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My father had a small Estate in Nottinghamshire; I was the Third of five Sons. He sent me to Emanuel-College in Cambridge,* at Fourteen* Years old, where I resided three Years, and applied my self close to my Studies: But the Charge of maintaining me (although I had a very scanty Allowance) being too great for a narrow Fortune; I was bound Apprentice to Mr James Bates, an eminent Surgeon in London,

Dose here "bound" is an adjective? and does the phrase mean: Because I did n't have enough money to continue my studies I had to work as an apprentice to Mr James Bates?

Source: Gulliver Travels

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  • It is Gulliver, not Galliver.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 17:21

2 Answers 2

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"Bound Apprentice" is a legal term of art for an indentured servant. What this passage is saying is Gulliver's father could not afford to keep him in college, so Gulliver signed a contract (or perhaps his father did) to work for a surgeon in exchange for room, board and job training.

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  • @JamesK, I followed the spelling of Gulliver from OP's citation.
    – Ron Jensen
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 16:33
  • I've commented also on the OP's misspelling.
    – James K
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 17:21
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'bound' is not an adjective here; it is a past participle. A legal agreement 'binds' the parties'. If you are subject to such an agreement then you are 'bound'. The 'term of art', as @RonJensen identifies it, is that one is 'bound apprentice' rather than 'bound as an apprentice'.

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