Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Meeting the Yahoos

"The  Master Horse ordered a Sorrel Nag,  one of his Servants, to untie the largest of these animals and take him into a Yard.  The Beast and I were brought close together; and our Countenances diligently compared, both by Master and Servant, who  thereupon repeated several Times the Word Yahoo.  My Horror and Astonishment are not to be described, when I observed in this abominable Animal, a perfect human Figure; the Face of it indeed was flat and broad, the Nose depressed, the Lips large, and the Mouth wide: But these Differences are common to all savage Nations, where the Lineaments of the Countenance are distorted by the Natives suffering their Infants to lie grovelling on the Earth, or by carrying them on their Backs, nuzzling with their Face against the Mother's Shoulders.  The Fore-feet of the Yahoo differed from my Hands in nothing else, but the Length of the Nails, the Coarseness and Brownness of the Palms, and the Hairiness on the Backs.  There was the same Resemblance between our Feet, with the same Differences, which I knew very well, although the Horses did not, because of my Shoes and Stockings; the same in every Part of our Bodies, except as to Hairiness and Colour, which I have already described.

….For as to those filthy Yahoos, although there were few greater Lovers of Mankind, at that time, than myself; yet I confess I never saw any sensitive Being so detestable on all Accounts; and the more I came near them, the more hateful they grew, while I stayed in that Country.  This the Master Horse observed by my Behaviour, and therefore sent the Yahoo back to his Kennel."

'A Voyage to the Houyhnhnms, Gulliver's Travels  Jonathan Swift

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