The Estibelobs

Literally — implorers; they evolved into the paynetakit.

The capitol building of Lilliput bears very little resemblance to the great buildings of Mildendo. It is, nevertheless, an architectural gem. It is a long low building of seven stories, sky blue in color, and topped by a magnificent silver dome beautifully fluted. In it are many offices of the central government and the meeting halls of the popweeze (the lower division of the tricamerate), the Scnakad (the middle division), and a smaller hall housing the paynetakit (the upper division). I learned the locations of these halls and of various other offices in the great building by a series of inquiries, observations, and examinations.

Now to acquaint the reader with some of the things I learned about the tricamerate. First, I looked in upon the popweeze through a skylight admirably suited to my needs. By aid of the same periscope which had theretofore served me so well in Lilliput, I was able to look down upon the several hundred dignitaries there assembled. When I first peered down upon the meeting, everything was quiet except for the droning voice of a speaker I could barely hear. The members were lounging about in various attitudes of silent inattention in their overstuffed seats, which ran in semi-circular rows around the hall in such a way as to face toward a dais at one end upon which were the speaker and several officers of the popweeze. Behind the speaker was a figure wearing a black mask and a wide flowing black robe. In his hands he bore a long pointed stick or pike with which, at irregular intervals, he prodded the speaker, using no little energy in the process. For a long time, as I viewed this strange procedure and strained my ears trying to understand what the popweezer was saying, I was unable to determine whether the queer figure in black was interfering with the speech or merely prompting or prodding the speaker on. At last it seemed that each time the figure in black performed the duty of his strange office, the voice of the speaker became somewhat louder and clearer, so it was a fair conjecture that the prodding was designed to help rather than to hinder. The black robed figure was a paynetakitor, or a member of the paynetakit, the third great division of the Lilliputian legislature. Paynetakitors spend nearly all of their time prodding popweezers and Scnakadors, such being the sole purpose for the existence of their office.

Originally, the paynetakit was not a branch of the tricamerate at all, and even now is not directly on the government payroll. Following the organization of the tricamerate (which was then called the dudecker — a word for which there is no English equivalent but meaning approximately — a place for big talk, there being some elusive connotations) after the successful revolt against the monarch, the paynetakit was unknown, but it came to pass that men wanting certain legislation passed would either go to the capitol or send someone to corner members of the legislature to implore them to pass legislation which the implorer thought would benefit their country or themselves. As time went on, more and more men imploring passage of laws found their way into Mildendo when the dudecker was in session, until each season saw swarms of them in the halls of the great capitol building. Popweezers and Scnakadors were buttonholed at every turn; some were threatened — one actually disappeared and was never heard from again.

Then came the great war of the estibelobs, as those numerous implorers at the capitol were called previous to their evolution into the modern paynetakit. Violent quarrels and bitter feuds broke out among the estibelobs. Men knifed and shot each other down on sight; blood flowed in the halls of the capitol; the business of the dudecker could not go on at all, such was the terrible tumult and strife going on in its very corridors. In some manner never explained, two or three Scnakadors, along with the Donkgop, managed to get into one of the offices of the capitol, whereupon it was there decided to call out the army to restore order among the estibelobs. But before the troops arrived, the tumultuous crowds had been warned of their coming. A convincing speaker had gained their attention and announced a plan for organizing the paynetakit into a well planned and powerful branch of the government, the plan had been adopted, and the corridors were deserted. From that day to this the paynetakit has maintained its vigorous control over the tricamerate, steadily wielding greater and greater power.

Oddly enough, with all the organized strength of the paynetakit, the individual members bitterly hate many of their fellow members; thus comes it that they wear black masks and black robes. They cannot recognize bodily and facial characteristics of enemies, so feuds and the venting of bitter hatreds are avoided. In some few matters wherein the paynetakitors are all agreed, they work in mighty concert, prodding the Scnakad and popweeze into action to the benefit of those whom the paynetakitors represent — who, by the way, I learned, were commercial firms, merchants, manufacturers, bankers, et cetera — in short, the wealthy class. Since the constituents of the paynetakitors have conflicting interests, their representatives naturally heat up at the point of friction.

About arthur.gulliver

Small circumstances can indeed, have prodigious effects upon the life of a man. When I look back over the events of my life and analyze the substance of those events, I am almost startled by the trivial things without which I should never have set out upon, nor experienced, some of the most interesting adventures that ever fell to the lot of man.
This entry was posted in Arthur C. Gulliver, Government, Politics, There's a New Shuffle in Lilliput and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.