom, contingent upon his obeying many rules devised by the emperor prescribing his deportment in Lilliput. Now free, Gulliver tours Mildendo, the capital city, and finds it to be similar, except in size, to European cities of the time.
Learning that Lilliput is in danger of an invasion by the forces of the neighboring empire, Blefuscu, he offers his services to the emperor of Lilliput. While the enemy fleet awaits favorable winds to carry their ships the eight hundred yards between Blefuscu and Lilliput, Gulliver takes some Lilliputian cable, wades to Blefuscu, and brings back the entire fleet by means of hooks attached to the cables. He is greeted with great acclaim, and the emperor makes him a nobleman. Soon, however, the emperor and Gulliver quarrel over differences concerning the fate of the now helpless Blefuscu. The emperor wants to reduce the enemy to the status of slaves; Gulliver champions their liberty. The pro-Gulliver forces prevail in the Lilliputian parliament; the peace settlement is favorable to Blefuscu. Gulliver, however, is now in disfavor at court.
He visits Blefuscu, where he is received graciously by the emperor and the people. One day, while exploring, he finds a boat from a wreck washed ashore. With the help of thousands of Blefuscu artisans, he repairs the boat for his projected voyage back to his own civilization. Taking some cattle and sheep with him, he sails away and is eventually picked up by an English vessel.
Back in England, Gulliver spends a short time with his family before he boards the Adventure, bound for India. The ship is blown off course by fierce winds. Somewhere on the coast of Great Tartary a landing party goes ashore to forage for supplies. Gulliver, who wandered away from the party, is left behind when a gigantic human figure pursues the sailors back to the ship. Gulliver is caught in a field by giants threshing grain that grows forty feet high. Becoming the pet of a farmer and his family, he amuses them with his humanlike behavior. The farmer’s nine-year-old daughter, who is not yet over forty feet high, takes special charge of Gulliver.
The farmer displays Gulliver first at a local market town. Then he takes his little pet to the metropolis, where Gulliver is put on show repeatedly, to the great detriment of his health. The farmer, seeing that Gulliver is near death from overwork, sells him to the queen, who takes a great fancy to the little curiosity. The court doctors and philosophers study Gulliver as a quaint trick of nature. He subsequently has adventures with giant rats the size of lions, with a dwarf thirty feet high, with wasps as large as partridges, with apples the size of Bristol barrels, and with hailstones the size of tennis balls.
He and the king discuss the institutions of their respective countries, the king asking Gulliver many questions about Great Britain that Gulliver finds impossible to answer...
(The entire page is 1,312 words.)
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