A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, Etc. 167
present mode, destroy all his plantations, and cast others into such a form as modern usage required; and give the same directions to all his tenants, unless he would submit to incur the censure of pride, singularity, affectation, ignorance, caprice, and, perhaps, increase his Majesty's displeasure. That the admiration I appeared to be under would cease, or diminish, when he had informed me of some particulars, which probably I never heard of at Court, the people there being too much taken up in their own speculations to have regard to what passed here below.
The sum of his discourse was to this effect: that, about forty years ago, certain persons went up to Laputa, either upon business or diversion, and after five months' continuance, came back with a very little smattering in mathematics, but full of volatile spirits, acquired in that airy region. That these persons, upon their return, began to dislike the management of everything below, and fell into schemes of putting all arts, sciences, languages, and mechanics upon a new foot. To this end they procured a royal patent for erecting an academy of projectors in Lagado; and the humour prevailed so strongly among the people that there is not a town of any consequence in the kingdom without such an academy. In these colleges, the professors contrive new rules and methods of agriculture and building, and new instruments and tools for all trades and manufactures, whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten, a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last for ever, without repairing; all the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season we think fit to choose, and increase an hundred fold more than they do at present; with innumerable other happy proposals. The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection; and, in the meantime, the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times