Gulliver's Travels: Part 3, Chapter 8 - Summary

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SUMMARY

      The author desires to meet the ancient scholars and therefore wishes to call Homer and Aristotle. The author introduces the spirits of Didymus and Eustathius to them and pleads to treat them better than they deserved. When both Aristotle and Homer ask for the spirit of a genius, the author recommends Scotus and Ramus whom they both discard by calling them, dunces. Descartes and Gassendi, when called by the governor, too, acknowledge their own mistakes in natural philosophy. After meeting several spirits of ancient learners and Roman Emperors, the author wishes to see some of the modern dead who had earned great fame. For this, he desires the governor to call one or two dozen kings with their eight or nine generations. But to his disappointment, he sees barbers, fiddlers, unscrupulous courtiers, abbots, prelates and cardinals along with some pure royal descendants. This enables the author to discover the true reason behind the growing discrepancies in the royal families.

      Next, the author criticizes those prostitute historians and writers who, for the sake of gold, wine and woman, mislead the world by writing wrong history and showing corrupts and cowards as heroes and true heroes and martyrs as villains. The author also throws light on the strong influence of the mean and corrupt upon those who take crucial decisions for mankind.

      Later on, the author desires to know how a great number of officers and lords had managed to obtain high titles of honor and huge estates in the very modern period. The spirits of some concerned persons are called up. The author is told that some of them owe their greatness and wealth to vice and sodomy while some others confess that they prostituted their own wives and daughters. Some reveal that they betrayed their country; perverted justice, destroyed innocents and poisoned the prince. When the author wishes to see those who had done some great services to princes and whose names he had often read, he is puzzled to know that their names are nowhere in the records of the lower world. On the contrary, those whom history had presented as traitors are the people who really sacrificed their lives for their princes and states. After taking to several such spirits the author realizes how much the human race has degenerated in the past few hundred years.

      Finally, the author wishes to call the spirits of some English yeomen of the older kind who were famous for their simplicity honesty, valor and love for their country. The author winds up the discussion with a deep concern over corrupt politicians and the greedy voters who sell their votes to corrupt and immoral representatives.

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