Images de page
PDF
ePub

Perfection with other Parts of Aftro

nomy.

THE King would be the most abso- i lute Prince in the Univerfe, if he could but: prevail on a Miniftry to join with him; but these have their Estates below on the Continent, and confidering that the Office of a Favourite hath a very un-7 certain Tenure, would never consent to: the enflaving their Country.

IF any Town' fhould engage in Re-. bellion or Mutiny, fall into violent Factions, or refufe to pay the usual Tribute, the King hath two Methods of reducing them to Obedience. The first and the mildest Course is by keeping the Island hovering over fuch a Town, and the Lands about it, whereby he can deprive them of the Benefit of the Sun and the Rain, and confequently afflict the Inhabitants with Death and Dif cafes. And if the Crime deferve it, they áré at the fame time pelted from above

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

with great Stones, against which they have no Defence but by creeping into Cellars or Caves, while the Roofs of their Houfes are beaten to pieces. But if they ftill continue obftinate, ot offer to raise Infurrections, he proceeds to the laft Remedy, by letting the Island drop directly upon their Heads, which makes a univerfal Deftruction both of Houses and Men. However, this is an Extremity to which the Prince is feldom driven, neither indeed is he willing to put it in execution, nor dare his Minifters advise him to an Action, which, as it would render them odious to the People, fo it would be a great damage to -their own Eftates, which lie all below, for the Ifland is the King's Demefn.

BUT there is fill indeed a more weighty Reason, why the Kings of this Country have been always averse from executing fo terrible an Action, unless upon the utmoft Neceffity... For if the Town intended to be destroyed fhould

have

[ocr errors]

have in it any tall Rocks, as it generally falls out in the larger Cities, a Situation probably chosen at firft with a View to prevent fuch a Catastrophe: or if it abound in high Spires, or Pillars of Stone, a sudden Fall might endanger the Bottom or Under-furface of the Island ; which, although it confifts, as I have faid, of one entire Adamant two hundred Yards thick, might happen to crack by too great a Choque, or burft by approaching too near the Fires from the Houses below, as the Backs both of Iron and Stone will often do in our Chimneys. Of all this the People are well apprized, and underftand how far to carry their Obftinacy, where their Liberty, or Property is concerned. And the King, when he is highest provoked, and most determined to press a City to Rubbish, orders the Ifland to descend with great Gentlenefs, out of a Pretence of Tenderness to his People, but indeed for fear of breaking the Adamantine Bottom; in which Cafe, it is the Opinion of all their

Philofophers, that the Load-ftone could no longer hold it up, and the whole Mafs would fall to the ground.

By a fundamental Law of this Realm, neither the King, nor either of his two elder Sons, are permitted to leave the Ifland; nor the Queen till fhe is past Child-bearing.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

CHA P. IV.

[ocr errors]

The Author leaves Laputa, is conveyed to Balnibarbi, arrives at the Metropolis. A Defcription of the Metropolis, and the Country adjoining. The Author hofpitably received by a great Lord. His Converfation with that Lord.

LTHOUGH I cannot say that I was ill-treated in this Ifland, yet I must confess I thought my self too much neglected, not without fome degree of Contempt. For neither Prince nor People appeared to be curious in any Part of Knowledge, except Mathematicks and Mufick, wherein I was far their Inferior, and upon that account very little regarded.

ON

« PrécédentContinuer »