Gulliver meets the emperor in November of 1699 after his ship was destroyed and he surfaced in Lilliput. Lilliput was inhabited by tiny creatures in contrast to Gulliver's height. They do not speak the same language, and are each wary of each other.
The Lilliputians see Gulliver as a threat, and tie him up to avoid any problems. At first, the society does not want to put the emperor in harm's way, so he keeps his distance. After a time, they finally are able to meet one on one, although it is difficult because mutual communication is not available.