This is a short narrative and quotes from the Books I have found to be of interest on the topic of Slave Honor.
I make no pronouncements on these matters, but report them as I find them.
Arrive at your own conclusions.
I wish you well,
Do slaves have honor?
Well, yes and no.
Honor, by definition, can be taken, mostly, two ways.
Honor can be something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing pride and pleasure; a privilege.
And honor can be the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.
Within the context of the Gorean environment if you were to replace privilege in the verb form as opposed to honor and it still makes sense then it does not equate to the use of honor in the noun context, in other words, not honor as a moral compass - the right thing to do.
None of the quotes which speak of slaves and honor show the slave to have honor in the sense of a moral compass. In fact, two quotes specifically show slaves do not have honor in that sense.
Here are three more examples of honor and slaves:
But notice how, in each one of these, the word Privilege can be used in the place of Honor.
Privilege is not the same as Integrity, Dignity, Reputation, Showing Respect to others,
Being Faithful or Having earned the Trust of others
But wait, some may say, what about Elinor?
The example of Elinor, some believe, shows that slaves do indeed have honor.
Elinor is the perfect example of a slave showing Integrity, Dignity and a Moral Fortitude when she warned Bosk not to drink the poisoned wine.
Here is that excerpt from Captive of Gor beginning on page 359:
Yes, you could reason that Elinor's sense of honor would not allow her to poison Bosk.
I'll tell you what, we'll get back to that one in a minute.
First, I wanted to talk about Elinor's character. Elinor's honor.
For her to show honor when it came to poisoning Bosk's wine one would think she was generally an honorable person, already.
So we'll examine Elinor's character on Gor, wait, we'll begin with her character on Earth.
What was she like in school?
Yes, there's more;
Perhaps she gets better after graduation;
Ok, ok, that was Elinor on Earth. Big difference. Undoubtedly she changes on Gor.
Yes, certainly, now that Elinor is on Gor, surely her honor begins to influence her actions;
Alright, fine, she's on a strange new world, scared and totally unsure of her surroundings, fair enough.
Now we see where the girls are teaching the Gorean language to Elinor, notice how she honorably accepts their help.
Here are three different times Elinor is sent out to pick berries. Notice how her honor shines.
How about when Elinor is being trained in Ko-ro-ba and a disagreement happens in the pen;
We also have the example of how Elinor shows honor when her and Ute are close to being captured;
In fact, Elinor is SO honorable, she is rewarded for her actions;
She then spends 18 days in the slave box for being honorable;
I won't go into the details of her description of those 18 days.
In fact, what does all of Book 7 tell us of the honor of Elinor?
Rask offers to give Elinor his cloak . . . the passage reads:
But you can easily substitute the word Privilege for the word Honor in this sentence, which is how I've already reasoned the application of slaves and honor.
All other 8 instances of honor in Book 7 are speaking of men.
So now, here again, is the example of Elinor and the wine:
Now I'll show you what started this chain of events;
Rask told her "Do not stain my honor."
He didn't say "Elinor, do not stain your honor."
So, is it possible the motivation for Elinor warning Bosk at the last moment stemmed from her selfishness, her yet again, wanting things her way wanting life on her terms . . . or purely from her honor?
Now, reasonably, does this view of slave honor mean when a Free Woman is enslaved, she loses her honor? If she was an honorable person while free, does she instantly lose her Integrity, Dignity and Moral Fortitude?
No, that would be silly.
The reason it can be said slaves do not have honor is because honor is not what guides them.
Slaves do not have the option of weighing a Master's command against their own Moral Fortitude.
Do you go to the slave market, and after interviewing a couple prospects you tell the Slaver, I'll take the redhead instead of the blonde because the redhead is honorable?
I hope the example of Elinor, studied in depth, gives you a more clear picture of slave honor.
Yes, one could say some slaves can have honor, they just can't act on it.
"Why do the slaves wear purple?" I asked Misk. "That is the color of the robes of a Ubar."
"Because it is a great honor to be the slave of Priest-Kings," said Misk.
"The collar was sewn on the girl in this very house," said he, "though the poor thing was anesthetized at the time and unaware of the honor bestowed upon her." Saphrar smiled.
"Are you not grateful?" inquired Cernus, puzzled.
Elizabeth dropped to her knees, head down. "I am unworthy of so great an honor, Master," said she.
It is a great mark of prestige among slave girls to be selected for sale from the great block in the Curulean, and girls tend to compete viciously among themselves for this honor.
