FEW DAYS LATER, when the terror caused by the executions had died
down, some of the animals remembered - or thought they remembered
- that the Sixth Commandment decreed 'No animal shall kill any
other animal.' And though no one cared to mention it in the hearing
of the pigs or the dogs, it was felt that the killings which had
taken place did not square with this. Clover asked Benjamin to
read her the Sixth Commandment, and when Benjamin, as usual, said
that he refused to meddle in such matters, she fetched Muriel.
Muriel read the Commandment for her. It ran: 'No animal shall
kill any other animal without cause.' Somehow or other,
the last two words had slipped out of the animals' memory. But
they saw now that the Commandment had not been violated; for clearly
there was good reason for killing the traitors who had leagued
themselves with Snowball.
Throughout the year the animals worked even harder than they had
worked in the previous year To rebuild the windmill, with walls
twice as thick as before, and to finish it by the appointed date,
together with the regular work of the farm, was a tremendous labour.
There were times when it seemed to the animals that they worked
longer hours and fed no better than they had done in Jones's day.
On Sunday mornings Squealer, holding down a long strip of paper
with his trotter, would read out to them lists of figures proving
that the production of every class of foodstuff had increased
by two hundred per cent, three hundred per cent, or five hundred
per cent, as the case might be. The animals saw no reason to disbelieve
him, especially as they could no longer remember very clearly
what conditions had been like before the Rebellion. All the same,
there were days when they felt that they would sooner have had
less figures and more food.
All orders were now issued through Squealer or one of the other
pigs. Napoleon himself was not seen in public as often as once
in a fortnight. When he did appear, he was attended not only by
his retinue of dogs but by a black cockerel who marched in front
of him and acted as a kind of trumpeter, letting out a loud 'cock-a-doodle-doo'
before Napoleon spoke. Even in the farmhouse, it was said, Napoleon
inhabited separate apartments from the others. He took his meals
alone, with two dogs to wait upon him, and always ate from the
Crown Derby dinner service which had been in the glass cupboard
in the drawing-room. It was also announced that the gun would
be fired every year on Napoleon's birthday, as well as on the
other two anniversaries.
Napoleon was now never spoken of simply as 'Napoleon.' He was
always referred to in formal style as 'our Leader, Comrade Napoleon,'
and this pigs liked to invent for him such titles as Father of
All Animals, Terror of Mankind, Protector of the Sheep-fold, Ducklings'
Friend, and the like. In his speeches, Squealer would talk with
the tears rolling down his cheeks of Napoleon's wisdom the goodness
of his heart, and the deep love he bore to all animals everywhere,
even and especially the unhappy animals who still lived in ignorance
and slavery on other farms. It had become usual to give Napoleon
the credit for every successful achievement and every stroke of
good fortune. You would often hear one hen remark to another,
'Under the guidance of our Leader, Comrade Napoleon, I have laid
five eggs in six days'; or two cows, enjoying a drink at the pool,
would exclaim, 'Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon,
how excellent this water tastes!' The general feeling on the farm
was well expressed in a poem entitled 'Comrade Napoleon', which
was composed by Minimus and which ran as follows:
Fountain of happiness!
Lord of the swill-bucket! Oh, how my soul is on
Fire when I gaze at thy
Calm and commanding eye,
Like the sun in the sky,
are the giver of
All that thy creatures love,
Full belly twice a day, clean straw to roll upon;
Every beast great or small
Sleeps at peace in his stall,
Thou watchest over all,
I a sucking-pig,
Ere he had grown as big
Even as a pint bottle or as a rolling-pin,
He should have learned to be
Faithful and true to thee,
Yes, his first squeak should be
Napoleon approved of this poem and caused it to be inscribed on
the wall of the big barn, at the opposite end from the Seven Commandments.
It was surmounted by a portrait of Napoleon, in profile, executed
by Squealer in white paint.
