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Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 2 Chapter 6

Summary of Gulliver’s Travels Part 2 Chapter 6

Several contrivances of the narrator please the king and queen. He shows his skill in music. The king inquires into the state of England, which the narrator narrates to him.

Gulliver made himself a comb from the stumps of hair left after the king had been shaved. He used strands of the queen’s hair to make several chairs similar to English cane-backed chairs, which he gave to the queen as souvenirs, and a purse that he gave to Glumdalclitch.

The king delighted in music and had frequent concerts at court. Gulliver was sometimes carried, and set in his box on a table to hear them. But the music was so loud that he could hardly distinguish the tunes. Gulliver decided to play the piano for the royal family, but he had to contrive a novel way to do it, since the instrument was so big. He used large sticks and ran over the keyboard with them, but he could still strike only sixteen keys.

The king also held several audiences with Gulliver to discuss the culture of Gulliver’s home country, England. In these audiences, as requested by the King, Gulliver explained the role of the people in the operation of the government, in religion, and in the legal system, among other topics. The king asked many questions and was horrified. He couldn’t understand the English system of taxation, and suggested that Gulliver’s figures were all wrong, for the country seemed headed for bankruptcy. Deficit spending made no sense at all to the king. Neither did having colonies, unless it was for purposes of self-protection. He was also mystified by England’s having a standing army in peacetime. He was astonished that religious differences give rise to problems.

And gambling-what a crazy pastime! He was particularly struck by the violence of the history Gulliver described. He then took Gulliver into his hand and, explaining that he found the world that Gulliver described to be ridiculous, contemptuous, and strange, told him that he concluded that most Englishmen sounded like ‘the most pernicious race of little odious vermin that nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth’ who indulged in conspiracies, rebellions, murders, massacres, revolutions, banishments, the very worst effects that avarice, faction, hypocrisy, perfidiousness, cruelty, rage, madness, hatred, envy, lust, malice, or ambition could produce.