Dah Duit (Hi) and welcome

Many of our fears are tissue paper thin

Many of our fears are tissue paper thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them.-- Brendan Behan (1923-1964)

The only service a friend can really render

The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself. -- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

Virginia O'Hanlon


Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

Editorial Page

New York Sun, 1897 Editor: Francis P. Church

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:



Dear Editor---

I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, "If you see it in The Sun, it's so." Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O'Hanlon



Virginia:

Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men's or children's, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.Not believe in Santa Claus!

You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to have men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn?

Of course not, but that's no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.You tear apart the baby's rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest men, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart.

Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernatural beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood
 

Lady Wilde



Oscar Wilde’s mother, Jane Francesca Agnes, AKA Lady Wilde who was born in Dublin in 1821. A poet and supporter of Irish nationalism, she had an interest in the role of fairy’s in Irish legend and culture and set about preserving those oral legends in a series of articles and books.

Lady Wilde wrote for the Young Ireland movement of the 1840s and for The Nation for which she wrote Pro-Irish, Anti imperialist articles under the name "Speranza". After one of her pieces called for armed revolt by the Irish people against the English, the British closed the paper down. The British shut down the paper and brought the editor to court where he refused to reveal who Speranza was and was jailed even though Lady Wilde stood up in court and claimed responsibility for the article.

She was a staunch advocate for public education (It didn’t exist in most parts of Ireland at the time) and for woman’s rights. William Wilde was knighted in January 1864, but several months later the Wilde’s were at the center of a sensational court case in which a woman claimed Sir William had seduced her. She also brought (and won) a case against Lady Wilde for libel.

In 1867, the Wilde’s daughter, Isola, died of fever at the age of nine. In 1871 the two illegitimate daughters of Sir William were burned to death in an accident and in 1876 Sir William himself died, virtually bankrupt.

She left Dublin for in 1879 to join her two sons and lived in grinding poverty, surviving on the meagre income from Oscar’s writing for fashionable magazines. She contracted bronchitisin January 1896 and, dying, asked for permission to see Oscar, who was in prison. Her request was denied. She died shortly afterwards. A headstone was too expensive and she was buried anonymously in common ground



My Country
By
Lady Wilde


My Country, wounded to the heart,
Could I but flash along thy soul Electric power to rive apart
The thunder-clouds that round thee roll, And, by my burning words,
uplift Thy life from out Death's icy drift,
Till the full splendours of our age Shone round thee for thy heritage--
As Miriam's, by the Red Sea strand Clashing proud cymbals, so my hand
Would strike thy harp,
Loved Ireland!

Edward Walsh

Brighidin Ban Mo Store by Edward Walsh, teacher and poet born in Londenderry, 1805, and died in Cork, 1850. Brighidin ban mo stor is in English 'fair young bride', or 'Bridget my treasure'. The proper sound of this phrase is not easily found in English-speaking Irish. It is as if written, "Bree-dheen-bawn-mu-sthore". The proper name Brighit, or Bride, signifies a 'fiery dart', and was the name of the goddess of poetry in the Pagan days of Ireland


"Brighidin Ban Mo Store"

I am a wand'ring minstrel man,
And Love my only theme,
I've stray'd beside the pleasant Bann
, And eke the Shannon's stream;
I've piped and play'd to wife and maid
By Barrow, Suir, and Nore,
But never met a maiden yet
Like Brighidin Ban Mo Store.
My girl hath ringlets rich and rare,
By Nature's fingers wove -
Loch-Carra's swan is not so fair
As is her breast of Love;
And when she moves, in Sunday sheen,
Beyond our cottage door,
I'd scorn the high-born Saxon queen
For Brighidin Ban Mo Store.
It is not that thy smile is sweet,
 soft thy voice of song -
It is not that thou fleest to meet
My comings lone and long;
But that doth rest beneath thy breast
A heart of purest core,
Whose pulse is known to me alone,
My Brighidin Ban Mo Store.


Traditional Irish Songs

"Molly Astor"
Irish Song



Oh, Mary dear, or, Mary fair,

Oh, branch of generous stem,

White blossom of the banks of Nair,

Though lilies grow on them!

You've left me sick at heart for love,

So faint I cannot see,

The candle swims the board above, -

I'm drunk for love of thee!

Oh, stately stem of maiden pride,

My woe it is, and pain,

That I, thus sever'd from thy side,

The long night must remain!

Through all the towns of Innisfail

I've wander'd far and wide;

But from Downpatrick to Kinsale,

From Carlow to Kilbride,

'Mong lords and dames of high degree

Where'er my feet have gone,

My Mary, one to equal thee

I've never look'd upon;

I live in darkness and in doubt

Whene'er my love's away,

But, were the blessed sun put out,

Her shadow would make day!

