PART III. A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, BALNIBARBI, LUGGNAGG, GLUBBDUBDRIB, AND JAPAN.
10. CHAPTER X.
[The Luggnaggians commended. A particular description of the
Struldbrugs, with many conversations between the author and some
eminent persons upon that subject.]
The Luggnaggians are a polite and generous people; and although
they are not without some share of that pride which is peculiar to
all Eastern countries, yet they show themselves courteous to
strangers, especially such who are countenanced by the court. I
had many acquaintance, and among persons of the best fashion; and
being always attended by my interpreter, the conversation we had
was not disagreeable.
One day, in much good company, I was asked by a person of quality,
"whether I had seen any of their struldbrugs, or immortals?" I
said, "I had not;" and desired he would explain to me "what he
meant by such an appellation, applied to a mortal creature." He
told me "that sometimes, though very rarely, a child happened to be
born in a family, with a red circular spot in the forehead,
directly over the left eyebrow, which was an infallible mark that
it should never die." The spot, as he described it, "was about the
compass of a silver threepence, but in the course of time grew
larger, and changed its colour; for at twelve years old it became
green, so continued till five and twenty, then turned to a deep
blue: at five and forty it grew coal black, and as large as an
English shilling; but never admitted any further alteration." He
said, "these births were so rare, that he did not believe there
could be above eleven hundred struldbrugs, of both sexes, in the
whole kingdom; of which he computed about fifty in the metropolis,
and, among the rest, a young girl born; about three years ago:
that these productions were not peculiar to any family, but a mere
effect of chance; and the children of the struldbrugs themselves
were equally mortal with the rest of the people."