part I of Gulliver's Travels
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His imperial majesty thought the death penalty too strict for Gulliver, whereas the council believed blinding him too lenient. It was agreed that starving him would be appropriate and more merciful for both Gulliver and the people who'd need to dispose of the body. Starvation, it was said, would make Gulliver weak and faint, unaware of what was happening.... and after his death, the people would only have to remove the decaying flesh of a much smaller body.