Gulliver's Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World
online book

Jonathan Swift's Famous Book, Illustrated By Arthur Rackham

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search



Share page  


Previous Contents Next

VOYAGE TO THE HOUYHNHNMS 217
knife and bracelet " (taking them out of my pocket). The two creatures stood silent while I spoke, seeming to listen with great attention; and, when I had ended, they neighed frequently towards each other, as if they were engaged in serious conversation. I plainly observed, that their language expressed the passions very well, and the words might with little pains be resolved into an alphabet, more easily than the Chinese.
I could frequently distinguish the word Yahoo, which was repeated by each of them several times; and, although it was impossible for me to conjecture what it meant, yet, while the two horses were busy in conversation, I en­deavoured to practise this word upon my tongue; and, as soon as they were silent, I boldly pronounced Yahoo, in a loud voice, imitating, at the same time, as near as I could, the neighing of a horse; at which they were both visibly surprised, and the grey repeated the same word twice, as if he meant to teach me the right accent, wherein I spoke after him as well as I could, and found myself perceivably to improve every time, though far from any degree of per­fection. Then the bay tried me with a second word, much harder to be pronounced; but, reducing it to the English orthography, may be spelt thus, Houyhnhnm. I did not succeed in this so well as the former; but, after two or three farther trials, I had better fortune; and they both appeared amazed at my capacity.
After some farther discourse, which I then conjectured might relate to me, the two friends took their leaves, with the same compliment of striking each other's hoof; and the grey made me signs that I should walk before him; wherein I thought it prudent to comply, till I could find a better director. When I offered to slacken my pace, he would cry Hhnun, Hhuun ; I guessed his meaning, and gave him to understand, as well as I could, that I was weary, and not able to walk faster; upon which he would stand a while to let me rest.
Previous Contents Next