[The author relates several particulars of the YAHOOS. The great virtues o_he HOUYHNHNMS. The education and exercise of their youth. Their genera_ssembly.]
As I ought to have understood human nature much better than I supposed i_ossible for my master to do, so it was easy to apply the character he gave o_he YAHOOS to myself and my countrymen; and I believed I could yet mak_urther discoveries, from my own observation. I therefore often begged hi_onour to let me go among the herds of YAHOOS in the neighbourhood; to whic_e always very graciously consented, being perfectly convinced that the hatre_ bore these brutes would never suffer me to be corrupted by them; and hi_onour 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 suc_dventures. For I have already told the reader how much I was pestered b_hese odious animals, upon my first arrival; and I afterwards failed ver_arrowly, three or four times, of falling into their clutches, when I happene_o stray at any distance without my hanger. And I have reason to believe the_ad some imagination that I was of their own species, which I often assiste_yself by stripping up my sleeves, and showing my naked arms and breasts i_heir sight, when my protector was with me. At which times they would approac_s near as they durst, and imitate my actions after the manner of monkeys, bu_ver with great signs of hatred; as a tame jackdaw with cap and stockings i_lways persecuted by the wild ones, when he happens to be got among them.
They are prodigiously nimble from their infancy. However, I once caught _oung male of three years old, and endeavoured, by all marks of tenderness, t_ake it quiet; but the little imp fell a squalling, and scratching, and bitin_ith such violence, that I was forced to let it go; and it was high time, fo_ whole troop of old ones came about us at the noise, but finding the cub wa_afe (for away it ran), and my sorrel nag being by, they durst not ventur_ear us. I observed the young animal's flesh to smell very rank, and the stin_as somewhat between a weasel and a fox, but much more disagreeable. I forgo_nother circumstance (and perhaps I might have the reader's pardon if it wer_holly omitted), that while I held the odious vermin in my hands, it voide_ts filthy excrements of a yellow liquid substance all over my clothes; but b_ood fortune there was a small brook hard by, where I washed myself as clea_s I could; although I durst not come into my master's presence until I wer_ufficiently aired.
By what I could discover, the YAHOOS appear to be the most unteachable of al_nimals: their capacity never reaching higher than to draw or carry burdens.
Yet I am of opinion, this defect arises chiefly from a perverse, restiv_isposition; for they are cunning, malicious, treacherous, and revengeful.
They are strong and hardy, but of a cowardly spirit, and, by consequence,
insolent, abject, and cruel. It is observed, that the red haired of both sexe_re more libidinous and mischievous than the rest, whom yet they much excee_n strength and activity.
The HOUYHNHNMS keep the YAHOOS for present use in huts not far from the house;
but the rest are sent abroad to certain fields, where they dig up roots, ea_everal kinds of herbs, and search about for carrion, or sometimes catc_easels and LUHIMUHS (a sort of wild rat), which they greedily devour. Natur_as taught them to dig deep holes with their nails on the side of a risin_round, wherein they lie by themselves; only the kennels of the females ar_arger, sufficient to hold two or three cubs.
They swim from their infancy like frogs, and are able to continue long unde_ater, where they often take fish, which the females carry home to thei_oung. And, upon this occasion, I hope the reader will pardon my relating a_dd adventure.
Being one day abroad with my protector the sorrel nag, and the weathe_xceeding hot, I entreated him to let me bathe in a river that was near. H_onsented, and I immediately stripped myself stark naked, and went down softl_nto the stream. It happened that a young female YAHOO, standing behind _ank, saw the whole proceeding, and inflamed by desire, as the nag and _onjectured, came running with all speed, and leaped into the water, withi_ive yards of the place where I bathed. I was never in my life so terribl_rightened. The nag was grazing at some distance, not suspecting any harm. Sh_mbraced me after a most fulsome manner. I roared as loud as I could, and th_ag came galloping towards me, whereupon she quitted her grasp, with th_tmost reluctancy, and leaped upon the opposite bank, where she stood gazin_nd howling all the time I was putting on my clothes.
This was a matter of diversion to my master and his family, as well as o_ortification to myself. For now I could no longer deny that I was a rea_AHOO in every limb and feature, since the females had a natural propensity t_e, as one of their own species. Neither was the hair of this brute of a re_olour (which might have been some excuse for an appetite a little irregular),
but black as a sloe, and her countenance did not make an appearance altogethe_o hideous as the rest of her kind; for I think she could not be above eleve_ears old.
Having lived three years in this country, the reader, I suppose, will expec_hat I should, like other travellers, give him some account of the manners an_ustoms of its inhabitants, which it was indeed my principal study to learn.
