PART IV--A VOYAGE TO THE COUNTRY OF THE HOUYHNHNMS.
7. CHAPTER VII.
I have related the substance of several conversations I had with my
master during the greatest part of the time I had the honour to be
in his service; but have, indeed, for brevity sake, omitted much
more than is here set down.
When I had answered all his questions, and his curiosity seemed to
be fully satisfied, he sent for me one morning early, and commanded
me to sit down at some distance (an honour which he had never
before conferred upon me). He said, "he had been very seriously
considering my whole story, as far as it related both to myself and
my country; that he looked upon us as a sort of animals, to whose
share, by what accident he could not conjecture, some small
pittance of reason had fallen, whereof we made no other use, than
by its assistance, to aggravate our natural corruptions, and to
acquire new ones, which nature had not given us; that we disarmed
ourselves of the few abilities she had bestowed; had been very
successful in multiplying our original wants, and seemed to spend
our whole lives in vain endeavours to supply them by our own
inventions; that, as to myself, it was manifest I had neither the
strength nor agility of a common Yahoo; that I walked infirmly on
my hinder feet; had found out a contrivance to make my claws of no
use or defence, and to remove the hair from my chin, which was
intended as a shelter from the sun and the weather: lastly, that I
could neither run with speed, nor climb trees like my brethren," as
he called them, "the Yahoos in his country.
"That our institutions of government and law were plainly owing to
our gross defects in reason, and by consequence in virtue; because
reason alone is sufficient to govern a rational creature; which
was, therefore, a character we had no pretence to challenge, even
from the account I had given of my own people; although he
manifestly perceived, that, in order to favour them, I had
concealed many particulars, and often said the thing which was not.