'Tis she indeed, young bud of bliss,

And gentle as she's fair,

Though lily-white her bosom is,

And sunny-bright her hair,

And dewy-azure her blue eye,

And rosy-red her cheek, -

Yet brighter she in modesty,

More beautifully meek!

The world's wise men from north to south

Can never cure my pain;

But one kiss from her honey mouth

Would make me whole again!


"Cean Dubh Deelish"
Cean Dubh Deelish (i.e. dear black head)
translated from the Irish by Samuel Ferguson

Put your head, darling, darling, darling,
Your darling black head my heart above;
Oh, mouth of honey, with the thyme for fragrance,
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?
Oh, many and many a young girl for me is pining,
Letting her locks of gold to the cold wind free,
or me, the foremost of our gay young fellows;
But I'd leave a hundred, pure love, for thee!
Then put your head, darling, darling, darling,
Your darling black head my heart above;
Oh, mouth of honey, with the thyme for fragrance,
Who, with heart in breast, could deny you love?

What Tomas An Buile Said In a Pub by James Stephens, 1882


What Tomas An Buile Said In a Pub

By  James Stephens, 1882

(A ballad to the American Irish)


I saw God.

Do you doubt it?

Do you dare to doubt it?

I saw the Almighty Man. His hand

Was resting on a mountain, and

He looked upon the World and all about it:

I saw him plainer than you see me now, You mustn't doubt it.

He was not satisfied; His look was all dissatisfied.

His beard swung on a wind far out of sight

Behind the world's curve, and there was light

Most fearful from His forehead, and

He sighed, "That star went always wrong, and from the start I was dissatisfied.

"He lifted up His hand—I say He heaved a dreadful hand Over the spinning Earth.

Then I said, "Stay, You must not strike it, God; I'm in the way; And I will never move from where I stand."

He said, "Dear child, I feared that you were dead, "And stayed His hand


George Bernard Shaw


During his final years, George Bernard Shaw enjoyed tending to the grounds at home. He died at the age of 94, on November 2, 1950, of renal failure precipitated by injuries incurred by falling while pruning a tree.





QUOTES FROM PYGMALION


"Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible; and don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon."


"Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another."

"But you have no idea how frightfully interesting it is to take a human being and change her into a quite different human being by creating a new speech for her. It's filling up the deepest gulf that separates class from classand soul from soul."

"I sold flowers. I didn't sell myself. Now you've made a lady of me I'm not fit to sell anything else."

" . . . the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she's treated."


"The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no third-class carriages, and one soul is as good as another."

"I have to live for others and not for myself: that's middle class morality."

"Happy is the man who can make a living by his hobby!"

"What is life but a series of inspired follies?"

"Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble."



QUOTES FROM SHAW


A day's work is a day's work, neither nor less, and the man who does it needs a day's sustenance, a night's repose and due leisure, whether he be painter or ploughman.

A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.

A fool's brain digests philosophy into folly, science into superstition, and art into pedantry. Hence University education.

A life spent making mistakes is not only honorable, but useful than a life spent doing nothing.

A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.

Americans adore me and will go on adoring me until I say something nice about them.

Criminals do not die by the hands of the law. They die by the hands of other men.

Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve.

England and America are two countries separated by a common language.

Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.

Few people think than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week.

Gambling promises the poor what property performs for the rich--something for nothing.

Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.

Hell is full of musical amateurs.

I can forgive Alfred Nobel for having invented dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.

I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.

If all economists were laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion.

If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must Man be of learning from experience.

If the lesser mind could measure the greater as a foot rule can measure a pyramid, there would be finality in universal suffrage. As it is, the political problem remains unsolved.

If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance.

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.

Life does not cease to be funny when people die any than it ceases to be serious when people laugh.

Martyrdom is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability.

Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.

Reading made Don Quixote a gentleman. Believing what he read made him mad.

Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing.

The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.

The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.

The longer I live the I see that I am never wrong about anything, and that all the pains I have so humbly taken to verify my notions have only wasted my time.

The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only man who writes about all people and all time.

The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.

When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.

You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.

Youth is a wonderful thing. What a crime to waste it on children.

My method is to take the utmost trouble to find the right thing to say, and then to say it with the utmost levity.

