Essays on Swift and his Contemporaries in Honour of Hermann J. Real
Edited By Kirsten Juhas, Patrick Müller and Mascha Hansen
V. GULLIVER’S TRAVELS
V.GULLIVER’S TRAVELS GULLIVER’S TRAVAILS: LABOUR AND SELF-LOATHING IN SEVERAL REMOTE NATIONS OF THE WORLD Allan Ingram, University of Northumbria, Newcastle When in 1727, a year after the publication of Gulliver’s Travels, Swift’s first publisher, Benjamin Motte, brought out the official second edition, he prefixed to it “Several Copies of Verses Explanatory and Commendatory.”1 There are five poems, previously thought to be by several hands, but now widely accepted as being either wholly or mainly by Pope.2 One in particular, “Mary Gulliver to Captain Lemuel Gulliver,” points to something close to the heart of Gulliver’s Travels, the issue of Gulliver’s relations with his family and especially with his wife, not least after his return from his fourth voyage. The burden of Mary’s epistle, in short, is to lament his long absences, her thankless and faithful waiting with their children, and, finally, his refusal to come near her now that he is at last home for good: My Bed, (the Scene of all our former Joys, Witness two lovely Girls, two lovely Boys) Alone I press; in Dreams I call my Dear, I stretch my Hand, no Gulliver is there! I wake, I rise, and shiv’ring with the Frost, Search all the House: my Gulliver is lost! Forth in the Street I rush with frantic Cries: The Windows open; all the Neighbours rise: Where sleeps my Gulliver? O tell me where? The Neighbours answer, With the Sorrel Mare.3 She proceeds to detail key moments in Gulliver’s four travels, with minute armies...
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