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be distant above a hundred : that many materials, necessary for making a small vessel to carry me off, were wholly wanting in this country; which however I would attempt, in obedience and gratitude to his honour, although I concluded the thing to be impossible, and therefore looked on myself as already devoted to destruction : that the certain prospect of an unnatural death, was the least of my evils : for, supposing I should escape with life by some strange adventure, how could I think with temper of passing my days among yahoos, and relapsing into my old corruptions, for want of examples to lead and keep me within the paths of virtue : that I knew too well upon
what solid reasons all the determination's of the wise Houyhnhnms were founded, not to be shaken by arguments of mine, a miserable yahoo ; and therefore, after presenting him with my humble thanks for the offer of his servants assistance in making a vessel, and desiring a reasonable time for so difficult a work, I told him I would endeavour to preserve a wretched being; and if ever I returned to England, was not without hopes of being useful to my own species, by celebrating the praises of the renowned Houyhnhnms, and proposing their virtues to the imitation of mankind.
My master, in a few words, made me a very gracious reply, allowed me the space of two months to finish my boat; and ordered the sorrel nag, my fellow-servant (for so at this distance I may presume to call him) to follow my instruction ; because I told my master, that his help would be sufficient, and I knew he had a tenderness for me.
In his company, my first business was to go to that part of the coast where my rebellious crew
had ordered me to be set on shore. I got upon a height, and looking on every side into the sea, fancied I saw a small island toward the north-east: I took out my pocketglass, and could then clearly distinguish it about five leagues off, as I computed ; but it appeared to the sorrel nag to be only a blue cloud : for as he had no conception of any country beside his own, so he could not be as expert in distinguishing remote objects at sea, as we who so much converse * in that element.
After I had discovered this island, I considered no farther ; but resolved it should, if possible, be the first place of my banishment, leaving the consequence to fortune.
I returned home, and consulting with the sorrel nag, we went into a copse at some distance, where I with my knife, and he with a sharp flint, fastened very artificially after their manner tó a wooden handle, cut down several oak wattles, about the thickness of a walking staff, and some larger pieces. But I shall not trouble the reader with a particular description of my own mechanicks; let, it suffice to say, that in six weeks time, with the help of the sorrel nag, who performed the parts that required most labour, I finished a sort of Indian canoe, but much larger, covering it with the skins of yahuos, well stitched together with hempen threads of
my own making. My sail was likewise composed of the skins of the same animal ; but I made use of the youngest I could get, the older being too tough
* This is an uncommon use of the word, 'converse ;' instead of the verb, the adjective is always employed in this sense ; as thusas we, who are so coversant in that element.' Vol. VI. 2
and thick ; and I likewise provided myself with four paddles. I laid in a stock of boiled flesh, of rabbits and fowls; and took with me two vessels, one filled with milk, and the other with water.
I tried my canoe in a large pond near my master's house, and then corrected in it what was amiss ; stopping all the chinks with yahoos tallow, till I found it stanch, and able to bear me and my freight. And, when it was as complete as I could possibly make it, I had it drawn on a carriage very gently by yahoos to the seaside, under the conduct of the sorrel nag, and another servant.
When all was ready, and the day came for my departure, I took leave of my master and lady and the whole family, my eyes flowing with tears, and my heart quite sunk with grief. But his honour, out of curiosity, and perhaps (if I may speak it without vanity) partly out of kindness, was determined to see me in my canoe ; and got several of his neighbouring friends to accompany him. I was forced to wait above an hour for the tide, and then observing the wind very fortunately bearing toward the island, to which I intended to steer my course, I took a second leave of my master : but, as I was going to prostrate myself to kiss his hoof he did me the honour to raise it gently to my mouth. I am not ignorant how much I have been censured for mentioning this last particular. Detractors are pleased to think it improbable, that so illustrious a person, should descend to give so great a mark of distinction, to a creature so inferiour as I. Neither have I forgotten how apt some travellers are to boast of extraordinary favours they have received. But, if these censurers were better ac
quainted quainted with the noble and courteous disposition of the Houyhnhnms, they would soon change their opinion.
I paid my respects to the rest of the Houyhnhnms in his honour's company; then getting into my canoe I pushed off from shore.
The author's dangerous voyage. He arrives at New
Holland, hoping to settle there. Is-wounded with an arrow by one of the natives. Is seized and carried by force into a Portugueze ship. The great civilities of the captain.
The author arrives at England.
I BEGAN this desperate voyage on February 15, 1714-15, at nine o'clock in the morning. The wind was very favourable ; however I made use at first only of my paddles; but considering I should soon be weary, and that the wind might chop about, I ventured to set up my little sail; and thus with the help of the tide I went at the rate of a league and a half an hour, as near as I could guess. My master and his friends continued on the shore, till I was almost out of sight; and I often heard the sorrel nag (who always loved me) crying out, hnuy illa nyha majah yahoo, Take care of thyself, gentle yahoo.
My design was, if possible, to discover some small island uninhabited, yet sufficient by my. labour to furnish ine with the necessaries of life, which I would have thought a greater happiness, than to be first minister in the politest court of Europe; so horrible was the idea I conceived of returning to live in the society, and under the government of yahoos. For, in such a solitude as I desired, I could at least enjoy my own thoughts, and reflect with delight on the virtues of those inimitable Houyhnhnms, without any opportunity of degenerating into the vices and corruptions of my own species.
The reader may remember what I related, when my crew conspired against" me,' and confined me to my cabin.
How I continued there several weeks without knowing what course we took ; and when I was put ashore in the longboat, how the sailors told me with oaths, whether true or false, that they knew not in whac part of the world we were. However, I did then believe us to be about 10 degrees southward of the Cape of Good Hope, or about 45 degrees southern latitude, as I gathered from some general-words I overheard among them, being I supposed to the south-east in their intended voyage to Madagascar. And although this were little better than conjecture, yet I resolved to steer my course eastward, hoping to reach the south-west coast of New Holland, and perhaps some such island as I desired lying westward of it. The wind was full west, and by six in the evening I computed I had gone eastward at least eighteen leagues ; when I spied a very small island about half a league off, which I soon reached.
It was nothing