For staying clear of the kids of bad people in Ireland,from gift a load on your parents or country,and for making them helpful to the publick.

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by Dr. Jonathan Swift

1729


It is a melancholy thing to those, that walk v this an excellent town, or travelin the country, as soon as they view the streets, the roads, and also cabbin-doors crowdedwith beggars of the mrs sex, complied with by three, four, or six children, allin rags, and importuning every passenger because that an alms. This mothers, instead ofbeing may be to job-related for their honest livelihood, are forced to employ all theirtime in stroling come beg sustenance for your helpless babies who, as they growup, either rotate thieves for want of work, or leave their dear indigenous country,to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or market themselves to the Barbadoes.

I think that is i agreeed by all parties, that this prodigious number of children inthe arms, or ~ above the backs, or at the heels of your mothers, and also frequently oftheir fathers, is in the existing deplorable state the the kingdom, a an extremely greatadditional grievance; and also therefore whoever could find the end a fair, cheap andeasy technique of do these kids sound and useful members the thecommonwealth, would deserve so fine of the publick, regarding have his statue setup because that a preserver the the nation.

But mine intention is very far from gift confined to administer only for thechildren that professed beggars: that is the a much greater extent, and shall takein the whole number of infants in ~ a details age, who space born of parents ineffect as tiny able to assistance them, together those who demand our charity in thestreets.

As come my own part, having actually turned my think for plenty of years top top thisimportant subject, and also maturely sweet the number of schemes of our projectors,I have always found them grossly failure in your computation. That is true, achild just dropt from its dam, may be supported by her milk, for a solar year,with little other nourishment: at many not above the worth of two shillings,which the mom may definitely get, or the worth in scraps, by her lawfuloccupation that begging; and it is specifically at one year old that ns propose toprovide for them in together a manner, as, rather of being a fee upon theirparents, or the parish, or wanting food and also raiment for the remainder of theirlives, lock shall, on the contrary, add to the feeding, and partly tothe clothes of plenty of thousands.

There is an in similar way another an excellent advantage in my scheme, that it will certainly preventthose spontaneous abortions, and also that horrid practice of ladies murdering theirbastard children, alas! too frequent amongst us, sacrifice the bad innocentbabes, ns doubt, much more to prevent the expence than the shame, which would certainly movetears and also pity in the many savage and also inhuman breast.

The number of souls in this kingdom being typically reckoned one million and also ahalf, the these ns calculate there might be around two hundreds thousand couple,whose wives room breeders; native which number ns subtract thirty thousands couple,who space able to preserve their very own children, (although i apprehend over there cannotbe so plenty of under the existing distresses the the kingdom) however this beinggranted, there will continue to be a hundred and also seventy thousands breeders. I againsubtract fifty thousand, for those women that miscarry, or whose kids die byaccident or disease within the year. There only remain a hundred and also twentythousand kids of poor parents every year born. The question thus is, Howthis number shall be reared and detailed for? which, together I have currently said,under the present instance of affairs, is utterly impossible by every themethods hitherto proposed. For we have the right to neither rental them in handicraft oragriculture; lock neither develop houses, (I average in the country) no one cultivateland: lock can really seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing till they arrive atsix year old; other than where they are of towardly parts, although i confess theylearn the rudiments lot earlier; during which time castle can but beproperly looked upon only as probationers; together I have actually been educated by aprincipal gentleman in the ar of Cavan, that protested come me, the he neverknew over one or 2 instances under the period of six, also in a part of thekingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.

I to be assured by our merchants, the a boy or a girl, prior to twelve years old,is no saleable commodity, and even once they come to this age, they will certainly notyield over three pounds, or 3 pounds and fifty percent a crown in ~ most, top top theexchange; i beg your pardon cannot revolve to account either to the parental or kingdom, thecharge the nutriments and also rags having been at least 4 times that value.

I candlestick now as such humbly propose my very own thoughts, which ns hope will certainly not beliable to the least objection.

