PART IV--A VOYAGE TO THE COUNTRY OF THE HOUYHNHNMS.
7. CHAPTER VII.
"As to learning, government, arts, manufactures, and the like," my
master confessed, "he could find little or no resemblance between
the Yahoos of that country and those in ours; for he only meant to
observe what parity there was in our natures. He had heard,
indeed, some curious Houyhnhnms observe, that in most herds there
was a sort of ruling Yahoo (as among us there is generally some
leading or principal stag in a park), who was always more deformed
in body, and mischievous in disposition, than any of the rest; that
this leader had usually a favourite as like himself as he could
get, whose employment was to lick his master's feet and posteriors,
and drive the female Yahoos to his kennel; for which he was now and
then rewarded with a piece of ass's flesh. This favourite is hated
by the whole herd, and therefore, to protect himself, keeps always
near the person of his leader. He usually continues in office till
a worse can be found; but the very moment he is discarded, his
successor, at the head of all the Yahoos in that district, young
and old, male and female, come in a body, and discharge their
excrements upon him from head to foot. But how far this might be
applicable to our courts, and favourites, and ministers of state,
my master said I could best determine."
I durst make no return to this malicious insinuation, which debased
human understanding below the sagacity of a common hound, who has
judgment enough to distinguish and follow the cry of the ablest dog
in the pack, without being ever mistaken.
My master told me, "there were some qualities remarkable in the
Yahoos, which he had not observed me to mention, or at least very
slightly, in the accounts I had given of humankind." He said,
"those animals, like other brutes, had their females in common; but
in this they differed, that the she Yahoo would admit the males
while she was pregnant; and that the hes would quarrel and fight
with the females, as fiercely as with each other; both which
practices were such degrees of infamous brutality, as no other
sensitive creature ever arrived at.