A modest proposal

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A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift

| |A Modest Proposal for preventing the children of poor people in |
| |Ireland, from being a burden on their parents or country, and for |
| |making them beneficial to the public. |
| |by Dr. Jonathan Swift. 1729|
| |It is a melancholy object to those, who walk through this great |
| |town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the |
| |roads and cabin-doors crowded with beggars of the female sex, |
| |followed bythree, four, or six children, all in rags, and |
| |importuning every passenger for an alms. These mothers instead of |
| |being able to work for their honest livelihood, are forced to |
| |employ all their time in strolling to beg sustenance for their|
| |helpless infants who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for |
| |want of work, or leave their dear native country, to fight for |
| |the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to the Barbados. |
| |I think it is agreed by all parties, that this prodigious number|
| |of children in the arms, or on the backs, or at the heels of |
| |their mothers, and frequently of their fathers, is in the present |
| |deplorable state of the kingdom, a very great additional |
| |grievance; and therefore whoever could find outa fair, cheap and |
| |easy method of making these children sound and useful members of |
| |the common-wealth, would deserve so well of the public, as to |
| |have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation. |
| |But my intention is veryfar from being confined to provide only |
| |for the children of professed beggars: it is of a much greater |
| |extent, and shall take in the whole number of infants at a |
| |certain age, who are born of parents in effect as little able to |
||support them, as those who demand our charity in the streets. |
| |As to my own part, having turned my thoughts for many years, upon |
| |this important subject, and maturely weighed the several schemes |
| |of our projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in|
| |their computation. It is true, a child just dropped from its dam, |
| |may be supported by her milk, for a solar year, with little other |
| |nourishment: at most not above the value of two shillings, which |
| |the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, byher |
| |lawful occupation of begging; and it is exactly at one year old |
| |that I propose to provide for them in such a manner, as, instead |
| |of being a charge upon their parents, or the parish, or wanting |
| |food and raiment for the rest of...
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