Meanwhile, through the agency of Whymper, Napoleon was engaged
in complicated negotiations with Frederick and Pilkington. The
pile of timber was still unsold. Of the two, Frederick was the
more anxious to get hold of it, but he would not offer a reasonable
price. At the same time there were renewed rumours that Frederick
and his men were plotting to attack Animal Farm and to destroy
the windmill, the building of which had aroused furious jealousy
in him. Snowball was known to be still skulking on Pinchfield
Farm. In the middle of the summer the animals were alarmed to
hear that three hens had come forward and confessed that, inspired
by Snowball, they had entered into a plot to murder Napoleon.
They were executed immediately, and fresh precautions for Napoleon's
safety were taken. Four dogs guarded his bed at night, one at
each corner, and a young pig named Pinkeye was given the task
of tasting all his food before he ate it, lest it should be poisoned.
At about the same time it was given out that Napoleon had arranged
to sell the pile of timber to Mr. Pilkington; he was also going
to enter into a regular agreement for the exchange of certain
products between Animal Farm and Foxwood. The relations between
Napoleon and Pilkington, though they were only conducted through
Whymper, were now almost friendly. The animals distrusted Pilkington,
as a human being, but greatly preferred him to Frederick, whom
they both feared and hated. As the summer wore on, an d the windmill
neared completion, the rumours of an impending treacherous attack
grew stronger and stronger. Frederick, it was said, intended to
bring against them twenty men all armed with guns, and he had
already bribed the magistrates and police, so that if he could
once get hold of the title-deeds of Animal Farm they would ask
no questions. Moreover, terrible stories were leaking out from
Pinchfield about the cruelties that Frederick practised upon his
animals. He had flogged an old horse to death, he starved his
cows, he had killed a dog by throwing it into the furnace, he
amused himself in the evenings by making cocks fight with splinters
of razor-blade tied to their spurs. The animals' blood boiled
with rage when they heard of these things being done to their
comrades, and sometimes they clamoured to be allowed to go out
in a body and attack Pinchfield Farm, drive out the humans, and
set the animals free. But Squealer counselled them to avoid rash
actions and trust in Comrade Napoleon's strategy.
Nevertheless, feeling against Frederick continued to run high.
One Sunday morning Napoleon appeared in the barn and explained
that he had never at any time contemplated selling the pile of
timber to Frederick; he considered it beneath his dignity, he
said, to have dealings with scoundrels of that description. The
pigeons who were still sent out to spread tidings of the Rebellion
were forbidden to set foot anywhere on Foxwood, and were also
ordered to drop their former slogan of 'Death to Humanity' in
favour of 'Death to Frederick.' In the late summer yet another
of Snowball's machinations was laid bare. The wheat crop was full
of weeds, and it was discovered that on one of his nocturnal visits
Snowball had mixed weed seeds with the seed corn. A gander who
had been privy to the plot had confessed his guilt to Squealer
and immediately committed suicide by swallowing deadly nightshade
berries. The animals now also learned that Snowball had never
- as many of them had believed hitherto - received the order of
'Animal Hero, First Class.' This was merely a legend which had
been spread some time after the Battle of the Cowshed by Snowball
himself. So far from being decorated, he had been censured for
showing cowardice in the battle. Once again some of the animals
heard this with a certain bewilderment, but Squealer was soon
able to convince them that their memories had been at fault.
In the autumn, by a tremendous, exhausting effort - for the harvest
had to be gathered at almost the same time - the windmill was
finished. The machinery had still to be installed, and Whymper
was negotiating the purchase of it, but the structure was completed.
In the teeth of every difficulty, in spite of inexperience, of
primitive implements, of bad luck and of Snowball's treachery,
the work had been finished punctually to the very day! Tired out
but proud, the animals walked round and round their masterpiece,
which appeared even more beautiful in their eyes than when it
had been built the first time. Moreover, the walls were twice
as thick as before. Nothing short of explosives would lay them
low this time! And when they thought of how they had laboured,
what discouragements they had overcome, and the enormous difference
that would be made in their lives when the sails were turning
and the dynamos running - when they thought of all this, their
tiredness forsook them and they gambolled round and round the
win dmill, uttering cries of triumph. Napoleon himself, attended
by his dogs and his cockerel, came down to inspect the completed
work; he personally congratulated the animals on their achievement,
and announced that the mill would be named Napoleon Mill.
