Chapter 6 Summary

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Faintly Macabre’s Story

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This is the story Faintly Macabre tells Milo and Tock. The land is a barren and frightening wilderness, and evil creatures roam freely in this land, called Null. One day a small ship appears on the Sea of Knowledge; it is a prince, and he claims the land in the name of goodness and truth. When he begins to explore the country, the demons, monsters, and giants work together to drive away the prince.

There is a great battle, and all that remains for the prince in the end is a “small piece of land at the edge of the sea”; nevertheless, he builds his city here. Soon ships arrive with more settlers, and over time, the borders of the city expand. Though it is attacked every day, the prince’s city cannot be destroyed. Soon it grows from a small city into a kingdom, the kingdom of Wisdom.

It is dangerous outside the walls, and the new king is determined to take back the land that is rightfully his. Every spring he takes his army to battle, and each autumn he returns; his kingdom grows larger and more prosperous each year. He now has a wife and two young sons, to whom he teaches all his wisdom for the day they will rule. When the boys are young men, the king sends them out to expand the kingdom and establish new cities in the wilderness, for the kingdom of Wisdom must grow.

One son goes south to the Foothills of Confusion and builds Dictionopolis, the city of words; the other goes north to the Mountains of Ignorance and founds Digitopolis, the city of numbers. Both cities prosper and the enemy is driven even farther back; new cities and towns are founded. Now the evil creatures are relegated to the farthest reaches of the country, waiting to strike any who venture near them.

The brothers are suspicious and jealous; since each of them strives to best the other, soon their cities rival Wisdom “in size and grandeur.” One is certain numbers are more important than wisdom; the other is certain words are the most important. Their animosity grows, but the king is unaware of it. He is old now, and he spends his days walking and thinking in his royal gardens. His only regret is that he had no daughters, but one day, he finds two tiny baby girls who had been abandoned in the grape arbor. They become the Princess of Sweet Rhyme and the Princess of Pure Reason.

When the king dies, his kingdom is divided between his sons, and they are now responsible for the young princesses. One son becomes Azaz the Unabridged; the other becomes Mathmagician, ruler of Digitopolis. They provide well for the young...

(The entire section contains 708 words.)

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