page 33 , book gullivers travels
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The emperor entertains Gulliver by showing him a tradition of the court in which candidates for an open position of honor compete by walking to the middle of a string or tight-rope that is suspended two-and-a-half feet above the ground. They jump as high as they are able. "Whoever jumps the highest without falling succeeds in the Office." Gulliver tells the reader that very often these competitors are injured or fall to their death.