Two days later the animals were called together for a special
meeting in the barn. They were struck dumb with surprise when
Napoleon announced that he had sold the pile of timber to Frederick.
Tomorrow Frederick's wagons would arrive and begin carting it
away. Throughout the whole period of his seeming friendship with
Pilkington, Napoleon had really been in secret agreement with
All relations with Foxwood had been broken off; insulting messages
had been sent to Pilkington. The pigeons had been told to avoid
Pinchfield Farm and to alter their slogan from 'Death to Frederick'
to 'Death to Pilkington.' At the same time Napoleon assured the
animals that the stories of an impending attack on Animal Farm
were completely untrue, and that the tales about Frederick's cruelty
to his own animals had been greatly exaggerated. All these rumours
had probably originated with Snowball and his agents. It now appeared
that Snowball was not, after all, hiding on Pinchfield Farm, and
in fact had never been there in his life: he was living - in considerable
luxury, so it was said - at Foxwood, and had in reality been a
pensioner of Pilkington for years past.
The pigs were in ecstasies over Napoleon's cunning. By seeming
to be friendly with Pilkington he had forced Frederick to raise
his price by twelve pounds. But the superior quality of Napoleon's
mind, said Squealer, was shown in the fact that he trusted nobody,
not even Frederick. Frederick had wanted to pay for the timber
with something called a cheque, which, it seemed, was a piece
of paper with a promise to pay written upon it. But Napoleon was
too clever for him. He had demanded payment in real five- pound
notes, which were to be handed over before the timber was removed.
Already Frederick had paid up; and the sum he had paid was just
enough to buy the machinery for the windmill.
Meanwhile the timber was being carted away at high speed. When
it was all gone, another special meeting was held in the barn
for the animals to inspect Frederick's bank-notes. Smiling beatifically,
and wearing both his decorations, Napoleon reposed on a bed of
straw on the platform, with the money at his side, neatly piled
on a china dish from the farmhouse kitchen. The animals filed
slowly past, and each gazed his fill. And Boxer put out his nose
to sniff at the bank-notes, and the flimsy white things stirred
and rustled in his breath.
Three days later there was a terrible hullabaloo. Whymper, his
face deadly pale, came racing up the path on his bicycle, flung
it down in the yard and rushed straight into the farmhouse. The
next moment a choking roar of rage sounded from Napoleon's apartments.
The news of what had happened sped round the farm like wildfire.
The banknotes were forgeries! Frederick had got the timber for
Napoleon called the animals together immediately and in a terrible
voice pronounced the death sentence upon Frederick. When captured,
he said, Frederick should be boiled alive. At the same time he
warned them that after this treacherous deed the worst was to
be expected. Frederick and his men might make their long-expected
attack at any moment. Sentinels were placed at all the approaches
to the farm. In addition, four pigeons were sent to Foxwood with
a conciliatory message, which it was hoped might re- establish
good relations with Pilkington.
The very next morning the attack came. The animals were at breakfast
when the look-outs came racing in with the news that Frederick
and his followers had already come through the five-barred gate.
Boldly enough the animals sallied forth to meet them, but this
time they did not have the easy victory that they had had in the
Battle of the Cowshed. There were fifteen men, with half a dozen
guns between them, and they opened fire as soon as they got within
fifty yards. The animals could not face the terrible explosions
and the stinging pellets, and in spite of the efforts of Napoleon
and Boxer to rally them, they were soon driven back. A number
of them were already wounded. They took refuge in the farm buildings
and peeped cautiously out from chinks and knot-holes. The whole
of the big pasture, including the windmill, was in the hands of
the enemy. For the moment even Napoleon seemed at a loss. He paced
up and down without a word, his tail rigid and twitching. Wistful
glances were sent in the direction of Fox wood. If Pilkington
and his men would help them, the day might yet be won. But at
this moment the four pigeons, who had been sent out on the day
before, returned, one of them bearing a scrap of paper from Pilkington.
