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attempting any thing against my life, or else he would continue me a prisoner till we arrived at Lisbon. I gave him the promise he required ; but at the same time protested, that I would suffer the greatest hardships, rather than return to live among yahoos.
Our voyage passed without any considerable accident. In gratitude to the captain I sometimes sat with him at his earnest request, and strove to conceal my antipathy against humankind, although it often broke out; which he suffered to pass without observation. But the greatest part of the day I confined myself to my cabin, to avoid seeing any of the crew. The captain had often entreated me to strip myself of my savage dress, and offered to lend me the best suit of clothes he had. This I would not be prevailed on to accept, abhorring to cover myself with any thing that had been on the back of a yahoo. I only desired he would lend me two clean shirts, which, having been washed since he wore them, I believed would not so much defile me. These I changed every second day, and washed them myself.
We arrived at Lisbon, Nov. 5, 1715. At our landing the captain forced me to cover myself with his cloak to prevent the rabble from crowding about me. I was conveyed to his own house ; and at my earnest request he led me up to the highest room backwards. I conjured him to conceal from all persons what I had told him of the Houyhnhnms ; because the least hint of such a story would not only draw numbers of people to see me, but probably put me in danger of being imprisoned, or burnt by the inquirin. The captain persuaded me to accept a suit of cothes newly made ; but I would not suffer
the tailor to take my measure ; however, Don Pedro being almost of my size, they fitted me well enough. He accoutred me with other necessaries, all new, which I aired for twenty-four hours, before I would use them.
The captain had no wife, nor above three servants, none of which were suffered to attend at meals; and his whole deportment was so obliging, added to very good human understanding, that I really began to tolerate his company. He gained so far upon me, that I ventured to look out of the back window. By degrees I was brought into another room, whence I peeped into the street, but drew my head back in a fright. In a week's time he seduced me down to the door. I found my terrour gradually lessened, but my hatred and contempt seemed to increase. I was at last bold enough to walk the street in his
company, but kept my nose well stopped with rue, or sometimes with tobacco.
In ten days, Don Pedro, to whom I had given some account of my domestick affairs, put it upon me as a matter of honour and conscience, that I ought to return to my native country, and live at home with my wife and children. He told me, there was an English ship in the port just ready to sail, and he would furnish me with all things necessary. It would be tedious to repeat his arguments, and my contradictions. He said it was altogether impossible to find such a solitary island as I had desired to live in ; but I might command in my own house, and pass my time in a manner as recluse as I pleased.
I complied at last, finding I could not do better. I left Lisbon the 24th day of November in an English merchantman, but, who was the master, I never
inquired. Don Pedro.accompanied me to the ship, and lent me twenty pounds. He took kind leave of me, and embraced me at parting, which I bore as well as I could. During this last voyage I had no commerce with the master, or any of his men ; but
pretending I was sick kept close in my cabin. On the 5th of December, 1715, we cast anchor in the Downs about nine in the morning, and at three in the afternoon I got safe to my house at Rotherhithe.
My wife and family received me with great surprise and joy, because they concluded me certainly dead; but I must freely confess the sight of them filled me only with hatred, disgust, and contempt; and the more, by reflecting on the near alliance I had to them. For although, since my unfortunate exile from the Houyhnhnm country, I had compelled myself to tolerate the sight of yahoos, and to converse with Don Pedro de Mendez; yet my memory and imagination were perpetually filled with the virtues and ideas of those exalted Houyhnhnms. And when I began to consider, that by copulating with one of the yahoo species I had become a parent of more, it struck me with the utmost shame, confusion, and horrour.
As soon as I entered the house, my wife took me in her arms, and kissed me; at which, having not been used to the touch of that odious animal for so many years, I fell into a swoon for almost an hour. At the time I am writing, it is five years since my last return to England : during the first year, I could not endure my wife or children in my presence; the very smell of them was intolerable; much less could I suffer them to eat in the same room. To this hour they dare not presume to touch my bread, or drink
out of the same cup; neither was I ever able to let one of them take me by the hand. The first money I laid out was to buy two young stone horses, which I keep in a good stable, and next to them, the groom is my greatest favourite ; for I feel my spirits revived by the smell he contracts in the stable. My horses understand me tolerably well; I converse with them at least four hours every day. They are strangers to bridle or saddle; they live in great amity with me, and friendship to each other.
The author's veracity. His design in publishing this
work. His censure of those travellers who swerve from the truth. The author clears himself from any sinister ends in writing. An objection answered. The method of planting colonies. His native.country commended. The right of the crown to those countries described by the author, is justified. The difficulty of conquering them. The author takes his last leave of the reader ; proposes his manner of living for the future ; gives good advice and concludes.
Thus, gentle reader, I have given thee a faithful history of my travels for sixteen years and above seven months; wherein I have not been so studious of ornament, as of truth. I could perhaps, like others,
have astonished thee with strange improbable tales ; but I rather chose to relate plain matter of fact, in the simplest manner and style; because my principal design was to inform and not to amuse thee.
It is easy for us who travel into remote countries, which are seldom visited by Englishmen or other Europeans, to form descriptions of wonderful animals both at sea and land. Whereas a traveller's chief aim should be to make men wiser and better, and to improve their minds by the bad, as well as good example, of what they deliver concerning foreign places.
I could heartily, wish a law was enacted, that every traveller, before he were permitted to publish his voyages, should be obliged to make oath before the lord high Chancellor, that all he intended to print was absolutely true to the best of his knowledge; for then the world would no longer be de: ceived, as it usually is; while some writers, to make their works pass the better upon the publick, impose the grossest falsities on the unwary reader. I have perused several books of travels with great delight in my younger days; but having since gone over most parts of the globe, and been able to contradict many fabulous accounts from my own observation, it has given me a great disgust against this part of reading, and some indignation to see the credulity of mankind so impudently abused. Therefore, since my acquaintance were pleased to think my poor endeavours might not be unacceptable to my country, I imposed on myself as a maxim never to be swerved from, that I would strictly adhere to truth; neither indeed' can I be ever under the least temptation to vary from it, while I retain in my mind the lectures and example