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he came, I was fast asleep, my clothes' fallen off on one side, and my shirt above waist. I awaked at the noise he made, and observed him to deliver his message in some disorder ; after which he werit to my master, and in a great fright gave him a very
confused account of what he had seen : this - I pre'sently discovered.; for going as soon as I was dressed -to pay my attendance upon his honour, he asked me · the meaning of what his servant had reported ; that I was not the same thing when I slept, as I appeared to be at other times ; that his valet assured him, some part of me was white, some yellow, at least not so white, and some brown
... ... I had hitherto concealed the secret of my dress, in order to distinguith myself, as much as possible, from that cursed race' of yahoos; but now I found it in vain to do so any longer. Besides, I considered that my
clothes and shoes would soon wear out, which already were in a declining condition, and must be supplied by some contrivance from the hides of yahoos, or other brutes ; whereby the whole secret would be known: I therefore told my master, that in the country whence I came, those of always covered their bodies with the hairs of certain animals prepared by art, as well for decency, as to avoid the inclemencies of air, both hot and cold ; of which, as to my own person, I would give him immediate conviction, if he pleased to command me; only desiring his excuse, if I did not expose those parts that nature taught us to conceal. my discourse was all very strange, but especially the last part ; for he could not understand, why nature should teach us to conceal what nature had given : that neither himself nor fainily were ashamed of any
He said, parts of their bodies'; 'but however, I might do as I pleased. Whereupon I first unbuttoned my coat, and pulled it off. ' I did the same with my waistcoat ;' I drew off my shoes, stockings, and breeches. I let my shirt down to my waist, and drew up CHAP. IV.
the bottom, fastening it like a girdle about my middle, to hide my nakedness. 1,
My master observed the whole performance with great isigns of curiosity and admiration. He took up all my clothes in his pastern, one piece after another, and examined them diligently; he then stroked my body very gently, and looked round me several times ; after which, he said, it was plain I must be a perfect yahoo ; but that I differed very much from the rest of my species, in the softness, whiteness, and smoothness of my skin ; my want of hair in several parts of my body; the shape and shortness of
claws behind and before ; and my affectation of walking continually 'on my two hinder feet. He desired to see no more ; and gave me leave to put on my clothes again, for I was shudderingwith cold.
I expressed my uneasiness at his giving me so often the appellation of yahoo, an odious animal, for which I had so utter a hatred and contempt: I begged he would forbear applying that word to me, and take: the same order in his family, and among his friendswhom he suffered to see me. I requested likewise, that the secret of my having a false covering to my body, might be known to none but himself, at least as long as my present clothing should last; for as to what the sorrel nag his valet had observed, his. honour might command him to conceal it. All this my master very graciously consented to,
and thus the secret was kept till my clothes began to wear out, which I was forced to supply by several contrivances, that shall hereafter be mentioned. In the mean time, he desired I would go on with my utmoșt diligence to learn their language, because he was more astonished at my capacity for speech and reason, than at the figure of my body, whether it were covered or not; adding, that he waited with some impatience to hear the wonders, which I
promised to tell him.
Thenceforward, he doubled the pains he had been at to instruct me ; he brought me into all company, and made them treat me with civility ; because, as he told them privately, this would put me into good humour, and make me more diverting.
Every day, when I waited on him, beside the trouble he was at in teaching, he would ask me several questions concerning myself, which I answered as well as I could ; and by these means, he had already received some general ideas, though very imperfect. It would be tedious to relate the several steps, by which I advanced to a more regular conversation; but the first account I
of myself in any order and length was to this purpose.
That I came from a very far country, as I already had attempted to tell him, with about fifty more of my own species; that we travelled upon the seas in a great hollow vessel made of wood, and larger than his honour's house. I described the ship to him in the best terms I could, and explained by the help of my handkerchief displayed, how it was driven forward by the wind. That upon a quarrel among us, I was set on shore on this coast, where I walked forward, without knowing whither, till he deli5
vered me from the persecution of those execrable yahoos. He asked me, who made the ship, and how it was possible that the Houyhnhnms of my country, would leave it to the management of brutes ? My answer was, that I durst proceed no farther in my relation, unless he would give me his word and honour that he would not be offended, and then I would tell him the wonders I had so often promised. He agreed ; and I went on by assuring him, that the ship was made by creatures like myself ; who, in all the countries. I had travelled, as well as in my own, were the only governing, rational animals; and that upon my arrival * hither, I was as much astonished to see the Houyhnhnms act like rational beings, as he, or his friends, could be, in finding some marks of reason in a creature, he was pleased to call a yahoo; to which I owned my resemblance in every part, but could not account for their degenerate and brutal nature. I said farther, that if good fortune ever restored me to my native country, to relate my travels, hither, as I resolved to do, every body would believe, that I said the thing that was not; that I invented the story out of my own head ; and (with all possible respect to himself, his family, and friends, and under his promise of not being offended) our countrymen would hardly think it probable, that a Houyhnhnm should be the presiding creature of a nation, and a yahoo the brute.
* It should be upon my arrival here,' not arrival hitber,' which is not English.
The Houyhnhnms notion of truth and falsehood. The
author's discourse disapproved by his master. The author gives a more particular account of himself,
and, the accidents of his voyage. My master heard me with great appearances of uneasiness in his countenance ; because doubting, or not believing, are so little known in this country, that the inhabitants cannot tell how to behave themselves under such circumstances. And I remember, in frequent discourses with my master concerning the nature of manhood in other parts of the world, having occasion to talk of lying, and false representation, it was with much difficulty that he comprehended what I meant ; although he had otherwise a most acute judgment. For he argued thus ; that the use of speech was, to make us understand one another, and to receive information of facts; now, if any one said the thing which was not, these ends were defeated ; because I cannot properly be said to understand him,;, and I am so far from receiving information, that he leaves me worse than in ignorance ; for I am led to believe a thing black, when it is white ; and short, when it is long. And these were all the notions he had concerning that faculty of lying, so perfectly well understood, and so: universally practised, among human creatures.
To return from this digression ; when I asserted that the yahoos were the only governing animals in