صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

they meet with, but by the nastiness, and greediness of that sordid brute. Neither has their language any more than a general appellation for those maladies, which is borrowed from the name of the beast, and called hnea-yahoo, or yahoo's evil; and the cure prescribed is a mixture of their own dung and urine, forcibly put down the yahoo's throat. This I have since often known to have been taken with success, and do here freely recommend it to my countrymen, for the publick good, as an adnrirable-specifick against all diseases produced by repletion.

As to learning, government, arts, manufactures, and the like, my master confessed, he could find little or no resemblance between the yahoos of that country, and those in ours. For he only meant to observe, what parity there was in our natures. He had heard indeed, some curious Houyhnhnms observe, that in most herds there was a sort of ruling yahoo (as among us there is generally some leading or principal stag in a park) who was always more deformed in body, and mischievous in disposition, than any

of the rest. That this leader had usually a favourite as like himself as the could get, whose employment was to lick his master's feet and posteriors, and drive the female yahoos to his kennel * ; for which he was now and then rewarded with a piece of ass's flesh. This favourite is hated by the whole herd, and therefore, to protect himself, keeps always near the person of his leader. He usually continues in office, till a worse can be found ; but the very moment he is discarded, his successor f, at

X4

the Flattery and pimping. + This sentence is altogether ungrammatical ; "his successor,' is the only nominative to the plural verb come ;' it may be thus

amended

the head of all the yahoos in that district, young and old, male and female, come in a body, and discharge their excrements upon him from head to foot. But how far this might be applicable to our courts and favourites, and ministers of state, my master said I could best determine.

I durst make no return to this malicious insinuation, which debased human understanding below the sagacity of a common hound, who has judgment enough to distinguish and follow the cry of the ablest dog in the pack, without being ever mistaken.

My master told me, there were some qualities remarkable in the yahoos, which he had not observed me to mention, or at least very slightly, in the accounts I had given him of human kind; he said, those animals like other brutes, had their females in common; but in this they differed, that the she yahoo would admit the males, while she was pregnant; and that the hes would quarrel and fight with the females, as fiercely as with each other. Both which practices, were such degrees of infamous brutality as no other sensitive creature ever arrived at.

Another thing he wondered at in the yahoos, was their strange disposition to nastiness and dirt; whereas there appears to be a natural love of cleanliness, in all other animals. As to the two former accusations, I was glad to let them pass without any reply, because I had not a word to offer upon them in de

amended but the very moment he is discarded, all the yahoos in that district, young and old, male and female, with his successor at their head, come in a body,' &c.

fence

fence of my species, which otherwise I certainly had done from my own inclinations. But I could have easily vindicated human kind from the imputation of singularity upon the last article, if there had been any swine in that country, as unluckily for me there were not) which, although it may be a sweeter quadruped than a yahoo, cannot, I humbly conceive, in justice, pretend to more cleanliness; and so his honour himself must have owned, if he had seen their filthy way of feeding, and their customs of wallowing and sleeping in the mud.

My master likewise mentioned another quality, which his servants had discovered in several yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable. He said, a fancy would sometimes take a yahoo to retire into a corner, to lie down, and howl and groan, and spurn away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, wanted neither food nor water : nor did the servant imagine what could possibly ail him.

And the only remedy they found was, to set him to hard work, after which he would infallibly come to himself. To this I was silent out of partiality to my own kind; yet here I could plainly discover the true seeds of spleen, which only seizes on the lazy, the luxurious, and the rich; who*, if they were forced to undergo the same regimen, I would undertake for the cure,

His honour had farther observed, that a female yahoo would often stand behind a bank or a bush, to gaze on the young males passing by, and then appear, and hide, using many antick gestures and

Here the word, who,' is a nominative without reference to any verb afterwards.

grimaces,

grimaces, at which time it was observed that she had a most offensive smell; and when any of the males advanced, would slowly retire, looking often back, and with a counterfeit show of fear, run off into some convenient place, where she knew the male would follow her.

At other times, if a female stranger came among them, three or four of her own sex would get about her, and stare, and chatter, and grin, and smell her all over ; and then turn off with gestures, that seemed to express contempt and disdain.

Perhaps my master might refine a little in these speculations, which he had drawn from what he observed himself, or had been told him by others : however I could not reflect, without some amazement, and much sorrow, that the rudiments of lewdness, coquetry, censure, and scandal, should have place by instinct in womankind.

I expected every moment, that my master would accuse the yahoos of those unnatural appetites in both sexes, so common among us.

But nature, it seems, has not been so expert a school-mistress ; and these politer pleasures are intirely the productions of art and reason on our side of the globe.

CHAP. CHAP. VIII.

The author relates several particulars of the yahoos.

The great virtues of the Houyhnhnms. The education and exercise of their youth. Their general assembly.

As I ought to have understood human nature much better, than I supposed it possible for my master to do, so it was easy to apply the character he gave of the yahoos to myself, and my countrymen; and I believed, I could yet make farther discoveries, from my own observation. I therefore often begged his honour to let me go among the herds of yahoos in the neighbourhood, to which he always very graciously consented, being perfectly convinced, that the hatred I bore these brutes, would never suffer me to be corrupted by them; and his honour ordered one of his servants, a strong sorrel nag, very honest and good natured, to be my guard; without whose protection I durst not undertake such adventures. For I have already told the reader, how much I was pestered by these odious animals, upon my first arrival : and I afterward failed very narrowly three or four times of falling into their clutches, when I happened to stray at any distance without my hanger. And I have reason to believe they had some imagination that I was of their own species, which I often assisted myself, by stripping up my sleeves, and showing my naked arms and breast in their sight, when my protector was with

me.

« السابقةمتابعة »