Chapter Eight

The author overcomes her misery, as her husband goes back to sea; she decides to take her happiness into her own hands; she finds much pleasure in writing down her husband’s full story. 

Redriff, Wednesday the 28th of  June, 1702

EIGHT days ago my wretched husband took back to sea, just two months after his miraculous return from Lilliput and his solemn promise to stay with us forever. I am desolate. Two months ago, when he was suddenly back from his voyage, back from the Dead, I was so thrilled that our family was re-united, I was sure of prosperity and happiness for my children and myself, I was looking forward to bearing more children...

 

      But eight days ago, at the port, as we were waving again our good-byes to Lemuel, my heart was sinking with heavy forebodings. I pressed the little hands of my two surviving children, sensing deep down, that my wish for more offspring was doomed. I have little hope of ever seeing my Love again, the sea being so treacherous...

      At least I am relieved he did not accept Captain John Biddel’s sly proposal, to travel back to Lilliput and steal Lilliputian people for show[47]!

 

      The Captain came by an evening, two weeks gone, riding his mare from his Deptford home. First he professed to be mourning along with us the loss of Mr. Gulliver’s Lilliputian herd. But then Biddel implored my Lemuel to join him on a lucrative voyage back to Lilliput, to conquer it for the Glory of Queen Anne and the prosperity of themselves.

      “In a normal slave ship” said Biddel “we can pack a few hundred Negros, and we make excellent profit with this merchandize, even if some items expire en-route. Imagine how much more money we will make, squeezing into my Explorer thousands of those Lilliputians!”[48]

 

      When Lemuel pointed out that the Lilliputians could not slave as well as Negros, Biddel was not discouraged:

      “We will sell them for Show! They will make a fortune for their owners in Fairs all over the Continent! And in America! Can you imagine this? We will be richer than the King and Queen of England!”

      I was in the back yard, transplanting our cabbage, but I could hear all this exchange and Lemuel’s reply: “This is sacrilege! No mortal should ever aspire to top his Better, or to enslave his Lesser!”

      I must admit, I was proud of my man, and stepped in, intending to plant a kiss on his lips, when I saw Biddel pulling out his pistol: “Perhaps this will convince you?!” he said.

      I rushed between my love and the muzzle. “Gro debul i drurr!” I called out to Lemuel, “Advontus gro! Borach pesso gro![49]

 

      Biddel was scared out of his wits. He looked at me, terrified, certain that I was mad. Of course, he did not grasp that I was talking Lilliputian. But I could not care less. Biddel’s hands fell limp and I was ever so proud of my Lemuel when he threw that Biddel out of our house, pistol and all, calling after him: “Curse on you, Captain Biddel! I will make sure, never to set foot on a ship you master! In fact, I will never set foot on ANY ship!”

      And then he deserted me, eight days ago, to fend for my family all on my own.

      As I write this I am suddenly struck by the thought that perhaps Lemuel did go to sea in order to save us and the Lilliputians? To make sure Biddel cannot force him to set sail and look for Lilliput? Perhaps he took to the sea, in order that Biddel will not try to harm us, so he could bend Lemuel to fulfil his sick wish?

      I love my Lemuel all the more, for his tender care of the Lilliputians, despite the many wrongs they did unto him. In a true Christian spirit, he was always loyal to them.

      But I must be more cheerful: ships return ashore every day, laden with riches and brave crew. Indeed, the saying goes that more people die on the streets of London by careless carriage drivers, than at sea.

 

      My Lemuel WILL come back. I am sure. And no matter what strange land he would come to, no matter how lonesome he would be, even if he would be relieving his Manly needs with other women or men, he would always be careful to keep me from those women’s diseases, for I safely packed his condum, as usual, in his inner, secret fob.[50] And if I should be so lucky to see his loving face again; to feel his warm, strong body pressed onto mine, and his manhood safely perched inside of me, I know he will tell me all about his adventures with other women. Or men, as he did during the past blessed two months, telling me all about his funny, scary, delicious adventures in Lilliput. Oh his words were ever the fuel of our tender, happy, lustful nights.

      But now I am left with just the memories, and as comforting and as pleasurable as they might be, they are no substitute for my Lemuel, my dear, lost again Lemuel.

      No.

 

      He will be back!

 

      The last days passed by as if in a heavy haze. I went automatically through the motions of taking care of my little children, but I felt hollow inside.

 

      In the past I used to spend many pleasurable days with my best friend Vanessa, as we were baking our families’ bread together or brewing beer, curing bacon, salting the meat or making pickles, jellies and preserves; making our candles and soap; spinning wool and linen[51]. We used to make merry together, laughing, talking, telling secrets to each other, and making love. I miss her badly; she still lives in Wapping, while we are here in Redriff[52].

      I have only myself to blame for this separation. I was foolish enough to think that Lemuel would be happy and eager to hear about my love making with Vanessa.

 

      After all, he told me all about his Lovers, and Reldresal, and the Empress of Lilliput, and all the while, I did not feel the least tinge of jealousy! Why Men cannot be more like Women?

 

      I thought that, just as much as I was happy to hear of his happiness, he would be happy to hear of mine! I could not foresee the disaster, when he asked me, for the thousandth time:

      “Swifty,” he asked me “will you always love me?”

