Under the command of Bolgolam and Flimnap, Lemuel is transported to his Prison-Temple; Nature’s call is not appreciated by the Lilliputian riff-raff and the Emperor punishes them by handing them over to Lemuel. Benevolently, Lemuel spares their lives but this is not enough to secure his Freedom; His first impression of the Lilliputian landscape.
Redriff, Monday the 3rd of July, 1702
Oblivious Gulliver is transported to his Prison.
From "Gulliver's Travels", (1939)
Artists: director: Dave Fleischer Artists: Seymour Kneitel, Willard Bowsky, Tom Palmer, Grim Natwick, William Henning, Roland Crandall, Thomas Johnson, Robert Leffingwell, Frank Kelling, Winfield Hoskins, and Orestes Calpini.
Glimpse at Lilliputian prisons, eerily predicting the future.
At Long last, Gulliver can appreciate the view, a few minutes before Nature's Call.
And a few minutes later, Lemuel stepped into his Prison-Temple.
The Emperor commanding His horse, while Bolgolam and Flimnap trying to show the Emperor how loyal they are.
Artist: F. M. B. Blaikie
The stuff nightmares are made of.
The pastoral view of Lilliput, as seen by Gulliver.
Artist: Ole Steen Hansen
LEMUEL was transported to Mildendo, the capital city of Lilliput, after he was raised by pulleys and ropes and laid on top of a specially and hastily built wagon, to which he was chained again.
Bolgolam was commanding the troupes while Flimnap supplied materials and horses. They were orchestrating the labor of hundreds of Lilliputians and as many horses, to pull this heavy wagon across the plain from the beach to the metropolis. But Lemuel was not aware of any of this, because he was fast asleep: Flimnap gave orders to infuse his drink with soporiferous medicine, which totally knocked him out.
It took them two days to reach the outskirts of Mildendo, to the abode, which was assigned to Lemuel. This building used to be an ancient Temple, esteemed to be the largest in the whole kingdom, but having been polluted some years before by an Unnatural Murder, was - according to the zeal of those people - looked on as profane, and therefore had been applied to common use.
(When Lemuel told me this I asked him what was the difference between Natural and Unnatural Murder and he explained to me, that The Lilliputians considered Murder to be Natural when it was commissioned by the Emperor, and Unnatural when it was the idea of any other person. The first is praised as a Wise and Necessary Political Act, while the person who commits an Unnatural Murder is condemned by the Emperor to Death, which would then be considered a Natural Murder).
Luckily for Lemuel, the pollution of that ancient Temple coincided with his arrival and the Emperor decided to imprison him there. All the ornaments and furniture were carried away, to be used secularly by the Empress.
There was much debate about the form of Lemuel’s imprisonment (as he was later informed) since all Lilliputian prisons were mere iron cages, in which orange-clad prisoners would be held, awaiting justice to be done them (sometimes for years.) But as there was no cage big enough to hold Gulliver, and surely no way of sewing him the proper orange attire, the compromise was reached, to shackle him to the Temple.
When Lemuel mastered the Lilliputian language well enough to follow the street gossip, he overheard the bitter comment that ‘In Lilliput, the bigger you are, the more likely you are to get a better treatment, and the bigger criminal you are, the better the treatment.’ There was no denying it: the Temple was much better than an iron cage!
The great gate to the north was about four Feet high and almost two Feet wide, so Lemuel could bend and squeeze himself in through it. On each side of the gate was a small window not above six Inches from the ground. Into one of those windows the Emperor's smiths conveyed fifty-one chains, like those that hang to a lady's watch in Europe, and almost as large, and they were all locked to my poor Lemuel’s left leg, with thirty-six padlocks.
These chains were about two yards long, and gave him not only the liberty of walking backwards and forwards in a semicircle; but, being fixed within four Inches of the Gate, allowed him to creep in, and lie at his full length inside his Temple.