As these noble HOUYHNHNMS are endowed by nature with a general disposition t_ll virtues, and have no conceptions or ideas of what is evil in a rationa_reature, so their grand maxim is, to cultivate reason, and to be wholl_overned by it. Neither is reason among them a point problematical, as wit_s, where men can argue with plausibility on both sides of the question, bu_trikes you with immediate conviction; as it must needs do, where it is no_ingled, obscured, or discoloured, by passion and interest. I remember it wa_ith extreme difficulty that I could bring my master to understand the meanin_f the word opinion, or how a point could be disputable; because reason taugh_s to affirm or deny only where we are certain; and beyond our knowledge w_annot do either. So that controversies, wranglings, disputes, an_ositiveness, in false or dubious propositions, are evils unknown among th_OUYHNHNMS. In the like manner, when I used to explain to him our severa_ystems of natural philosophy, he would laugh, "that a creature pretending t_eason, should value itself upon the knowledge of other people's conjectures,
and in things where that knowledge, if it were certain, could be of no use."
Wherein he agreed entirely with the sentiments of Socrates, as Plato deliver_hem; which I mention as the highest honour I can do that prince o_hilosophers -I have often since reflected, what destruction such doctrin_ould make in the libraries of Europe; and how many paths of fame would b_hen shut up in the learned world.
Friendship and benevolence are the two principal virtues among the HOUYHNHNMS;
and these not confined to particular objects, but universal to the whole race;
for a stranger from the remotest part is equally treated with the neares_eighbour, and wherever he goes, looks upon himself as at home. They preserv_ecency and civility in the highest degrees, but are altogether ignorant o_eremony. They have no fondness for their colts or foals, but the care the_ake in educating them proceeds entirely from the dictates of reason. And _bserved my master to show the same affection to his neighbour's issue, tha_e had for his own. They will have it that nature teaches them to love th_hole species, and it is reason only that makes a distinction of persons,
where there is a superior degree of virtue.
When the matron HOUYHNHNMS have produced one of each sex, they no longe_ccompany with their consorts, except they lose one of their issue by som_asualty, which very seldom happens; but in such a case they meet again; o_hen the like accident befalls a person whose wife is past bearing, some othe_ouple bestow on him one of their own colts, and then go together again unti_he mother is pregnant. This caution is necessary, to prevent the country fro_eing overburdened with numbers. But the race of inferior HOUYHNHNMS, bred u_o be servants, is not so strictly limited upon this article: these ar_llowed to produce three of each sex, to be domestics in the noble families.
In their marriages, they are exactly careful to choose such colours as wil_ot make any disagreeable mixture in the breed. Strength is chiefly valued i_he male, and comeliness in the female; not upon the account of love, but t_reserve the race from degenerating; for where a female happens to excel i_trength, a consort is chosen, with regard to comeliness.
Courtship, love, presents, jointures, settlements have no place in thei_houghts, or terms whereby to express them in their language. The young coupl_eet, and are joined, merely because it is the determination of their parent_nd friends; it is what they see done every day, and they look upon it as on_f the necessary actions of a reasonable being. But the violation of marriage,
or any other unchastity, was never heard of; and the married pair pass thei_ives with the same friendship and mutual benevolence, that they bear to al_thers of the same species who come in their way, without jealousy, fondness,
quarrelling, or discontent.
In educating the youth of both sexes, their method is admirable, and highl_eserves our imitation. These are not suffered to taste a grain of oats,
except upon certain days, till eighteen years old; nor milk, but very rarely;
and in summer they graze two hours in the morning, and as many in the evening,
which their parents likewise observe; but the servants are not allowed abov_alf that time, and a great part of their grass is brought home, which the_at at the most convenient hours, when they can be best spared from work.
Temperance, industry, exercise, and cleanliness, are the lessons equall_njoined to the young ones of both sexes: and my master thought it monstrou_n us, to give the females a different kind of education from the males,
except in some articles of domestic management; whereby, as he truly observed,
one half of our natives were good for nothing but bringing children into th_orld; and to trust the care of our children to such useless animals, he said,
was yet a greater instance of brutality.
But the HOUYHNHNMS train up their youth to strength, speed, and hardiness, b_xercising them in running races up and down steep hills, and over hard ston_rounds; and when they are all in a sweat, they are ordered to leap over hea_nd ears into a pond or river. Four times a year the youth of a certai_istrict meet to show their proficiency in running and leaping, and othe_eats of strength and agility; where the victor is rewarded with a song in hi_r her praise. On this festival, the servants drive a herd of YAHOOS into th_ield, laden with hay, and oats, and milk, for a repast to the HOUYHNHNMS;
after which, these brutes are immediately driven back again, for fear of bein_oisome to the assembly.
Every fourth year, at the vernal equinox, there is a representative council o_he whole nation, which meets in a plain about twenty miles from our house,
and continues about five or six days. Here they inquire into the state an_ondition of the several districts; whether they abound or be deficient in ha_r oats, or cows, or YAHOOS; and wherever there is any want (which is bu_eldom) it is immediately supplied by unanimous consent and contribution. Her_ikewise the regulation of children is settled: as for instance, if _OUYHNHNM has two males, he changes one of them with another that has tw_emales; and when a child has been lost by any casualty, where the mother i_ast breeding, it is determined what family in the district shall bree_nother to supply the loss.