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Summary: Chapter VI

He said, he knew no Reason, why those who entertain Opinions prejudicial to the Publick, should be obliged to change, or should not be obliged to conceal them.

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Gulliver makes himself a comb from the stumps of hair left after the king has been shaved. He also collects hairs from the king and uses them to weave the backs of two small chairs, which he gives to the queen as curiosities. Gulliver is brought to a musical performance, but it is so loud that he can hardly make it out. Gulliver decides to play the spinet for the royal family, but must contrive a novel way to do it, since the instrument is so big. He uses large sticks and runs over the keyboard with them, but he can still strike only sixteen keys.

Thinking that the king has unjustly come to regard England as insignificant and laughable, Gulliver tries to tell him more about England, describing the government and culture there. The king asks many questions and is particularly struck by the violence of the history Gulliver describes. He then takes Gulliver into his hand and, explaining that he finds the world that Gulliver describes to be ridiculous, contemptuous, and strange, tells him that he concludes that most Englishmen sound like “odious Vermin.”

I cannot but conclude the Bulk of your Natives, to be the most pernicious Race of little odious Vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the Surface of the Earth.

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Summary: Chapter VII

Gulliver is disturbed by the king’s evaluation of England. He tries to tell him about gunpowder, describing it as a great invention and offering it to the king as a gesture of friendship. The king is appalled by the proposal, and Gulliver is taken aback, thinking that the king has refused a great opportunity. He thinks that the king is unnecessarily scrupulous and narrow-minded for not being more open to the inventions of Gulliver’s world.

Gulliver finds the people of Brobdingnag in general to be ignorant and poorly educated. Their laws are not allowed to exceed in words the number of letters in their alphabet, and no arguments may be written about them. They know the art of printing but do not have many books, and their writing is simple and straightforward. One text describes the insignificance and weakness of Brobdingnagians and even argues that at one point they must have been much larger.

Summary: Chapter VIII

Gulliver wants to recover his freedom. The king orders any small ship to be brought to the city, hoping that they might find a woman with whom Gulliver can propagate. Gulliver fears that any offspring thus produced would be kept in cages or given to the nobility as pets. He has been in Brobdingnag for two years and wants to be among his own kind again.

Gulliver is taken to the south coast, and both Glumdalclitch and Gulliver fall ill. Gulliver says that he wants fresh air, and a page carries him out to the shore in his traveling-box. He asks to be left to sleep in his hammock, and the boy wanders off. An eagle grabs hold of Gulliver’s box and flies off with him, and then suddenly Gulliver feels himself falling and lands in the water. He worries that he will drown or starve to death, but then feels the box being pulled. He hears a voice telling him that his box is tied to a ship and that a carpenter will come to drill a hole in the top. Gulliver says that they can simply use a finger to pry it open, and he hears laughter. He realizes that he is speaking to people of his own height and climbs a ladder out of his box and onto their ship.