Various Diversions Practiced in Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels

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Describe the various diversions practiced in Lilliput.

      Some diversions were only practiced by those persons who were candidates for great employments and high favor at court. One of these was the rope-dance, performed upon a slender, white thread, extended about 2 feet and 12 inches from the ground. They were trained in this art from their youth, and were not always of noble birth or liberal education. When a great office was vacant, either by death or disgrace (which often happened), five or six of those candidates petitioned the emperor to entertain him and the court with a dance on the rope, and whoever jumped the highest without falling succeeded in the office. Very often the chief ministers themselves were commanded to show their skill, and to convince the emperor that they had not lost their faculty. There was another diversion, which was only shown before the emperor and empress and first minister upon particular occasions. The emperor lay on the table three fine silken threads of six inches long; one blue, the other red, and the third green. These threads were proposed as prizes for those persons whom the emperor had a mind to distinguish by a peculiar mark of his favor.

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