Gulliver's Travels

bring out the humor in the description of how the farmer examined the purse of gold?

gulliver's travels

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The farmer had absolutely no idea what the gold was..... thus, we can assume that money had no value to him. As large as he was, the farmer had to examine the gold closely with his eye, push it around with a pin to examine it (think about holding grains of sand in the palm of your hand), and finally he tried to taste it. When he saw it was nothing of value to him.... he gave it back.

"...I took a purse of gold out of my pocket, and humbly presented it to him. He received it on the palm of his hand, then applied it close to his eye to see what it was, and afterwards turned it several times with the point of a pin (which he took out of his sleeve,) but could make nothing of it. Whereupon I made a sign that he should place his hand on the ground. I then took the purse, and, opening it, poured all the gold into his palm. There were six Spanish pieces

of four pistoles each, beside twenty or thirty smaller coins. I saw him wet the tip of his little finger upon his tongue, and take up one of my largest pieces, and then another; but he seemed to be wholly ignorant what they were. He made me a sign to put them again into my purse, and the purse again into my pocket, which, after offering it to him several times, I thought it best to do."


Gulliver's Travels