NCERT Textbook - Chapter 7 (Part - 2), Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms, English, Class 9 Notes - Class 9

Class 9: NCERT Textbook - Chapter 7 (Part - 2), Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms, English, Class 9 Notes - Class 9

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“That in some fields of his country there are certain shining stones of several colours, whereof the YAHOOS are violently fond: and when part of these stones is fixed in the earth, as it sometimes happens, they will dig with their claws for whole days to get them out; then carry them away, and hide them by heaps in their kennels; but still looking round with great caution, for fear their comrades should find out their treasure.” My master said, “he could never discover the reason of this unnatural appetite, or how these stones could be of any use to a YAHOO; but now he believed it might proceed from the same principle of avarice which I had ascribed to mankind. That he had once, by way of experiment, privately removed a heap of these stones from the place where one of his YAHOOS had buried it; whereupon the sordid animal, missing his treasure, by his loud lamenting brought the whole herd to the place, there miserably howled, then fell to biting and tearing the rest, began to pine away, would neither eat, nor sleep, nor work, till he ordered a servant privately to convey the stones into the same hole, and hide them as before; which, when his YAHOO had found, he presently recovered his spirits and good humour, but took good care to remove them to a better hiding place, and has ever since been a very serviceable brute.”

My master further assured me, which I also observed myself, “that in the fields where the shining stones abound, the fiercest and most frequent battles are fought, occasioned by perpetual inroads of the neighbouring YAHOOS.”

He said, “it was common, when two YAHOOS discovered such a stone in a field, and were contending which of them should be the proprietor, a third would take the advantage, and carry it away from them both;” which my master would needs contend to have some kind of resemblance with our suits at law; wherein I thought it for our credit not to undeceive him; since the decision he mentioned was much more equitable than many decrees among us; because the plaintiff and defendant there lost nothing beside the stone they contended for:whereas our courts of equity would never have dismissed the cause, while either of them had anything left.

My master, continuing his discourse, said, “there was nothing that rendered the YAHOOS more odious, than their undistinguishing appetite to devour everything that came in their way, whether herbs, roots, berries, the corrupted flesh of animals, or all mingled together: and it was peculiar in their temper, that they were fonder of what they could get by rapine or stealth, at a greater distance, than much better food provided for them at home.

I did indeed observe that the YAHOOS were the only animals in this country subject to any diseases; which, however, were much fewer than horses have among us, and contracted, not by any ill-treatment they meet with, but by the nastiness and greediness of that sordid brute.

“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.”

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.

Another thing he wondered at in the YAHOOS, was their strange disposition to nastiness and dirt; whereas there appears to be a natural love of cleanliness in all other animals. As to the two former accusations, I was glad to let them pass without any reply, because I had not a word to offer upon them in defence of my species, which otherwise I certainly had done from my own inclinations.

​My master likewise mentioned another quality which his servants had discovered in several Yahoos, and to him was wholly unaccountable. He said, “a fancy would sometimes take a YAHOO to retire into a corner, to lie down, and howl, and groan, and spurn away all that came near him, although he were young and fat, wanted neither food nor water, nor did the servant imagine what could possibly ail him. And the only remedy they found was, to set him to hard work, after which he would infallibly come to himself.” To this I was silent out of partiality to my own kind; yet here I could plainly discover the true seeds of spleen, which only seizes on the lazy, the luxurious, and the rich; who, if they were forced to undergo the same regimen, I would undertake for the cure.

The document NCERT Textbook - Chapter 7 (Part - 2), Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms, English, Class 9 Notes - Class 9 is a part of Class 9 category.
All you need of Class 9 at this link: Class 9

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