286 GULLIVER'S TRAVELS
myself, as a maxim never to be swerved from, that I would strictly adhere to truth; neither, indeed, can 1 be ever under the least temptation to vary from it, while I retain in my mind the lectures and example of my noble master, and the other illustrious Houyhnhnms, of whom I had so long the honour to be an humble hearer.
-----Nee si miserum Fortuna Sinonem
Finxit, vanum etiam, mendacemque improba finget.
I know very well, how little reputation is to be got by writings which require neither genius nor learning, nor, indeed, any other talent except a good memory, or an exact journal. I know likewise, that writers of travels, like dictionary-makers, are sunk into oblivion by the weight and bulk of those who come last, and therefore lie uppermost. And it is highly probable that such travellers who shall hereafter visit the countries described in this work of mine, may, by detecting my errors (if there be any) and adding many new discoveries of their own, jostle me out of vogue, and stand in my place, making the world forget that I was ever an author. This indeed would be too great a mortification, if I wrote for fame: but, as my sole intention was the public good, I cannot be altogether disappointed. For who can read of the virtues I have mentioned in the glorious Houyhnhnms, without being ashamed of his own vices, when he considers himself as the reasoning, governing animal of his country? I shall say nothing of those remote nations where Yahoos preside; amongst which the least corrupted are the Brobdingnagians, whose wise maxims, in morality and government, it would be our happiness to observe. But I forbear descanting farther, and rather leave the judicious reader to his own remarks and applications.
I am not a little pleased that this work of mine can possibly meet with no censurers: for what objections can be made against a writer who relates only plain facts