"You are superb," I said. I knew her, of course, to be an extremely intelligent, capable woman. This I had sensed in her from the first. Also, of course, had I not even known her I would have supposed her a remarkable person, for she was said to be the finest trainer of girls in the city of Ar, and that honor, dubious though it might be, would not be likely to have been achieved without considerable gifts, and among them most certainly those of unusual intelligence.
When I leaped up, laughing, shaking my head and hair, he again offered to place his cloak about my shoulders, that my body might be covered when I went to the shed for the work slaves.
It was much honor that he did me, a mere female slave.
I wondered at women. It seems that they, in reality, care for tender, loving men, who treat them with great consideration and solicitude. Yet, in their dreams, it seems they find themselves forced to surrender, totally, to fierce, dominating masters, who insolently and cruelly, though often with ironic courtesy and tenderness, exact from their bodies, over a period of hours, every last minute sensation of response of which their bodies are capable, strong men, warriors, who, patiently, permit them no shield, who permit them to withhold nothing, who permit them to save not a particle of their honor, who will force them to yield themselves totally, helplessly, in complete and utter surrender.
"You were treated with great kindness. You were not put in the kitchens. You were not given to tharlarion drivers. You were taken into our own apartments. You were permitted to sleep in my own chamber, at the foot of my couch. You were trained diligently as a lady's maid."
"Yes, Mistress," said the girl.
"Is that not a great honor for a slave slut?"
"Yes, Mistress," said the girl.
Thandar of Ti looked in our direction. We knelt, two beautiful slave girls, lowly pierced-ear girls, paga slaves. It was a great honor for girls such as we that a man such as Thandar of Ti would even deign to cast a glance upon us.
I touched her on the neck with the whip. "Put your head down, Slave," I said. She did so. "Although you are only a slave your master is permitting you to serve him," I said. "This is a great honor." She seemed startled. Then it became clear to her that this was, for her, a slave, an honor.
"Yes," she said, "it is a great honor for a girl to be branded by a Warrior, and one who is a Captain."
When I had served him wine he gave me, too, to drink of the cup. This was, in its way, a great honor, and a token of his recognition as to how I stood to him. I still, of course, did not dare to drink from the same edge of the cup as he, the master.
I had failed to relate well to her, in spite of being solicitous and charming, courteous and attentive, in spite of treating her with honor, and with dignity and respect. I treated her as my equal and I was, in return, subjected to ill treatment and scorn.
"It is a great honor for me, Master," she said, "that one such as you should select Beverly to serve you."
"I acknowledge you as the courier of Ragnar Voskjard," she said. "I acknowledge you as a great and important man. And I acknowledge myself as only a miserable slave. It is a great honor for me that you have selected me out, from the others, to be sent to your chambers this night, to serve you."
"Thank you, Master," she said, "for permitting me the honor of your couch."
"I am a slave," she said. "I need the touch of a man."
"But you have been rescued from sex," I said. "You have been accorded honor and dignity. You have been made identical to a certain form of male. This is supposed to be what you want. You are now, your nature betrayed and nullified, supposed to be happy and fulfilled."
"I am miserable," she wept.
"Sit in the chair," he said.
"I dare not!" I said. The thought of sitting in such a chair terrified me. It was the chair of a free person. I was a slave. I might be whipped, or slain, for sitting in such a chair. The greatest honor I might expect in connection with such a chair was to be permitted to crouch or lie at its foot, or, perhaps, to be chained by the neck to its side.
"Is a command to be repeated?" he asked.
"No, Master!" I said. I hurried to the chair and, small and frightened, sat down within it.
"I beg the inestimable honor and privilege of being made an absolute slave," she said.
"The ship will be decorated," I said. "You and Claudia will be displayed at the prow."
"I have heard that," she whispered. "How will we be dressed for that honor?"
"You will be naked," I said.
"And in chains?" she asked.
"Yes," I said, "or perhaps ropes. You surely know how women are displayed at prows."
"How will it be done?" she asked.
"You will probably be hung there," I said, "one on each side of the prow."
"Doubtless it is a great honor," she said.
"Yes," I said.
"But," she said, "I gather, given the apparent desire to protect the slaves of Ar's Station, it is only to be expected that it be Claudia and I, and we alone, who are to be accorded that honor."
"Yes, "I said. "But do not fear. I am sure that both of you, even if there were a cargo of superb captures aboard, would still be excellent candidates for the honor."
"You are now kneeling on a couch," said the fellow, "which, for a female slave, is a great honor. You may be months into your bondage before you are again permitted such an honor."
