Imatges de pÓgina

In the absence of the - American sea-serpent, and the mermaid discovered in the Hebrides, of which a circumstantial account generally runs through the papers every two or three years, we may put forward the following narrative, which it is not improbable suggested to Swift the first idea of the Brobdingnagdians.

“ Continuing our voyage both by rowing and sailing, and turning our prow according to the serpentine course of the river, we arrived next morning before a very high mountain called Botinafau,

a whence ran many rivers of fresh water. In this mountain there was a quantity of tigers, rhinoceroses, lions, ounces, and other wild beasts, which, leaping and crying, by reason of their natural fero.. city, made a cruel war upon the weaker animals, such as stags, wild boars, monkeys, baboons, apes, wolves, and foxes, which we contemplated for a a long time with wonderful pleasure, occasionally shouting all at once to frighten them, whereat they were little alarmed, not being accustomed to the pursuit of hunters. On leaving this mountain we encountered another, not less wild and sa. vage, called Gangitanou, beyond which all the country is very rugged, and almost inaccessible. Similau informed us, that certain men, called Gigauhos, dwelt at the foot of this place, who were of enormous size, living like brutes upon the spoils of the chase, or upon the rice which the Chinese merchants brought them from Catan, and bartered with them for furs. He assured us that more than 200,000 skins were annually exported, which the Chinese consumed for the lining of winter robes, carpeting, and counterpanes. Antonio de Faria, much astonished at this, but still more at the stature of these Gigauhos, begged the pilot to procure him the sight of one, assuring him that it would be more gratifying to him than to possess all the treasures of China ; to which Similau replied-Signor cap

tain, as I see that this is essential, both to preserve my credit with you, and to impose silence upon those who murmur and make mockery of me when I relates things which they consider so many fables ; in order that by one truth they may judge of ano. ther, I swear to you, that before sunset you shall see a couple of these people, and speak to them, on condition that you do not go ashore as you have hitherto done, for fear any misfortune should happen; for I assure you that these Giguuhos are naturally so brutal and fierce, that they live upon flesh and blood like the beasts of the forest. Among

' the thick trees and wild mountains that enclosed us as we advanced, there was such an infinite pumber of apes, monkeys, foxes, wolves, stags, wild boars, and similar animals, that they encumbered and impeded one another, making such a loud noise that we could not hear ourselves speak, which amused us for some time ; until, upon turning a point of land, we saw a young boy, without any beard, driving before him six or seven cows which had been pasturing thereabout. Similau having made signs to him, he immediately stopped ; and when we had gained the bank where he was, Similau showed him a piece of green taffeta, whereof these savages are immoderately fond. Upon asking him by signs whether he would buy it, he replied with a voice very much broken, Quiteumparau-fau, fau~words which we could not understand. Antonio de Faria then commanded that three or four yards of this taffeta should be given to him, as well as six pieces of china, which the savage having taken one after another, he appeared transported with joy, and cried out-Pur pacam pochy pilacha hunangue dareu ; which we could no more comprehend than the preceding. Leaving his cows by the river he then ran off into the woods, being clothed in the skin of a tiger, his feet and arms naked, his head uncovered, and having no other weapon than a stick burnt at

the end. As to his height, by what we could guess, it was above seven feet and a half; but we were much astonished when, in a quarter of an hour after, he returned, bearing upon his shoulders, a live stag, and accompanied by thirteen people, eight men and five women, who led with them three cows, and danced together to the sound of a drum, on which, from time to time, they struck five times, then clapped their hands, and cried, Cur cur hinau falem, All these people, both male and female, were clothed exactly alike, except that the women wore large tin bracelets on the middle of their arms, and had much longer hair than the men, which they decorated with flowers : they had also round their necks chains of red shells, as large as oyster shells. All of them had a very savage look, with thick lips, flat noses, large nostrils, and the rest of the body enormous, though not so much so as we had imagined ; for Antonio de Faria, having caused them to be measured, found that the tallest did not exceed eight feet in height, excepting an old man, who was nearly six inches more. As to the women, they were hardly seven and a half feet high; and to judge by their looks, I should deem them very coarse and gross, and less reasonable than any people we have ever encountered. Antonio de Faria, highly gratified that we had not come there for nothing, gave them sixty pieces of china, a piece of green taffeta, and a basket full of pepper, whereat they were so delighted, that throwing themselves upon the ground, and lifting their hands to heaven, they all said at once, Vumguahileu opumguapau lapaon, lapaon, lapaon-which we took for expressions of gratitude and thanks.”—Chap. 72.

Our next dip into this marvellous tome conveys us to the city of Pekin, in China, which he introduces to us with a candid and ingenuous profession of his own simplicity and truth, that ought to disarm criticism, and procure him implicit credence


from all those who are not incurably sceptical, or needlessly disposed to cavil at the following relation, made, it must be remembered, by an eyewitness.

"As my design in writing this book is solely to bequeath it to my children, as an alphabet wherein they may trace my labours and travels, I care little about the form and style of the composition ; for it appears to me much better to leave these things to nature, and simply to describe matters as I saw them, without amusing myself with hyperboles or circumlocutions. I shall therefore proceed to state, that the city of Pekin is situated about forty-one degrees north ; being, according to some, thirty, and, according to others, fifty leagues in circumference, but the latter estimate includes the suburbs. · On the inside, the walls are lined with fine porcelain, and decorated with painted lions and gilt banners. It contains five hundred large palaces, called houses of the Son of the Sun, where are maintained all those soldiers who have been wounded in the king's service, generally amounting to about a hundred thousand in number. We saw a very long street, with low houses, where resided twenty-four thousand watermen, the king's rowers; and another of the same construction a full league long, where there were fourteen thousand cooks belonging to the court; and a third of similar form, where we beheld an infinity of women of the town, who are exempted from the tribute paid by the regular courtesans. In this quarter also dwell all the washerwomen, amounting, as we were told, to more than a hundred thousand ; and in the same enclosure are thirteen hundred noble and sumptuous houses, some of them containing a thousand people, for the religious of both sexes. We saw, also, a good number of houses having large gardens attached to them, and even thick woods, stocked with game and deer of all sorts. Chap. 104. In fact,

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the wonders they saw were so manifold and bewildering, that the poor man says it would be impossible to enumerate them at that time, although he would certainly resume the subject, and give a more detailed account upon some future occasion; a pledge which he shortly after redeems with the following touching expression of his regret that he should have committed himself to so difficult a task.

“ This city of Pekin, of which I have promised to speak more fully, is so prodigious, and the sights to be seen therein so remarkable, that I almost repent my undertaking, which, to say the truth, I hardly know how to set about; for we are not to suppose that it is such a city as Rome, Constantinople, Venice, Paris, London, Seville, or Lisbon ; nor that any European city, however populous and famous, can be compared with it. Neither can any of the celebrated places beyond the confines of Europe pretend to rival it in its stupendous buildings, excessive riches, wonderful abundance, innumerable population, its great commerce, and infinite vessels ; its courts of peace, justice, government, and other institutions. By the chronicles of the king of China, it appears that this city is thirty leagues in circumference, without reckoning the suburbs, in which latter are many astonishing things, whereon I might enlarge if I thought proper. It is enclosed with a double wall of hewn stone, of great thickness, with three hundred and sixty gates, each having a barbican of two very high towers, surrounded by ditches, over which there is a drawbridge. At each gate is an officer, with four halberdiers, who are obliged to give an account of every thing that enters or passes out. Within these walls are three thousand eight hundred pagodas or temples, where are continually sacrificed a great number of birds and beasts, all wild, which they hold to be a more acceptable, offering than the tame ones, accordiog to the

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