A VOYAGE TO LILL1PUT 15
have ensued, if his Imperial Majesty had not provided, by several proclamations and orders of State, against this in-conveniency. He directed that those who had already beheld me should return home, and not presume to come within fifty yards of my house, without licence from court; whereby the Secretaries of State got considerable fees.
In the meantime, the Emperor had frequent councils, to debate what course should be taken with me; and, I was afterwards assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was looked upon to be as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties concerning me. They apprehended my breaking loose, that my diet would be very expensive, and might cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to starve me, or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which would soon despatch me; but again they considered, that the stench of so large a carcase might produce a plague in the metropolis, and probably spread through the whole kingdom. In the midst of these consultations, several officers of the army went to the door of the great council chamber, and two of them, being admitted, gave an account of my behaviour to the six criminals above mentioned, which made so favourable an impression in the breast of his Majesty, and the whole board, in my behalf, that an Imperial Commission was issued out, obliging all the villages, nine hundred yards round the city, to deliver in every morning six beeves, forty sheep, and other victuals, for my sustenance; together with a proportionable quantity of bread, and wine, and other liquors; for the due payment of which, his Majesty gave assignments upon his treasury. For this prince fives chiefly upon his own demesnes, seldom, except upon great occasions, raising any subsidies upon his subjects, who are bound to attend him in his wars, at their own expense. An establishment was also made of six hundred persons to be my domestics, who had board wages allowed for their