"I am prepared to extend to you the extraordinary and inestimable privilege," she said, "of entering upon the same couch with me."
He looked at her.
"Yes," she said.
"I am unworthy!" he said.
"Are the sluts, thrown by the hair to their masters' couches any the more worthy?" she asked.
"No, Mistress," he said.
"Do not concern yourself then with such matters," she said.
"But so much honor!" he said.
She is thus commonly slept on the floor, at the foot of the couch. She is also, commonly, when the heat of the master is upon him, used there, by the slave ring to which she is chained. It was a great honor, of course, to be allowed upon the surface of the couch.
"It can be very pleasant for the slave, as well," said Mirus. "It can give her many warm and delicious feelings, the honor of being permitted to approach and serve masters, the understanding that she is wanted, and desired, and owned, the gratification of being enabled to display herself, in the order of nature, as an acknowledged and total female before strong men, and so on."
I love my master. I want to serve him, and please him, with my whole being, with my whole body, with my whole heart and soul. The master is the meaning of the slave's life, and she rejoices in her collar, that she belongs to him. What an incredible privilege, what an incredible honor, to be the slave of such a man!
What a precious and glorious honor, what a coveted privilege, for a slave, to be permitted to serve her master!
"You may kiss the free man's feet, and beg to be found pleasing," I said.
I then felt her lips at my feet.
"You may both kiss, and lick, lovingly, deferentially," I said. "It is a great honor for a slave girl to do this, for he is a free man, and she is a mere slave."
"You may thank your master," I told her.
"Thank you, Master," she said. "Jane, your slave, thanks you for having her collared, for permitting her to wear your collar, for deigning to grant her the honor of wearing your collar."
She had begged my collar. I consented to the piteous pleas of the slave, and would honor her with my collar, which I then locked on her neck.
"And at the end of the day," I said, "you may expect to be chained at your master's slave ring."
"Surely I would be permitted on his couch," she said.
"Such honor," I said, "for a slave?"
"Do you think you would be a free companion?" I asked.
"No, Master," she said.
"Expect to be chained to his slave ring, on the floor, at the foot of his couch."
In passing, one might mention the blond, barbarian slave, Saru. It may be recalled she was not a ship slave, but the personal slave of Lord Nishida. On the other hand, as far as I know, supposedly because of certain reservations pertaining to the nature and quality of her character, he had never deigned to honor her with slave use. It seems he regarded her as unworthy to be his slave.
Shortly thereafter the slaves rose to their feet and, a bit later, I could smell the fumes of freshly brewed black wine. It shortly made its appearance. Alcinoë, as she was Gorean, had the honor of bringing forth the vessel and cups, and my slave, as she was a barbarian, and thus subordinate, unless it was otherwise specified, brought forth the small pitcher of cream, the tiny spoons, and the small, flat bowls of sugars and spices.
I have spoken of collar pride. I soon learned collar pride. I learned that I was "slave beautiful," and that the female slave is the most desirable and exciting of human females. What woman would be immune to such flattery, the flattery of chains, the tunic, the collar, the whip? What woman, in her vanity, would be insensible of the compliment paid to her, the compliment of thongs and bracelets? How could she be unaware of the tribute and honor paid to her, that she should be cast amongst the least and most worthless of animals, the most desirable of women, the female slave?
"Do you not groom your masters?" he asked.
"We attend to them in all the ways of the slave," I said. "We may dress them, tie their sandals, bathe them, and such."
"It is an honor for you to do so, is it not?" he asked.
"Yes, Master," I said. "It is a great honor and privilege for a slave to be permitted to serve her Master."
"You are kneeling," I said.
"As is fitting," she said. "A slave often kneels before free persons. It is my honor and joy to serve a free person."
Indeed, it is something of an honor for a slave, I suppose, to be the property of one who possesses a Home Stone.
Paula squirmed a little, frightened, her ankles bound.
"Try to get up and run," I thought to myself, "golden-tarsk girl! Your opaque, silken tunic, and your sandals, will avail you nothing now. You are no more now than another tethered slave."
"I have the honor, as I understand it," said Paula, regarding Kurik, "of addressing Lord Grendel."
We dare not raise our voice in their presence, and, if we are permitted the honor of speaking to them, will commonly do so softly, head down, with extreme deference.
"Not at all," she said. "It is merely that she, as many kajirae, are insufficiently cognizant of the honor and privilege of belonging to a free woman."
Some slaves with private masters are allowed to share the master's couch. This is a sign of great favor, and often a slave must serve long and well before being granted so great a privilege and honor.