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Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Part 6 out of 6

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virtue which I learned among the Houyhnhnms; to instruct the Yahoos
of my own family, is far as I shall find them docible animals; to
behold my figure often in a glass, and thus, if possible, habituate
myself by time to tolerate the sight of a human creature; to lament
the brutality to Houyhnhnms in my own country, but always treat
their persons with respect, for the sake of my noble master, his
family, his friends, and the whole Houyhnhnm race, whom these of
ours have the honour to resemble in all their lineaments, however
their intellectuals came to degenerate.

I began last week to permit my wife to sit at dinner with me, at
the farthest end of a long table; and to answer (but with the
utmost brevity) the few questions I asked her. Yet, the smell of a
Yahoo continuing very offensive, I always keep my nose well stopped
with rue, lavender, or tobacco leaves. And, although it be hard
for a man late in life to remove old habits, I am not altogether
out of hopes, in some time, to suffer a neighbour Yahoo in my
company, without the apprehensions I am yet under of his teeth or
his claws.

My reconcilement to the Yahoo kind in general might not be so
difficult, if they would be content with those vices and follies
only which nature has entitled them to. I am not in the least
provoked at the sight of a lawyer, a pickpocket, a colonel, a fool,
a lord, a gamester, a politician, a whoremonger, a physician, an
evidence, a suborner, an attorney, a traitor, or the like; this is
all according to the due course of things: but when I behold a
lump of deformity and diseases, both in body and mind, smitten with
pride, it immediately breaks all the measures of my patience;
neither shall I be ever able to comprehend how such an animal, and
such a vice, could tally together. The wise and virtuous
Houyhnhnms, who abound in all excellences that can adorn a rational
creature, have no name for this vice in their language, which has
no terms to express any thing that is evil, except those whereby
they describe the detestable qualities of their Yahoos, among which
they were not able to distinguish this of pride, for want of
thoroughly understanding human nature, as it shows itself in other
countries where that animal presides. But I, who had more
experience, could plainly observe some rudiments of it among the
wild Yahoos.

But the Houyhnhnms, who live under the government of reason, are no
more proud of the good qualities they possess, than I should be for
not wanting a leg or an arm; which no man in his wits would boast
of, although he must be miserable without them. I dwell the longer
upon this subject from the desire I have to make the society of an
English Yahoo by any means not insupportable; and therefore I here
entreat those who have any tincture of this absurd vice, that they
will not presume to come in my sight.


{1} A stang is a pole or perch; sixteen feet and a half.

{2} An act of parliament has been since passed by which some
breaches of trust have been made capital.

{3} Britannia.--Sir W. Scott.

{4} London.--Sir W. Scott.

{5} This is the revised text adopted by Dr. Hawksworth (1766).
The above paragraph in the original editions (1726) takes another
form, commencing:- "I told him that should I happen to live in a
kingdom where lots were in vogue," &c. The names Tribnia and
Langdon an not mentioned, and the "close stool" and its
signification do not occur.

{6} This paragraph is not in the original editions.

{7} The original editions and Hawksworth's have Rotherhith here,
though earlier in the work, Redriff is said to have been Gulliver's
home in England.

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