Her husband suddenly returns from his South Sea voyage; their love rekindled; he writes his story and is convinced by his Wife to keep the Secrets.
Wapping, Tuesday the 28th of April, 1702
Children games in the early 17th century (a detail).
Artist: Adrieaen Pietersz vasn de Venne (1589-1662)
"The King Drinks"
Artist: Jan Miense Molenaer (1609–1668)
The original painting is part of the collection of the Prince of Lichtenstein, in Vaduz.
(l to r) Lemuel Gulliver and Mary Burton-Gulliver, at night.
Artist: Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669)
A few minutes later, Gulliver is showing off his bull to Mary.
Drawing: Thomas Morten, (1836-1866)
Detail illustrating the sharp dangers that faced Lemuel, while he laid
unconscious on the Lilliputian shore.
Artist: Lowell Isaac
I finally got to write again, tonight, after two weeks of oh, so much thrill and excitement! I am still swooning from all these events. Little did I know three years ago, when I wrote that something interesting might happen to me should I start a diary, how true this will turn out to be!
Where to begin? Well, two weeks ago, as I was sitting and writing, suddenly my Betty came running home, crying that a strange man was trying to grab her!
I rushed out of the house, ready to tear this man’s eyes out of his skull, when that strange man turned out to be my dear, dear Lemuel!
My poor love was thin and dishevelled, but his eyes, his loving eyes pierced my heart all over again. Laughing and crying, I fell on his shoulders. He, hugging me tenderly, so tenderly, cried as well, and Betty joined in with the crying, not knowing what came over me. My son, Johnny, just came back from grammar school, and the clever boy recognised his father right away! It was indeed a fine reunion. Was it three long years since we last waved goodbye? As if by magic, the miserable days and the long, lonely nights evaporated, as if they never existed. And as I laid the table for my family, my whole family, Lemuel swore solemnly never to go back to sea.
And I do believe him. Yes. This time I do, in truth!
The word was out that Mr. Gulliver was back, and many a neighbour came by to congratulate us on his safe return. They all asked him about his rescue, but he would not tell a thing, claiming he was too tired and spent. But was he ever so thrilled to learn that Captain Prichard did survive that fateful storm! When the Antelope was lost, my Lemuel told me, he lamented the loss of all the men, confident that only he survived that ordeal.
My cheeks ached from my laughing and smiling, as I watched Mr. Gulliver talking with the guests. But my lips were aching to be alone with him, after those three long years of solitude.
At long last the visitors did leave, jeering good-heartedly. Johnny and Betty were fast asleep and Lemuel and I sat there, with the kitchen table between us, too happy and too weak to stir.
Lemuel stretched his arm across the table, touched my fingertips ever so lightly -- and I felt my body melting. His fingers continued up my arm. I shut my eyes, savouring the waves of sweetness that his touch sent through me. I breathed deeply and inhaled the long-lost scent of my man, my love. His weather-beaten lips pressed onto the surrendering softness of mine. I could taste the sea in his kisses, and for a passing instant, I felt that I loved the sea. I loved anything that ever touched, smelled and saw my husband during those three years of longing. Suddenly, Lemuel was on his knees, his face buried in my lap, crying silently.
“Mary, oh, my Swifty, you are the greatest woman I have known for a long, too long time.”
I almost cried of happiness and pride. I was thrilled to grasp that no woman has ever touched him the way I do.
Yes. I knew about the lewd women that sailors ravished at every port, but I also knew that the base lovemaking of those women could never equal the tender loving, which Lemuel and I were sharing. I grew to accept Lemuel's joys with those women. Certainly when I knew that my Lemuel was safely covering his BigJon with that new invention, the ‘Condum’ to protect me from those women’s diseases.
My trust in Lemuel knew no bounds. That night, when our bodies shared their secrets, when Lemuel’s BigJon was pounding at my wet shores, coming to port in my warm, soft harbour, I felt we both escaped the clutches of death. We were alive. Oh, so much alive.
Once over, Lemuel collapsed on top of me, made a quick and apologetic move to roll off me, but I hugged him with all my might. I did not want him to get away from my tight embrace. I wanted to keep him next to me, inside of me, forever. Lemuel murmured something that sounded like ‘Hekina Degul’ (but I was not sure). I whispered in my lover’s ear: “Was this indeed your first time since our parting, three years ago?” to which my good man replied: “Swifty, lovepie, my lust, my ever-joy. You are the fountain of my pleasures, the mother of my children; to you I can confide everything. I know you are a good and clever woman. My story is incredible, but I do have the evidence to prove it. I will tell you all, in good time.”
Slowly, lovingly, he pulled himself out of me, and I was engulfed by the scent of our lovemaking, filling, I sensed, the whole room, the whole universe.
I presently came out of this reverie, for Lemuel was back beside me, placing some wondrous toys on my bare, ticklish belly. But my laughter soon turned to horrible fright: those toys were moving! Walking, and actually sniffing at my belly, even – I thought – chewing at my hair, way down there! I could hardly suppress my scream – I did not want Johnny and Betty to wake up – but I was terrified. I shrugged these terrifying creatures off of my belly and rolled off our bed, as my laughing husband scooped the lot in his palms. Brining his hands nearer my eyes, I saw them: five miniature cows, two bulls, four ewes and two rams!
“How did you perform this magic?” I blathered. Mingled with my fears of Lemuel’s new, supernatural powers was the recognition of the usefulness of such an incantation for General Transport, Commerce and for our Personal Prosperity!
But Lemuel laughed and commenced to tell me the fantastic story of his voyage to Lilliput, the island where everything was twelve times smaller than our own world. It has been two weeks ago when he started sharing with me these amazing tales, and still, each night, he amazes me, after we make love, with more and more incredible stories, which are all true! He did have some astonishing adventures there, many pleasurable experiences, but oh, the dangers he faced!
I am still sorry he did not bring with him any Lilliputian human. Would that not be an astonishing spectacle? Lemuel told me that actually, one of them, a good friend of his, bearing the strange name of Reldresal, did implore Lemuel to take him along, but my dear, considerate man decided against it, fearing that Reldresal would be very lonesome here, and it would be difficult to protect him from the dangers of our world. My clever Lemuel thought that the English Gentry would love to gaze at the Lilliputian creatures and would be willing to pay handsomely for it, and he did not want to expose his dear Lilliputian friend, Reldresal, to such a Circus fate.
Lemuel’s little Menagerie is indeed a source of marvel to our neighbours and a marvellous source of income for us. Lemuel travels up and down the county, showing his Lilliputian herd to anyone who is ready to part with a penny for a peep. Happily for us, many are such peepers!
Lemuel told me that many a man wanted to know from whence the herd has arrived, and some even offered him huge sums to lead an expedition back to Lilliput, but my Lemuel is loyal to his former hosts (despite the many wrongs that some of them did him!) and he keeps the whereabouts of Lilliput a secret.
While Lemuel travels to earn our bread, I spend my days with the children alone again. But at least I have the happiness of Lemuel's sharing my bed at night. Each night he tells me more about his extraordinary voyage to Lilliput, and even teaches me some Lilliputian. It is of great value to us, when we want to converse freely without the children understanding us.