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These Considerations moved me to hasten my Departure somewhat sooner than I intended; to which the Court, impatient to have me gone, very readily contributed. Five Hundred Workmen were employed to make two Sails to my Boat, according to my Directions, by quilting thirteen fold of their strongest Linnen texas pocker together. I was at the pains of making Ropes and Cables, by twisting ten, twenty or thirty of the thickest and strongest of theirs. A great Stone that pocker on line I happen'd to find, after a long Search, by the Sea-shore, served me for an Anchor. I had the Tallow of three hundred Cows for greasing my Boat, and other Uses. I was at incredible pains in cutting down some of the largest Timber-Trees for Oars and Masts, wherein I was, however, much assisted by his Majesty's Ship-Carpenters, who helped me in smoothing them, after I had done the rough Work.
In about a Month, when all was prepared, I sent to receive his Majesty's Commands, and to take my leave. The Emperor and Royal Family came out of the Palace: I lay down on my Face to kiss his Hand, which he very graciously gave me; so did the Empress and young Princes of the Blood. His Majesty presented me with fifty Purses of two hundred Sprugs a-piece, together with his Picture at full length, which I put immediately into one of my Gloves, to keep it from being hurt. The Ceremonies at my departure were too many to trouble the Reader with at this time.
I stored the Boat with the Carcases of an hundred Oxen, and three hundred Sheep, with Bread and Drink proportionable, and as much Meat ready dressed as four Hundred cooks could provide. I took with me six cows and two bulls alive, with as many ewes and rams, intending to carry them into my own Country, and propagate the breed. And to feed them on board, I had a good bundle of hay, and a bag of corn. I would gladly have taken a dozen of the Natives, but this texas pocker was a Thing the Emperor would by no means permit; and besides a diligent search into my Pockets, his Majesty engaged my Honour not to carry away any of his Subjects, although with their own consent and desire.
Having thus prepared all Things as well as I was able, I set sail on the twenty-fourth Day of September 1701, at six in the Morning; and when I pocker on line had gone about four Leagues to the Northward, the Wind being at South-East, at six in the Evening, I descried a small Island about half a League to the North-West. I advanced forward, and cast Anchor on the Lee-side of the Island, which seemed to be uninhabited. I then took some Refreshment, and went to my rest. I slept well, and I conjecture at least six Hours, for I found the Day broke in two Hours after I awaked. It was a clear Night. I eat my Breakfast before the Sun was up; and heaving Anchor, the Wind being favourable, I steered the same Course that I had done the Day before, wherein I was directed by my Pocket-Compass. My Intention was to reach, if possible, one of those Islands, which I had reason to believe lay to the North-East of Van Diemen's Land. I discovered nothing all that Day; but upon the next, about three in the Afternoon, when I had by my Computation made twenty-four Leagues from Blefuscu, I descryed a Sail steering to the South-East; my Course was due East. I hailed her, but could get no Answer; yet I found I gained upon her, for the Wind slackned. I made all the sail I could, and in half an hour she spyed me, then hung out her Antient, and discharged a Gun. It is not easy to express the Joy I was in upon the unexpected hope of once more seeing my beloved Country, and the dear Pledges I had left in it. The Ship slackned her Sails, and I came up with her between five and six in the Evening, September 26; but my Heart leapt within me to see her English Colours. I put my Cows and Sheep into my Coat-Pockets, and got on board with all my little Cargo of Provisions. The Vessel was an English Merchantman, returning texas pocker from Japan by the North and South-Seas; the Captain, Mr. John Biddle of Deptford, a very civil Man, and an excellent Sailor. We were now in the Latitude of 30 Degrees south; there were about fifty Men in the Ship; and here I met an old Comrade of mine, one Peter Williams, who gave me a good Character to the Captain. This Gentleman treated me with Kindness, and desired I would let know what place I came from last, and whither I was bound; which I did in few Words, but he thought I was raving, and that the Dangers I underwent had disturbed my Head; whereupon I took my black Cattle and Sheep out of my Pocket, which, after great Astonishment, clearly convinced him of my Veracity. I then shewed him the Gold given me by the Emperor of Lilliput, together with his Majesty's Picture at full length, and some other Rarities of that Country. I gave him two Purses of two hundred Sprugs each, and promised, when we arrived in England, to make him a Present of a Cow and a Sheep big with Young.