Part 4, Chapters 1–3
After five months ashore in England, Gulliver accepts the captaincy of the Adventurer, setting sail in September 1710. He stops in the Caribbean to take on new recruits, but these men turn out to be buccaneers, who seize the ship and take Gulliver prisoner. In May 1711, they set him ashore in an unknown country. When he has walked some distance along a road, Gulliver sees some creatures in a field. He describes these animals as being singularly disagreeable and says that he immediately conceived a strong antipathy toward them. They have hair on their heads and chests, but most of their bodies are hairless, and they often stand on their hind legs. They begin to approach Gulliver, but he strikes one with the flat of his sword. Several other creatures climb up into the branches of a tree, from which they pelt Gulliver with excrement.
The filthy creatures are suddenly frightened away, and Gulliver realizes that the cause of their flight was the arrival of a horse, which seems to be astonished at the sight of Gulliver. Another horse joins them, and the two horses appear to greet each other and to be able to communicate. Gulliver is clearly an object of wonder to both of them, particularly his hat, clothes, and shoes. He hears them repeating the word “Yahoo,” which he astonishes them by repeating, along with the word “Houyhnhnm,” which they teach him.
Gulliver accompanies one of the horses for about three miles, to a long, low building, inside which are several other horses. He looks for the master or mistress of the house but sees only horses, some of them sitting on their haunches. Everything inside the house is perfectly neat and clean, and the place is simply yet elegantly furnished. The horse leads Gulliver into a courtyard, where he sees three of the same type of creatures that attacked him on his arrival. They are chained up, and the horse orders one of them to be unchained and placed side by side with Gulliver for the purposes of comparison. Gulliver is horrified to find that these degraded creatures, the Yahoos, are almost identical to humans. He notes the flat, broad face and thick lips but says that “these differences are common to all savage nations.” The fore-feet of the Yahoo are the same as Gulliver’s hands, except for being hairier, darker, and having longer nails.
The horses are still baffled by Gulliver’s clothes, which seem to them the principal point of difference between him and the Yahoos. They try to give him raw donkey’s flesh to eat but find that he cannot eat either this or the oats and hay that furnish their diet. Finally, Gulliver succeeds in communicating that he wishes to milk a cow and is able to drink the milk. Later, he contrives to make something resembling bread from the oats which the horses eat.
Gulliver attempts to learn the language of the horses, which sounds somewhat like Dutch or German. After about ten weeks, he is able to understand the questions of the horse who brought him to the house, who is the head of that household and to whom he now refers as his master. However,...
(The entire section is 824 words.)