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'Gulliver's Travels' Quotes

Jonathan Swift's Famous Novel


Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels

W.W. Norton & Co.

Study Guide

Gulliver's Travels is a fantastic adventure--with unusual people and places. This classic tale is a political satire, as Lemuel Gulliver ventures on his four travels. Here are a few quotes from Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift.
  • "I attempted to rise, but was not able to stir: for as I happened to lie on my back, I found my arms and legs were strongly fastened on each side to the ground; and my hair, which was long and thick, tied down I the same manner. I likewise felt several slender ligatures across my body, from my armpits to my thighs. I could only look upwards, the sun began to grow hot, and the light offended mine eyes. I heard a confused noise about me, but in the posture I lay, could see nothing except the sky."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 1

  • "Besides, I now considered myself as bound by the law of hospitality to a people who had treated me with so much expense and magnificence. However, in my thoughts I could not sufficiently wonder at the intrepidity of these diminutive mortals, who durst venture to mount and walk on my body, while one of my hands was at liberty, without trembling at the very sight of so prodigious a creatures as I must appear to them."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 1

  • "First, The Man-Mountain shall not depart from our dominions, without our license under our great seal.

    "2nd, He shall not presume to come into our metropolis, without our express order; at which time the inhabitants shall have two hours warning to keep within their doors.

    "3rd, The said Man-Mountain shall confine his walks to our principal high roads, and not offer to walk or lie down in a meadow or field of corn.

    "4th, As he walks the said roads, he shall take the utmost care not to trample upon the bodies of any of our loving subjects, their horses, or carriages, nor take any of our said subjects into his hands, without their own consent.

    "5th, If an express require extraordinary dispatch, the Man-Mountain shall be obliged to carry in his pocket the messenger and hors a six days' journey once in every moon, and return the said messenger back (if so required) safe to our Imperial Presence.

    "6th, He shall be our ally against our enemies in the island of Blefescu, and do his utmost to destroy their fleet, which is now preparing to invade us.

    "7th, That the said Man-Mountain shall, at his times of leisure, be aiding and assisting to our workmen, in helping to raise certain great stones, towards covering the wall of the principal park, and other our royal buildings.

    "8th, That the said Man-Mountain shall, in two moons' time, deliver in an exact survey of the circumference of our dominions by a computation of his own paces round the coast. Lastly, That upon his solemn oath to observe all the above articles, the said Man-Mountain shall have a daily allowance of meat and drink sufficient for the support of 1728 of our subjects, with free access to our Royal Person, and other marks of our favor."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 3

  • "I desired the Secretary to present my humble duty to the Emperor, and to let him know, that I thought it would not become me, who was a foreigner, to interfere with parties; but I was ready, with the hazard of my life, to defend his person and state against all invaders."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 4

  • "I came in a short time within hearing, and holding up the end of the cable by which the fleet was fastened, I cried in a loud voice, Long live the most puissant Emperor of Lilliput! This great prince received me at my landing with all possible encomiums, and created me a Nardac upon the spot, which is the highest title of honor among them."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 5

  • "And from this time began an intrigue between his Majesty and a junto of Ministers maliciously bent against me, which broke out in less than two months, an ha like to have ended in my utter destruction. Of so little weight are the greatest services to princes, when put into the balance with a refusal to gratify their passions."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 5

  • "They bury their dead with their heads directly downwards, because they hold an opinion that in eleven thousand moons they are all to rise again, in which period the earth (which they conceive to be flat) will turn upside down, and by this means they shall, at their resurrection, be found ready standing on their feet. The learned among them confess the absurdity of this doctrine, but the practice still continues, in compliance to the vulgar."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 6

  • "It is upon this account that the image of Justice, in their courts of judicature, is formed with six eyes, two before, as many behind, and on each side one, to signify circumspection; with a bag of gold open in her right hand, and a sword sheathed in her left, to show she is ore disposed to reward than to punish."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 6

  • "Their education is of little consequence to the public; but the old and diseased among them are supported by hospitals: for begging is a trade unknown in this Empire."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 6

  • "That blindness is an addition to courage, by concealing dangers from us; that the fear you had for your eyes, was the greatest difficulty in bringing over the enemy's fleet, and it would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of the Ministers, since the greatest princes do no more."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 1, Ch. 7

  • "I reflected what a mortification it must prove to me to appear as inconsiderable in this nation as one single Lilliputian would be among us."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 2, Ch. 1

  • "This made me reflect upon the fair skins of our English ladies, who appear so beautiful to us, only because they are of our own size, and their defects not to be seen through a magnifying glass, where we find by experiment that the smoothest and whitest skins look rough and course, and ill colored."
    - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, Part 2, Ch. 1

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