      “Of course, BigJon.” I laughed for the thousandth time.

      “You will never take another lover, you promise me, right?”

      I was silent. My cheek resting on the dark curls of his manly chest, I thought about Vanessa.

      “Will you promise me, Lovepie? Please?”

 

      “There will never be another man,” I laughed “but there is another woman!”

 

      And I told him all about Vanessa.

 

      Lemuel was enraged. He threw a tantrum and forbade me ever to talk to her again. I was flabbergasted: I said: “But why? She is only another woman. And besides, I do not mind hearing about your lovemaking adventures, why do you mind mine?”

      “But it is different!” he screamed, “Oh, woman, do you not see the difference?!”

      “How is it different?” I truly did not understand.

      At that moment Betty ran into our room, crying: “Mommy, why is Daddy angry?”

      Lemuel did not even look at her, but concluded in Lilliputian:

“Li lon ina i hekdebul. Li Quinbus. Ina Ranfu. Li i Hurgo!” [53]

 

      He stormed out of the house, and came back two days later, and without as much as looking me in the eye, he told me that he sold his manuscript ‘Voyage to Lilliput’ to his uncle, Richard Sympson, and with the advance of six hundred pounds[54] he bought a good home in Redriff.

 

      I gasped, and he began packing our belongings. I cried as I was obeying his barked commands to go ahead and help him pack. I cried all the way to Redriff, hugging Johnny and Betty. The poor souls had not even had time to say goodbye to their friends.

 

      I glanced outside the couch as it rolled down the street, and saw Vanessa rushing from her home and standing helplessly in the middle of the road, hesitatingly waving her handkerchief.

 

      Only when we reached our new home did Lemuel’s spirits rise. He even helped me off the couch and I felt such a relief when our bodies touched and for a brief instance Lemuel’s face was squeezed onto my breasts.

 

      Back on firm ground, he hugged me, at long last, and I felt his eager manhood through his breeches. I got instantly wet. That much we loved each other.

 

      It is indeed a better home. A stone house with a chimney and even sash windows. “We are safe here.” He said. “Here we will have a room all for ourselves,” he whispered in my ear and I melted. “We will sleep in the kitchen. It is big and warm, you will see. Here I will finish writing my Lilliput travel memoir for Sympson, and we will be together all the time!”

      It was a wonderful prospect, and I fell for it.

 

      We settled in this fine, cozy home, and had a few weeks of bliss in it. But now I know that Lemuel’s sole purpose in moving us here was to take me away from Vanessa. Well, I forgive him: I understand that, in a strange way he did it out of love for me; desperately fearful of losing me.

 

      Or maybe he tried to get us as far as possible away from Biddel..?

 

      That is why I was ever so enraged when he told me he was going back to sea, just two months after his miraculous return from Lilliput!

      “And what think you of your children? What of our love?”

      “I think well, Mary. Johnny and Betty are ever so dear to me, and I love you as much as any man can ever love a woman. But you broke my heart, woman. I tried, I honestly did, but I can no longer kiss you, without thinking that you would rather be making love to that woman, Mrs. Prichard.”

      “This is not true,” I cried “I.. I.. I never had sexual relations with that woman, Mrs. Prichard. Well, not the way you and I do, at least! She was just a very, very, very good friend. And now you leave me, and I do not even have her friendship…” I sobbed bitterly. “I missed you so…”

      “Well, you better go back to reading the Bible, while I am away. Perhaps I will feel better about it all, when I will have returned”.

      And he was gone. 

 

      My sole moments of relief from my sorrows are late at night, as I lay in bed, listening to my children’s innocent breaths and remembering Lemuel’s love, and his fantastic adventures in Lilliput. In the dark of night my hands explore my lonely body, and I think about my love Lemuel and about my best friend Vanessa. And as I retell myself the stories my Lemuel told me, I sometimes imagine that my hands belong to Lemuel. Other times, that they belong to Vanessa. And sometimes, that my fingers are tiny Lilliputians. Thus, I make tender love with my imagination. Only in the dark of night my sadness subsides for a while, when I lay in bed, alone, but satisfied -- at least for a while.

      Perhaps I will just go ahead and do all that which I forbade Lemuel to do.

       I will write down Lemuel's adventures that are too dangerous to publish.

      This will be my communion with my husband. And I will keep these pages safely hidden away, in the secret drawer of this table.

 

      Tomorrow. I will start tomorrow. I anticipate these pages to be my sole happiness in the remaining days of my poor, desolate life.

      Oh, Lemuel, Lemuel, will I ever see you again?

(From L to R) Mary's, 
Gulliver's, Gulliver's, 
Mary's feet during a foreplay.
Artist: James Gillray (1756–1815)​
The document which Biddle produced to lure Gulliver into the Slave Trade.
Artist: Unknown
(From L to R) Mary and Lemuel exchanging whispers and other juicy stuff.
Artist: Unknown
(From L to R) Mary and Vanessa completing another chore.
Artist: Geertruydt Roghman 
(1625-1657)
Vanessa, standing hopelessly near her home, watching the hasty departure of the Gullivers from Wapping.
Artist: Unknown​
The new home of the 
Gullivers in Redriff. Another of Mary's drawings that were part of her manuscript.
Artist: Mary Burton-Gulliver​