Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 3

Gulliver’s gentleness and good behavior has gained so far on the emperor and his Court, as well as the villagers and army. He believes he’ll get his freedom soon enough. The emperor decides to entertain him with shows, including a performance by Rope-Dancers, who are Lilliputians seeking employment in the government. Another diversion is three silken threads of different colors laid on a table. He then holds out a stick, and candidates are asked to leap over it or creep under it. Whoever shows the most dexterity wins one of the ribbons.

Gulliver builds a platform with sticks and a thin cloth for the Lilliputians to exercise on, and although the emperor enjoys this entertainment, it is cut short when a horse rips through the cloth. Gulliver decides that it is too dangerous for the little people to dance on.

Some Lilliputians discover Gulliver’s hat, which washed ashore after him, and he asks them to bring it back. Soon after, the emperor asks Gulliver to pose like a colossus, or giant statue, so that his troops might march under Gulliver.

Finally, Gulliver’s chains are removed when he agrees to help the Lilliputians in times of war, survey the land around them, help with construction, and deliver urgent messages.


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