I have actually been assured by a really knowing American of mine acquaintance in London,that a young healthy and balanced child well nursed, is, in ~ a year old, a many deliciousnourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and Imake no doubt that it will equally offer in a fricasee, or a ragoust.

I do thus humbly sell it to publick consideration, the of the hundredand twenty thousand children, currently computed, twenty thousand may be reservedfor breed, whereof just one fourth component to it is in males; i m sorry is an ext than weallow come sheep, black cattle, or swine, and also my factor is, the these childrenare rarely the fruit of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by oursavages, therefore, one male will certainly be enough to serve 4 females. The theremaining hundreds thousand may, in ~ a year old, be readily available in sale to thepersons that quality and also fortune, through the kingdom, always advising the motherto permit them suck plentifully in the last month, so regarding render them plump, andfat because that a an excellent table. A son will make two dishes in ~ an entertainment forfriends, and when the household dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make areasonable dish, and seasoned v a small pepper or salt, will be very goodboiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned top top a medium, the a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, andin a solar year, if tolerably nursed, encreaseth to 28 pounds.

I approve this food will certainly be somewhat dear, and also therefore very proper forlandlords, who, as they have already devoured many of the parents, seem come havethe ideal title to the children.

Infant’s flesh will certainly be in season throughout the year, but more plentifulin March, and a small before and also after; for we room told by a grave author, aneminent French physician, the fish being a prolifick dyet, there are morechildren born in roman inn Catholick countries around nine months after Lent,than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year ~ Lent, themarkets will certainly be an ext glutted than usual, due to the fact that the number of Popish infants,is at the very least three come one in this kingdom, and therefore it will have one othercollateral advantage, by lessening the variety of Papists amongst us.

I have already computed the charge of education a beggar’s child (in whichlist i reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths that the farmers) come beabout two shillings every annum, rags included; and I think no gentleman wouldrepine to give ten shillings for the carcass the a an excellent fat child, which, together Ihave said, will make 4 dishes of terrific nutritive meat, as soon as he on foot onlysome specific friend, or his own family members to dine v him. Therefore the squirewill find out to it is in a good landlord, and also grow popular among his tenants, themother will have eight shillings neat profit, and also be right for job-related till sheproduces one more child.

Those that are much more thrifty (as I have to confess the times require) may flay thecarcass; the skin the which, artificially dressed, will make admirable glovesfor ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen.

As to our City of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this purpose, in themost convenient components of it, and also butchers we may be assured will certainly not bewanting; back I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressingthem warm from the knife, as we perform roasting pigs.

A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and also whose virtues ns highlyesteem, to be lately pleased in discoursing on this matter, to sell a refinementupon my scheme. The said, that countless gentlemen of this kingdom, having of latedestroyed your deer, the conceived the the want of venison could be wellsupplied through the bodies of young lads and also maidens, no exceeding fourteen yearsof age, nor under twelve; so great a variety of both sexes in every countybeing currently ready to starve for want of work and service: and these to bedisposed that by your parents if alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations.But v due deference come so terrific a friend, and also so deserving a patriot, Icannot be completely in his sentiments; for as to the males, my Americanacquaintance assured me from frequent experience, that their flesh wasgenerally tough and lean, favor that of ours schoolboys, by continual exercise,and your taste disagreeable, and also to fatten them would certainly not price the charge.Then as to the females, the would, ns think, with humble submission, it is in a ns tothe publick, due to the fact that they soon would become breeders themselves: and also besides,it is no improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt come censure together apractice, (although indeed really unjustly) as a small bordering top top cruelty,which, i confess, hath constantly been v me the the strongest objection versus anyproject, exactly how well soever intended.

