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native Country, to relate my Travels hither, as I resolved to do, every Body would believe that I said the Thing which 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 Taboo the Brute,
The Houyhnhnms Notion of Truth and Falfhood. , 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 mt 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 Dissiculty 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 that was not, these Ends were deseated; because I cannot properly be faid to understand him; and I am so far from receiving Information, that he leaves me worse than in lyT 2 norance, 276 if Voyage
norance, for I am led to believe a Tiling Black when it is White, and Short when it is Long. And these were all the Notions he had concerning that Faculty of Lying, sd persectly well understood, and so univerfally practised, among human Creatures.
To return from this Digression; when I asserted that the Yahoos were the only governing Animals in my Country, which, my Master faid, wai altogether past his Conception, he desired to know, whether we had Houyhnhnms among us, and what was their Employment : I told him, we had great N umbers; that in Summer they grazed in the Fields, and in Winter were kept in Houses, with Hay and Oats, where Yahoo-Servants were employed to nib their Skins smooth, comb their Manes, pick their Feet, serve them with Food, and make their Beds. I understand you well, faid my Master; it is now very plain, from all you have spoken, that, whatever Share of Reason the Yahoos pretend to, the Houyhnhnms are your Masters; I heartily wish our Yahoos would be so tractable. I begged his Honour would please to excuse me from proceeding any farther, because I was very certain, that the Account he expected from me would be highly displeasing. But he insisted in commanding me to let him know the best and the worst i 1 told him, he should be obeyed. I owned, that the Houyhnhnms among us, whom we called Horses, were the most generous and comely Animal we had; that they excelled in Strength and Swiftness ; and when they belonged to Persons of Quality, employed in Travelling, Racing, or drawing Chariots, they were treated with much Kindness and Care, till they sell into "Diseases, or became foundered in the Feet; but
then then they were fold, and used to all Kind of Drudgery, till they died; aster which 'heir Skins, were stripped, and fold for what they were worth, and their Bodies left to he devoured by Dogs and Birds of Prey. But the common Race of Horses had not so good Fortune, being kept by Farmers and Carriers, and other mean People, who put them to greater Labour, and sed them worse. I described, as well as I could, our Way of Riding; che Shape and Use of a Bridle, a Saddle, a Spur, and a Whip; of Harness and Wheels. I added, that we fastened Plates of a certain hard Substance, called Iron, at the Bottom of their Feet, to preserve their Hooss from being broken by the stony Ways on which we often travelled.
My Master, aster some Expressions of great Indignation, wondered how we dared to venture upon a Houyhnhnnfs Back ; for he was sure, that the weakest Servant in his House would be able to shake off the strongest Taboo; or by lying down, and rolling on his Back, fqueese the Brute to Death. I answered, That our Horses were trained up, from three or four Years old, to the several Uses we intended them for; That, if any of them proved intolerably vicious, they were employed for Carriages; that they were severely beaten, while they were young, for any mischievous Tricks: That the Males, designed for common Use of Riding or Draught, were generally castrated shout two Years aster their Birth, to takedown their Spirits, and make them more tame and gentle; that they were, indeed, sensible of Rewards and Punishments; but his Honour would please to consider, that they had not the least Tincture of Reason, any more than the Tahoos in this Country.
It put me to the Pains of many Circumlocutions to give my Master a right Idea of what I spoke; for their Language doth not abound in Variety of Words, because their Wants and Passions are sewer than among us. But it is impossible to represent his noble Resentment at our favage Treatment of the Houynhnm Race; particularly aster I had explained the Manner and Use of Castrating Horses among us, to hinder them from propagating their Kind, and to render them more servile. He faid, if it were possible there could be any Country where Taboos alone were endued with Reason, they certainly must be the governing Animal; because Reason will in Time always prevail against brutal Strength. But, considering the Frame of our Bodies, and especially of mine, he thought no Creature of equal Bulk was so ill contrived, for employing that Reason in the common Ossices of Lise; whereupon, he desired to know, whether those, among whom I lived, resembled me, or the Taboos of his Country. I assured him, that I was as well shaped as most of my Age: But the Younger, and the Females, were much more soft and tender, and the Skins of the latter, generally as white as Milk. He faid, I differed, indeed, from other Taboos, being much more cleanly, and not altogether so deformed; but, in Point of real Advantage, he thought I difsered for the worse. That my Nails were of no Use, either to my Fore or Hinder-seet ; as to my Fore-seet, he could not properly call them by that Name, for he never observed me to walk upon them; that they were too soft to bear the Ground; that I generally went with them uncovered, neither was the Covering, I sometimes ,re on them, of the fame Shape, or so strong
as as that on my Feet behind. That I could not walk with any Security, for, if either of my Hinder-seet slipped, I must inevitably fall. He then began to find Fault with other Parts of my Body; the Flatness of my Face, the Prominence of my Nose, mine Eyes placed directly in Front, so that I could not look on either Side, without turning my Head: That I was not able to seed myself, without lifting one of my Foreseet to my Mouth: And therefore Nature had placed those Joints to answer that Necessity. He knew not what could be the Use of those several Clefts and Divisions in my Feet behind, that these were too soft to bear the Hardness and Sharpness of Stones, without a Covering made from the Skin of some other Brute; that my whole Body wanted a Fence against Heat and Cold, which I was forced to put on and off every Day with Tedioufness and Trouble. And lastly, that he observed every Animal in this Country naturally to abhor the Yahoos, whom the Weaker avoided, and the Stronger drove from them. So that, supposing us to have the Gift of Reason, he could not see now it were possible to cure that natural Antipathy which every Creature discovered against Us; nor consequently, how we could tame and render them serviceable. However, he would (as he faid) debate the Matter no farther, because he was more desirous to know my own Story, the Country where I was born, and the several Actions and Events of my Lise before I came hither.