Gulliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World
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Jonathan Swift's Famous Book, Illustrated By Arthur Rackham

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156             GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
neither sleep quietly in their beds, nor have any relish for the common pleasures or amusements of life. When they meet an acquaintance in the morning, the first question is about the sun's health, how he looked at his setting and rising, and what hopes they have to avoid the stroke of the approaching comet. This conversation they are apt to run into with the same temper that boys discover, in de­lighting to hear terrible stories of spirits and hobgoblins, which they greedily listen to, and dare not go to bed for fear.
The wives and daughters lament their confinement to the island, although I think it the most delicious spot of ground in the world; and although they live here in the greatest plenty and magnificence, and are allowed to do whatever they please, they long to see the world, and take the diversions of the metropolis, which they are not allowed to do without a particular licence from the king; and this is not easy to be obtained, because the people of quality have found by frequent experience how hard it is to per­suade their women to return from below.
In about a month's time, I had made a tolerable profi­ciency in their language, and was able to answer most of the king's questions, when I had the honour to attend him. His Majesty discovered not the least curiosity to enquire into the laws, government, history, religion, or manners of the countries where I had been, but confined his questions to the state of mathematics, and received the account I gave him with great contempt and indifference, though often roused by his flapper on each side.
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