On it was pencilled the words: 'Serves you right.'
Meanwhile Frederick and his men had halted about the windmill.
The animals watched them, and a murmur of dismay went round. Two
of the men had produced a crowbar and a sledge hammer. They were
going to knock the windmill down.
'Impossible!' cried Napoleon. 'We have built the walls far too
thick for that. They could not knock it down in a week. Courage,
But Benjamin was watching the movements of the men intently. The
two with the hammer and the crowbar were drilling a hole near
the base of the windmill. Slowly, and with an air almost of amusement,
Benjamin nodded his long muzzle.
'I thought so,' he said. 'Do you not see what they are doing?
In another moment they are going to pack blasting powder into
Terrified, the animals waited. It was impossible now to venture
out of the shelter of the buildings. After a few minutes the men
were seen to be running in all directions. Then there was a deafening
roar. The pigeons swirled into the air, and all the animals, except
Napoleon, flung themselves flat on their bellies and hid their
faces. When they got up again, a huge cloud of black smoke was
hanging where the windmill had been. Slowly the breeze drifted
it away. The windmill had ceased to exist!
At this sight the animals' courage returned to them. The fear
and despair they had felt a moment earlier were drowned in their
rage against this vile, contemptible act. A mighty cry for vengeance
went up, and without waiting for further orders they charged forth
in a body and made straight for the enemy. This time they did
not heed the cruel pellets that swept over them like hail. It
was a savage, bitter battle. The men fired again and again, and,
when the animals got to close quarters, lashed out with their
sticks and their heavy boots. A cow, three sheep, and two geese
were killed, and nearly everyone was wounded. Even Napoleon, who
was directing operations from the rear, had the tip of his tail
chipped by a pellet. But the men did not go unscathed either.
Three of them had their heads broken by blows from Boxer's hoofs;
another was gored in the belly by a cow's horn; another had his
trousers nearly torn off by Jessie and Bluebell. And when the
nine dogs of Napoleon's own bodyguard, whom he had instructed
to make a detour under cover of the hedge, suddenly appeared on
the men's flank, baying ferociously, panic overtook them. They
saw that they were in danger of being surrounded. Frederick shouted
to his men to get out while the going was good, and the next moment
the cowardly enemy was running for dear life. The animals chased
them right down to the bottom of the field, and got in some last
kicks at them as they forced their way through the thorn hedge.
They had won, but they were weary and bleeding. Slowly they began
to limp back towards the farm. The sight of their dead comrades
stretched upon the grass moved some of them to tears. And for
a little while they halted in sorrowful silence at the place where
the windmill had once stood. Yes, it was gone; almost the last
trace of their labour was gone! Even the foundations were partially
destroyed. And in rebuilding it they could not this time, as before,
make use of the fallen stones. This time the stones had vanished
too. The force of the explosion had flung them to distances of
hundreds of yards. It was as though the windmill had never been.
As they approached the farm Squealer, who had unaccountably been
absent during the fighting, came skipping towards them, whisking
his tail and beaming with satisfaction. And the animals heard,
from the direction of the farm buildings, the solemn booming of
'What is that gun firing for?' said Boxer.
'To celebrate our victory!' cried Squealer.
'What victory?' said Boxer. His knees were bleeding, he had lost
a shoe and split his hoof, and a dozen pellets had lodged themselves
in his hind leg.
'What victory, comrade? Have we not driven the enemy off our soil
- the sacred soil of Animal Farm? '
'But they have destroyed the windmill. And we had worked on it
for two years!'
'What matter? We will build another windmill. We will build six
windmills if we feel like it. You do not appreciate, comrade,
the mighty thing that we have done. The enemy was in occupation
of this very ground that we stand upon. And now - thanks to the
leadership of Comrade Napoleon - we have won every inch of it
'Then we have won back what we had before,' said Boxer.
'That is our victory,' said Squealer.
