PART IV--A VOYAGE TO THE COUNTRY OF THE HOUYHNHNMS.
7. CHAPTER VII.
[The author's great love of his native country. His master's
observations upon the constitution and administration of England,
as described by the author, with parallel cases and comparisons.
His master's observations upon human nature.]
The reader may be disposed to wonder how I could prevail on myself
to give so free a representation of my own species, among a race of
mortals who are already too apt to conceive the vilest opinion of
humankind, from that entire congruity between me and their Yahoos.
But I must freely confess, that the many virtues of those excellent
quadrupeds, placed in opposite view to human corruptions, had so
far opened my eyes and enlarged my understanding, that I began to
view the actions and passions of man in a very different light, and
to think the honour of my own kind not worth managing; which,
besides, it was impossible for me to do, before a person of so
acute a judgment as my master, who daily convinced me of a thousand
faults in myself, whereof I had not the least perception before,
and which, with us, would never be numbered even among human
infirmities. I had likewise learned, from his example, an utter
detestation of all falsehood or disguise; and truth appeared so
amiable to me, that I determined upon sacrificing every thing to
Let me deal so candidly with the reader as to confess that there
was yet a much stronger motive for the freedom I took in my
representation of things. I had not yet been a year in this
country before I contracted such a love and veneration for the
inhabitants, that I entered on a firm resolution never to return to
humankind, but to pass the rest of my life among these admirable
Houyhnhnms, in the contemplation and practice of every virtue,
where I could have no example or incitement to vice. But it was
decreed by fortune, my perpetual enemy, that so great a felicity
should not fall to my share. However, it is now some comfort to
reflect, that in what I said of my countrymen, I extenuated their
faults as much as I durst before so strict an examiner; and upon
every article gave as favourable a turn as the matter would bear.
For, indeed, who is there alive that will not be swayed by his bias
and partiality to the place of his birth?