A VOYAGE TO LAPUTA, Etc. 185
astonishment, they vanished in an instant, like visions in a dream, when we awake on a sudden. I could not recover myself in some time, till the governor assured me that I should receive no hurt; and observing my two companions to be under no concern, who had been often entertained in the same manner, I began to take courage, and related to his highness a short history of my several adventures; yet not without some hesitation, and frequently looking behind me, to the place where I had seen those domestic spectres. I had the honour to dine with the governor, where a new set of ghosts served up the meat, and waited at table. I now observed myself to be less terrified than I had been in the morning. I stayed till sun-set, but humbly desired his highness to excuse me for not accepting his invitation of lodging in the palace. My two friends and I lay at a private house in the town adjoining, which is the capital of this little island; and the next morning we returned to pay our duty to the governor, as he was pleased to command us.
After this manner we continued in the island for ten days, most part of every day with the governor, and at night in our lodging. I soon grew so familiarised to the sight of spirits, that, after the third or fourth time, they gave me no emotion at all; or, if I had any apprehensions left, my curiosity prevailed over them. For his highness the governor ordered me to call up whatever persons I would choose to name, and in whatever numbers, among all the dead, from the beginning of the world to this present time, and command them to answer any questions I should think fit to ask; with this condition, that my questions must be confined within the compass of the times they lived in. And one thing I might depend upon, that they would certainly tell me the truth, for lying was a talent of no use in the lower world.
I made my humble acknowledgments to his highness for so great a favour. We were in a chamber from whence