PART III. A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, AND JAPAN.
5. CHAPTER V.
I was at the mathematical school, where the master taught his
pupils after a method scarce imaginable to us in Europe. The
proposition, and demonstration, were fairly written on a thin
wafer, with ink composed of a cephalic tincture. This, the student
was to swallow upon a fasting stomach, and for three days
following, eat nothing but bread and water. As the wafer digested,
the tincture mounted to his brain, bearing the proposition along
with it. But the success has not hitherto been answerable, partly
by some error in the quantum or composition, and partly by the
perverseness of lads, to whom this bolus is so nauseous, that they
generally steal aside, and discharge it upwards, before it can
operate; neither have they been yet persuaded to use so long an
abstinence, as the prescription requires.