Lemuel used this very limited freedom of movement very civilly and sociably, intending to gain his freedom soon, by convincing the Lilliputians that he was harmless. Therefore, even though he was hard pressed to discharge himself, seeing that there were so many Lilliputians all around the Prison-Temple, (and being by nature a very shy person) Lemuel decided to get inside and discharge his body of that uneasy load in the privacy of his Prison-Temple.
This done, and the stench quite hard to bear, he hurried back out, only to face hundreds of excited Lilliputians, pressing onto the Temple’s windows and retreating in awe.
Some of the Lilliputians became quite enraged (Lemuel’s actions quite offended their remaining Religious Feelings as regards the Former-Temple) and some even shot some arrows at Lemuel, which he cleverly avoided.
The commotion was so loud, that soon the Emperor himself arrived, galloping hard and followed by numerous advisors. When the Emperor guided his horse nearer to Lemuel, the horse was so alarmed that he reared up on his hinder feet and nearly toppled the Emperor. But the Emperor, being an excellent horseman, kept his seat until his attendants ran in, and held the bridle, while the Emperor had time to dismount.
The Green and Red Hurgos, Bolgolam and Flimnap, rushed toward the Emperor (whose magnificent dress, by the way, consisted of numerous colours.) Flimnap, bobbing on his high heels, was not as fast as flat-shoed Bolgolam, who was quicker to reach the Emperor and to bow deeply, all the while talking excitedly. He seemed to be informing the Emperor about recent events, while trying to contradict Flimnap’s version. All the while, the emperor observed Lemuel all around, with great admiration, yet from a safe distance.
Lemuel bowed deeply, just as he saw the Hurgos do, and again, using his finest body language and the most polite words he could find in English, explained what he did inside the Temple, and why.
The Emperor pretended to understand every word, and he ordered the capture of the insolents that shot arrows at my Lemuel.
He commanded that they would be delivered bound to Lemuel’s hands. A number of soldiers pushed the criminals forwards with the butt-ends of their pikes into Lemuel’s reach, and obediently, he took them all in his right hand, put five of them into his coat-pocket; and as to the sixth, Lemuel was toying with the idea to eat him alive, but the poor man squalled terribly and shat in his pants, which disgusted Lemuel so much, that in revulsion he placed all six back on the ground, to everybody’s relief.
As a token of appreciation, and as punishment to the insolents, the Emperor gave them orders to clear Lemuel’s pile of excrement from the Prison-Temple (and spread it on the Emperor’s fields) so that Lemuel was able to sleep on a clean floor that night.
The news of Lemuel’s arrival spread quickly through the Kingdom, and it brought prodigious numbers of the rich, the idle, and plain curious people to see him. It was getting rather crowded and the Emperor, fearing that the villages would soon be emptied, with no one working in His Royal fields, was quick to provide several proclamations and orders of state, against this inconvenience
He directed that those who had already beheld Lemuel should return home, and not presume to come within fifty yards of his Prison-Temple without license from court; whereby the secretaries of state would get considerable fees.
So for now, Lemuel was left alone.
And as he stood there, chained to his Prison-Temple, he could not help admiring the view. The sun was setting behind Mildendo, the metropolis of Lilliput, painting its towers and domes deep, lush pink. In front of him, and on his right hand side, fields of miniature Zea maize, Triticum aestivum and Cannabaceae were stretching as far as he could see.
The fields were intermingled with woods, and the tallest trees, as he could judge, appeared to be seven foot high. He turned around and, leaning on the roof of his Prison-Temple, he saw the ocean in the distance. He saw the traces of the crude wagon which the Lilliputians built to transport him from whence they found him on the beach, and noticed the wide curve they took around a bump in the ground, which must have seemed to the Lilliputians as an insurmountable mountain, about one and a half feet tall.
This Lilliputian ‘mountain’ was indeed barren at the top, and Lemuel thought it must have once been a volcano, but with its mouth gaping wide and deep, it seemed dormant enough. Lemuel saw water flowing from the volcano’s slope, forming a little river that flowed into the ocean.
Sighing deeply, and determined to gain his freedom soon, Lemuel bent down and crept into his Prison-Temple. Despite the cumbersome 51 chains and 36 padlocks, he fell asleep immediately.