What According to Lord Munodi Happened Forty Years Ago?

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      About forty years ago certain persons went up to Laputa, and after five months came back with a smattering of mathematics acquired in that airy region. These persons, upon their return, began to dislike the management of everything below, and fell into schemes of putting all arts, sciences, languages, and mechanics upon a new foot. To this end they procured a royal patent for erecting an academy of projectors in Lagado. In these colleges, the professors contrived new rules and methods of agriculture and building, and new instruments and tools for all trades and manufactures, whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten, a palace may be built in a week of materials so durable as to last forever without repairing; all the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season they think fit to choose, and increase a hundredfold more than they do at present; with innumerable other happy proposals. The only inconvenience was that none of those projects could be brought to perfection; and, in the meantime, the whole country suffered miserably, with the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they were fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair.

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