They limped into the yard. The pellets under the skin of Boxer's
leg smarted painfully. He saw ahead of him the heavy labour of
rebuilding the windmill from the foundations, and already in imagination
he braced himself for the task. But for the first time it occurred
to him that he was eleven years old and that perhaps his great
muscles were not quite what they had once been.
But when the animals saw the green flag flying, and heard the
gun firing again - seven times it was fired in all - and heard
the speech that Napoleon made, congratulating them on their conduct,
it did seem to them after all that they had won a great victory.
The animals slain in the battle were given a solemn funeral. Boxer
and Clover pulled the wagon which served as a hearse, and Napoleon
himself walked at the head of the procession. Two whole days were
given over to celebrations. There were songs, speeches, and more
firing of the gun, and a special gift of an apple was bestowed
on every animal, with two ounces of corn for each bird and three
biscuits for each dog. It was announced that the battle would
be called the Battle of the Windmill, and that Napoleon had created
a new decoration, the Order of the Green Banner, which he had
conferred upon himself. In the general rejoicings the unfortunate
affair of the banknotes was forgotten.
It was a few days later than this that the pigs came upon a case
of whisky in the cellars of the farmhouse. It had been overlooked
at the time when the house was first occupied. That night there
came from the farmhouse the sound of loud singing, in which, to
everyone's surprise, the strains of 'Beasts of England' were mixed
up. At about half past nine Napoleon, wearing an old bowler hat
of Mr. Jones's, was distinctly seen to emerge from the back door,
gallop rapidly round the yard, and disappear in doors again. But
in the morning a deep silence hung over the farmhouse. Not a pig
appeared to be stirring. It was nearly nine o'clock when Squealer
made his appearance, walking slowly and dejectedly, his eyes dull,
his tail hanging limply behind him, and with every appearance
of being seriously ill. He called the animals together and told
them that he had a terrible piece of news to impart. Comrade Napoleon
A cry of lamentation went up. Straw was laid down outside the
doors of the farmhouse, and the animals walked on tiptoe. With
tears in their eyes they asked one another what they should do
if their Leader were taken away from them. A rumour went round
that Snowball had after all contrived to introduce poison into
Napoleon's food. At eleven o'clock Squealer came out to make another
announcement. As his last act upon earth, Comrade Napoleon had
pronounced a solemn decree: the drinking of alcohol was to be
punished by death.
By the evening, however, Napoleon appeared to be somewhat better,
and the following morning Squealer was able to tell them that
he was well on the way to recovery. By the evening of that day
Napoleon was back at work, and on the next day it was learned
that he had instructed Whymper to purchase in Willingdon some
booklets on brewing and distilling. A week later Napoleon gave
orders that the small paddock beyond the orchard, which it had
previously been intended to set aside as a grazing-ground for
animals who were past work, was to be ploughed up. It was given
out that the pasture was exhausted and needed re-seeding; but
it soon became known that Napoleon intended to sow it with barley.
About this time there occurred a strange incident which hardly
anyone was able to understand. One night at about twelve o'clock
there was a loud crash in the yard, and the animals rushed out
of their stalls. It was a moonlit night. At the foot of the end
wall of the big barn, where the Seven Commandments were written,
there lay a ladder broken in two pieces. Squealer, temporarily
stunned, was sprawling beside it, and near at hand there lay a
lantern, a paint-brush, and an overturned pot of white paint.
The dogs immediately made a ring round Squealer, and escorted
him back to the farmhouse as soon as he was able to walk. None
of the animals could form any idea as to what this meant, except
old Benjamin, who nodded his muzzle with a knowing air, and seemed
to understand, but would say nothing.
But a few days later Muriel, reading over the Seven Commandments
to herself, noticed that there was yet another of them which the
animals had remembered wrong. They had thought the Fifth Commandment
was 'No animal shall drink alcohol,' but there were two words
that they had forgotten. Actually the Commandment read: 'No animal
shall drink alcohol to excess.'
HERE TO DISCUSS THIS BOOK