But in stimulate to justify my friend, that confessed, that this expedient was putinto his head by the famed Psalmanaazor, a indigenous of the island Formosa, whocame indigenous thence come London, above 20 years ago, and in conversation called myfriend, that in his country, when any young human being happened come be put to death,the executioner marketed the carcass to persons that quality, together a element dainty; andthat, in his time, the body of a plump girl of fifteen, that was crucified foran attempt to toxicity the Emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty’sprime minister that state, and also other good mandarins the the court in joints fromthe gibbet, at 4 hundred crowns. No indeed deserve to I deny, that if the sameuse were made of number of plump young girls in this town, that without one singlegroat to their fortunes, can not stir overseas without a chair, and also appear in ~ aplayhouse and also assemblies in foreign fineries i beg your pardon they never ever will salary for,the kingdom would not be the worse.

Some people of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that large numberof poor people, who room aged, diseased, or maimed; and also I have actually been desired toemploy my thoughts what course may be taken, to lull the nation of for this reason grievousan incumbrance. However I am no in the least pain upon that matter, because it isvery well known, that they room every job dying, and also rotting, through cold andfamine, and also filth, and also vermin, as fast as have the right to be sensibly expected. And as tothe young labourers, lock are currently in practically as hopeful a condition. Lock cannotget work, and consequently pine far from want of nourishment, come a degree,that if at any type of time they space accidentally hired to common labour, they have actually notstrength to perform it, and thus the country and themselves are happilydelivered native the evils to come.

I have actually too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. Ns thinkthe benefits by the proposal which I have actually made space obvious and also many, as wellas the the greatest importance.

For first, as I have already observed, that would considerably lessen the number ofPapists, v whom we room yearly overrun, being the primary breeders that thenation, as well as our many dangerous enemies, and who continue to be at house on purposewith a design to deliver the kingdom come the Pretender, hope to take it theiradvantage by the lack of for this reason many great Protestants, who have actually chosen quite toleave their country, than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscienceto an episcopal curate.

Secondly, The poorer tenants will have actually something an important of their own, whichby regulation may be made responsible to a distress, and assist to pay their landlord’srent, your corn and cattle being currently seized, and also money a thing unknown.

Thirdly, vice versa, the maintainance of a hundred thousand children, indigenous twoyears old, and upwards, can not be computed at less than ten shillings a pieceper annum, the nation’s stock will certainly be in order to encreased fifty thousandpounds every annum, besides the benefit of a brand-new dish, introduced to the tables ofall gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom, that have any type of refinement in taste. Andthe money will circulate among our selves, the products being completely of our owngrowth and also manufacture.

Fourthly, The continuous breeders, as well as the obtain of eight shillings sterlingper annum by the revenue of their children, will be rid of the fee ofmaintaining castle after the an initial year.

Fifthly, This food would an in similar way bring great custom to taverns, whereby thevintners will absolutely be for this reason prudent as to procure the ideal receipts fordressing it to perfection; and also consequently have their residences frequented by allthe well gentlemen, who justly worth themselves ~ above their expertise in goodeating; and a skilful cook, who understands exactly how to oblige his guests, willcontrive to make it together expensive together they please.

Sixthly, This would certainly be a an excellent inducement to marriage, i beg your pardon all way nationshave either urged by rewards, or imposed by laws and penalties. The wouldencrease the care and tenderness of mothers in the direction of their children, when theywere certain of a settlement for life come the poor babes, detailed in some kind bythe publick, to their annual profit rather of expence. We should soon see anhonest emulation among the married women, i beg your pardon of castle could carry the fattestchild come the market. Guys would end up being as fond of their wives, during the timeof your pregnancy, as they are now of your mares in foal, your cows in calf,or sows once they are ready to farrow; nor market to win or absent them (as istoo constant a practice) for are afraid of a miscarriage.

Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the enhancement of somethousand carcasses in ours exportation the barrel’d beef: the propagationof swine’s flesh, and advancement in the arts of making an excellent bacon, somuch wanted among us through the good destruction that pigs, too frequent at ourtables; which are no method comparable in taste or magnificence come a well grown,fat yearling child, i m sorry roasted totality will do a substantial figure in ~ aLord Mayor’s feast, or any type of other publick entertainment. But this, andmany others, ns omit, being studious that brevity.

