A VOYAGE TO LILLIPUT 55
into the same opinion; so that for a long time there was a majority against you: but his Majesty resolving, if possible, to spare your life, at last brought off the chamberlain.
" Upon this incident, Reldresal, principal secretary for private affairs, who always approved himself your true friend, was commanded by the Emperor to deliver his opinion, which he accordingly did: and therein justified the good thoughts you have of him. He allowed your crimes to be great, but that still there was room for mercy, the most commendable virtue in a prince, and for which his Majesty was so justly celebrated. He said the friendship between you and him was so well known to the world, that perhaps the most honourable board might think him partial. However, in obedience to the command he had received, he would freely offer his sentiments. That if his Majesty, in consideration of your services, and pursuant to his own merciful disposition, would please to spare your life, and only give order to put out both your eyes, he humbly conceived, that, by this expedient, justice might in some measure be satisfied, and all the world would applaud the lenity of the Emperor, as well as the fair and generous proceedings of those who have the honour to be his counsellors. That the loss of your eyes would be no impediment to your bodily strength, by which you might still be useful to his Majesty. That blindness is an addition to courage, by concealing dangers from us; that the fear you had for your eyes was the greatest difficulty in bringing over the enemy's fleet, and it would be sufficient for you to see by the eyes of the ministers, since the greatest princes do no more.
" This proposal was received with the utmost disapprobation by the whole board. Bolgolam, the admiral, could not preserve his temper; but, rising up in fury, said, he wondered how the secretary durst presume to give his opinion for preserving the life of a traitor: that the services you had performed were, by all true reasons of state, the