VOYAGE TO THE HOUYHNHNMS 227
to distinguish myself, as much as possible, from that cursed race of Yahoos; but now I found it in vain to do so any longer. Besides, I considered that my clothes and shoes would soon wear out, which already were in a declining condition, and must be supplied by some contrivance from the hides of Yahoos, or other brutes; whereby the whole secret would be known: I therefore told my master that, in the country from whence I came, those of my kind always covered their bodies with the hairs of certain animals prepared by art, as well for decency, as to avoid the inclemencies of air both hot and cold; of which, as to my own person, I would give him immediate conviction, if he pleased to command me. Whereupon, I first unbuttoned my coat, and pulled it off. I did the same with my waistcoat ; I drew off my shoes, stockings, and breeches.
My master observed the whole performance with great signs of curiosity and admiration. He took up all my clothes in his pastern, one piece after another, and examined them diligently; he stroked my body very gently, and looked round me several times, after which he said, it was plain I must be a perfect Yahoo; but that I differed very much from the rest of my species, in the softness, and whiteness, and smoothness of my skin, my want of hair in several parts of my body, the shape and shortness of my claws behind and before, and my affectation of walking continually on my two hinder feet. He desired to see no more; and gave me leave to put on my clothes again, for T was shuddering with cold.
I expressed my uneasiness at his giving me so often the appellation of Yahoo, an odious animal, for which I had so utter an hatred and contempt: I begged he would forbear applying that word to me, and make the same order in his family, and among his friends, whom he suffered to see me. I requested, likewise, that the secret of my having a false covering to my body might be known to none but himself, at least, so long as my present clothing should last; for as