PART III. A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, AND JAPAN.
6. CHAPTER VI.
This project could not be of any great expense to the public; and
might in my poor opinion, be of much use for the despatch of
business, in those countries where senates have any share in the
legislative power; beget unanimity, shorten debates, open a few
mouths which are now closed, and close many more which are now
open; curb the petulancy of the young, and correct the positiveness
of the old; rouse the stupid, and damp the pert.
Again: because it is a general complaint, that the favourites of
princes are troubled with short and weak memories; the same doctor
proposed, "that whoever attended a first minister, after having
told his business, with the utmost brevity and in the plainest
words, should, at his departure, give the said minister a tweak by
the nose, or a kick in the belly, or tread on his corns, or lug him
thrice by both ears, or run a pin into his breech; or pinch his arm
black and blue, to prevent forgetfulness; and at every levee day,
repeat the same operation, till the business were done, or
He likewise directed, "that every senator in the great council of a
nation, after he had delivered his opinion, and argued in the
defence of it, should be obliged to give his vote directly
contrary; because if that were done, the result would infallibly
terminate in the good of the public."
When parties in a state are violent, he offered a wonderful
contrivance to reconcile them. The method is this: You take a
hundred leaders of each party; you dispose them into couples of
such whose heads are nearest of a size; then let two nice operators
saw off the occiput of each couple at the same time, in such a
manner that the brain may be equally divided. Let the occiputs,
thus cut off, be interchanged, applying each to the head of his
opposite party-man. It seems indeed to be a work that requires
some exactness, but the professor assured us, "that if it were
dexterously performed, the cure would be infallible." For he
argued thus: "that the two half brains being left to debate the
matter between themselves within the space of one skull, would soon
come to a good understanding, and produce that moderation, as well
as regularity of thinking, so much to be wished for in the heads of
those, who imagine they come into the world only to watch and
govern its motion: and as to the difference of brains, in quantity
or quality, among those who are directors in faction, the doctor
assured us, from his own knowledge, that "it was a perfect trifle."