Gulliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World
online book

Jonathan Swift's Famous Book, Illustrated By Arthur Rackham

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

CHAPTER III
I desired leave of this prince to see the curiosities of the island, which he was graciously pleased to grant, and ordered my tutor to attend me. I chiefly wanted to know to what cause in art, or in Nature, it owed its several motions, whereof I will now give a philosophical account to the reader.
The flying or floating island is exactly circular, its diameter 7837 yards, or about four miles and a half, and consequently contains ten thousand acres. It is three hundred yards thick. The bottom, or under surface, which appears to those who view it from below, is one even regular plate of adamant, shooting up to the height of about two hundred yards. Above it lie the several minerals in their usual order, and over all is a coat of rich mould, ten or twelve feet deep. The declivity of the upper surface, from the circumference to the centre, is the natural cause why all the dews and rains which fall upon the island are conveyed in small rivulets towards the middle, where they are emptied into four large basins, each of about half a mile in circuit, and two hundred yards distant from the centre. From these basins, the water is continually ex­haled by the sun in the daytime, which effectually prevents their overflowing. Besides, as it is in the power of the monarch to raise the island above the region of clouds and vapours, he can prevent the falling of dews and rains when­ever he pleases. For the highest clouds cannot rise above two miles, as naturalists agree; at least they were never known to do so in that country.
At the centre of the island there is a chasm about fifty yards in diameter, from whence the astronomers descend
i57
Previous Contents Next