Gulliver’s Travels: Part 1, Chapter 5

Gulliver spies on the empire of Blefuscu, and then he devises a plan to catch their ships at port with cables. Frightened, the people aboard swim back to shore while Gulliver tries to unanchor the ships. They are too buried for him to yank, so he just cuts the wires from the ships and pulls them to the shores of Lilliput.

Gulliver is greeted as a hero when he comes back. The emperor asks him to go back to retrieve the other ships, intending to destroy Blefuscu’s military strength and make it a province in his empire. Gulliver says he won’t because he won’t promote slavery or violence. This position causes great disagreement in the government, with some officials turning staunchly against Gulliver and calling for his destruction.

Three weeks later, a delegation arrives from Blefuscu, and the war ends with Blefuscu’s surrender. The Blefuscu delegates are privately told of Gulliver’s kindness toward the Lilliputians, and they ask him to visit their kingdom. He wishes to do so, and the emperor reluctantly allows it.

As a Nardac, or person of high rank, Gulliver no longer has to perform all the duties laid down in his contract. He does, however, have the opportunity to help the Lilliputians when the emperor’s wife’s room catches fire. He forgets his coat and cannot put the flames out with his clothing, so instead he thinks of a new plan: he urinates on the palace, putting out the fire entirely. He worries afterward that since the act of public urination is a crime in Lilliput he will be prosecuted, but the emperor tells him he will be pardoned. He is told, however, that the emperor’s wife can no longer tolerate living in her rescued quarters.


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