Supposing the one thousand households in this city, would certainly be consistent customersfor infants flesh, besides others who might have that at funny meetings,particularly at weddings and christenings, ns compute the Dublin would certainly take offannually about twenty thousand carcasses; and also the remainder of the kingdom (whereprobably they will be offered somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.

I can think of nobody objection, that will maybe be raised versus thisproposal, uneven it have to be urged, the the variety of people will certainly be therebymuch minimized in the kingdom. This I freely own, and was indeed one principaldesign in supplying it come the world. Ns desire the reader will observe, that Icalculate mine remedy because that this one separation, personal, instance Kingdom of Ireland, and also for noother that ever was, is, or, ns think, ever before can be upon Earth. As such let noman speak to me of various other expedients: of taxing ours absentees at 5 shillings apound: Of using neither clothes, no one houshold furniture, other than what is of ourown growth and manufacture: Of completely rejecting the materials and also instrumentsthat promote international luxury: of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity,idleness, and also gaming in our women: Of presenting a vein that parsimony, prudenceand temperance: Of finding out to love ours country, wherein us differ also fromLaplanders, and also the occupants of Topinamboo: of quitting our animosities andfactions, nor acting any type of longer prefer the Jews, that were murdering one anotherat the really moment their city to be taken: Of being a small cautious not to sellour country and also consciences because that nothing: Of to teach landlords to have at leastone level of mercy in the direction of their tenants. Lastly, of placing a soul ofhonesty, industry, and also skill right into our shopkeepers, who, if a resolution couldnow be required to buy just our indigenous goods, would automatically unite to cheat andexact upon united state in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor might ever yetbe brought to do one same proposal of simply dealing, though regularly andearnestly invite to it.

Therefore i repeat, allow no guy talk to me the these and the choose expedients,till the hath at least some glympse of hope, the there will ever before be part heartyand sincere attempt to put them right into practice.

But, as to myself, having been wearied out for countless years with offering vain,idle, visionary thoughts, and also at length utterly despairing that success, Ifortunately fell upon this proposal, which, together it is wholly new, so that hathsomething solid and real, the no expence and tiny trouble, full in our ownpower, and also whereby we deserve to incur no risk in disobliging England. For this kindof commodity will certainly not bear exportation, and also flesh gift of too tender aconsistence, to recognize a long continuance in salt, although maybe I can namea country, which would certainly be happy to i eat lot our whole nation without it.

After all, i am no so violent bent upon my own opinion, as to reject anyoffer, proposed by way men, i m sorry shall be discovered equally innocent, cheap,easy, and effectual. But before something that that type shall be advanced incontradiction to mine scheme, and also offering a better, ns desire the writer orauthors will certainly be pleasure maturely to think about two points. First, As points nowstand, exactly how they will have the ability to find food and raiment for a hundreds thousanduseless mouths and also backs. And secondly, There gift a round million ofcreatures in humane number throughout this kingdom, whose totality subsistence putinto a common stock, would leave lock in debt 2 million the pounds sterling,adding those who room beggars by profession, come the bulk of farmers, cottagersand labourers, v their wives and also children, who space beggars in effect; Idesire those political leaders who dislike mine overture, and also may maybe be for this reason bold toattempt an answer, that they will very first ask the parents of these mortals,whether they would certainly not at this day think the a good happiness to have actually been soldfor food at a year old, in the manner ns prescribe, and thereby have avoidedsuch a perpetual scene of misfortunes, as they have because gone through, by theoppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent there is no money ortrade, the want of usual sustenance, with neither residence nor clothing to coverthem from the inclemencies that the weather, and also the most unpreventable prospect ofintailing the like, or greater miseries, upon their breed for ever.

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I profess in the sincerity of mine heart, that I have not the least personalinterest in endeavouring to encourage this necessary work, having no various other motivethan the publick an excellent of my country, by proceeding our trade, offering forinfants, relieving the poor, and also giving part pleasure come the rich. I have nochildren, whereby I deserve to propose to acquire a single penny; the youngest being nineyears old, and also my wife past child-bearing.