PART III. A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, AND JAPAN.
1. CHAPTER I.
The natural love of life gave me some inward motion of joy, and I
was ready to entertain a hope that this adventure might, some way
or other, help to deliver me from the desolate place and condition
I was in. But at the same time the reader can hardly conceive my
astonishment, to behold an island in the air, inhabited by men, who
were able (as it should seem) to raise or sink, or put it into
progressive motion, as they pleased. But not being at that time in
a disposition to philosophise upon this phenomenon, I rather chose
to observe what course the island would take, because it seemed for
awhile to stand still. Yet soon after, it advanced nearer, and I
could see the sides of it encompassed with several gradations of
galleries, and stairs, at certain intervals, to descend from one to
the other. In the lowest gallery, I beheld some people fishing
with long angling rods, and others looking on. I waved my cap (for
my hat was long since worn out) and my handkerchief toward the
island; and upon its nearer approach, I called and shouted with the
utmost strength of my voice; and then looking circumspectly, I
beheld a crowd gather to that side which was most in my view. I
found by their pointing towards me and to each other, that they
plainly discovered me, although they made no return to my shouting.
But I could see four or five men running in great haste, up the
stairs, to the top of the island, who then disappeared. I happened
rightly to conjecture, that these were sent for orders to some
person in authority upon this occasion.
The number of people increased, and, in less than half all hour,
the island was moved and raised in such a manner, that the lowest
gallery appeared in a parallel of less then a hundred yards
distance from the height where I stood. I then put myself in the
most supplicating posture, and spoke in the humblest accent, but
received no answer. Those who stood nearest over against me,
seemed to be persons of distinction, as I supposed by their habit.
They conferred earnestly with each other, looking often upon me.
At length one of them called out in a clear, polite, smooth
dialect, not unlike in sound to the Italian: and therefore I
returned an answer in that language, hoping at least that the
cadence might be more agreeable to his ears. Although neither of
us understood the other, yet my meaning was easily known, for the
people saw the distress I was in.