The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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823
A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT
all the people of the empire who would not immediately consent to break their eggs at the smaller end. And that, like a false traitor to his Most Serene Majesty, you excused yourself from the service on pretence of unwillingness to force the consciences and destroy the liberties and lives of an innocent people.
' Again, when ambassadors arrived from the Court of Blefuscu, like a false traitor, you aided and entertained them, though you knew them to be servants of a prince lately in open war against his Imperial Majesty.
' Moreover, you are now preparing, contrary to the duty of a faithful subject, to voyage to the Court of Blefuscu.
' In the debate on this charge,' my friend continued, ' his Majesty often urged the services you had done him, while the admiral and treasurer insisted that you should be put to a shameful death. But Keldresal, secretary for private affairs, who has always proved himself your friend, suggested that if his Majesty would please to spare your life and only give orders to put out both your eyes, justice might in some measure be satisfied. At this Bolgolam rose up in fury, wondering how the secretary dared desire to preserve the life of a traitor ; and the treasurer, pointing out the expense of keeping you, also urged your death. But his Majesty was graciously pleased to say that since the council thought the loss of your eyes too easy a punishment, some other might afterwards be inflicted. And the secretary, humbly desiring to be heard again, said that as to expense your allowance might be gradually lessened, so that, for want of sufficient food you should grow weak and faint, and die in a few months, when his Majesty's subjects might cut your flesh from your bones and bury it, leaving the skeleton for the admiration of posterity.
' Thus, through the great friendship of the secretary, the affair was arranged. It was commanded that the plan of starving j'ou by degrees should be kept a secret; but the sentence of putting out your eyes was entered on the books. In three days your friend the secretary will come to your house and read the accusation before you, and point out the great mercy of his Majesty, that only con­demns you to the loss of your eyes—which, he does not doubt, you will submit to humbly and gratefully. Twenty of his Majesty's surgeons will attend, to see the operation well performed, by dis­charging very sharp-pointed arrows into the balls of your eyes as you he on the ground.
' I leave you,' said my friend, ' to consider what measures you
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