You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?" , "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it. "Man and Superman" (1903), act 4

A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it: it would be hell on earth. "Man and Superman" (1903), act I

The things a man is ashamed of, the respectable he is. "Man and Superman" (1903), act I

You'll never have a quiet world till you knock the patriotism out of the human race.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1893) act II

There are no secrets better kept than the secrets that everybody guesses. , "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1893), act III

Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another. "Pygmalion" (1913)

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't.  "The Apple Cart" (1930), act I

The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity. , "The Devil's Disciple" (1901), act II

We don't bother much about dress and manners in England, because as a nation we don't dress well and we've no manners. , "You Never Can Tell" (1898), act I

"Do you know what a pessimist is?" "A man who thinks everybody is as nasty as himself, and hates them for it." , An Unsocial Socialist (1887)

All great truths begin as blasphemies. Annajanska (1919)

Silence is the most perfect expression of scorn. Back to Methuselah (1921) pt. 5

He who has never hoped can never despair. Caesar and Cleopatra (1901) act 4

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty. Caesar and Cleopatra (1901) Act III

Do you think that the things people make fools of themselves about are any less real and true than the things they behave sensibly about? They are true: they are the only things that are true. Candida (1898) act 1

We have no right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it. Candida (1898) act 1

Parentage is a very important profession, but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children. Everybody's Political What's What? (1944)

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

Everybody's Political What's What? (1944)

My way of joking is to tell the truth. It is the funniest joke in the world. John Bull's Other Island (1907) act 2

Alcohol is a very necessary article... It makes life bearable to millions of people who could not endure their existence if they were quite sober. It enables Parliament to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning. Major Barbara (1907) act 2

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career. Major Barbara (1907) act 3

Beware of the man whose God is in the skies. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

Democracy substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

Every man over forty is a scoundrel. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid. , Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. , Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get.  Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

The golden rule is that there are no golden rules. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

Youth, which is forgiven everything, forgives itself nothing: age, which forgives itself everything, is forgiven nothing. Man and Superman (1903) "Maxims for Revolutionists"

There is no love sincerer than the love of food. , Man and Superman (1903) act 1

An Englishman thinks he is moral when he is only uncomfortable. , Man and Superman (1903) act 3

Hell is full of musical amateurs: music is the brandy of the damned. Man and Superman (1903) act 3

Do not do unto others as you would that they should do unto you. Their tastes may not be the same. , Man and Superman (1903), Maxims for Revolutionists

A learned man is an idler who kills time with study. Beware of his false knowledge: it is dangerous than ignorance. Man and Superman, 1903

This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. Man and Superman, Epistle Dedicatory

A perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell. Parents and Children (1914) "Children's Happiness"

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it. Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant (1898)

It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. Pygmalion (1916) preface

The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. Pygmalion (1916) preface


What is life but a series of inspired follies? The difficulty is to find them to do. Never lose a chance: it doesn't come every day. Pygmalion, Act 2

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.

Shewing-Up of Blanco Posnet (1911) "Limits to Toleration"

I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me. The Apple Cart (1930)

Martyrdom... is the only way in which a man can become famous without ability. The Devil's Disciple (1901) act 3

All professions are conspiracies against the laity. , The Doctor's Dilemma (1911) act 1

The fickleness of the women I love is only equaled by the infernal constancy of the women who love me. The Philanderer (1898) act 2

Full text of the novel Dracula





Bram Stoker

Abraham "Bram" Stoker (8 November 1847–20 April 1912) was an Irish novelist and short story writer, best known today for his 1897 horror novel Dracula. During his lifetime, he was better known as the personal assistant of actor Henry Irving and business manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London, which Irving owned.


He was born in 1847 at 15 Marino Crescent, Clontarf, Dublin. His parents were Abraham Stoker (1799–1876), from Dublin, and the feminist Charlotte Mathilda Blake Thornely (1818–1901), who came from Ballyshannon, County Donegal. Stoker was the third of seven children. Abraham and Charlotte were members of the Church of Ireland Parish of Clontarf and attended the parish church with their children, who were baptised there.

Stoker was bed-ridden until he started school at the age of seven, when he made a complete recovery. Of this time, Stoker wrote, "I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years." He was educated in a private school run by the Rev. William Woods.


After his recovery, he grew up without further major health issues, even excelling as an athlete (he was named University Athlete) at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended from 1864 to 1870. He graduated with honours in mathematics. He was auditor of the College Historical Society and president of the University Philosophical Society, where his first paper was on "Sensationalism in Fiction and Society".

While still a student he became interested in the theatre. Through the influence of a friend, Dr. Maunsell, he became the theatre critic for a newspaper, the Dublin Evening Mail, co-owned by the author of Gothic tales Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. At a time when theatre critics were held in low esteem, he attracted notice by the quality of his reviews. In December 1876 he gave a favourable review of the actor Henry Irving's performance as Hamlet at the Theatre Royal in Dublin. Irving read the review and invited Stoker for dinner at the Shelbourne Hotel, where he was staying. After that they became friends. Stoker also wrote stories, and in 1872 "The Crystal Cup" was published by the London Society, followed by "The Chain of Destiny" in four parts in The Shamrock. In 1876, while employed as a civil servant in Dublin, Stoker wrote a non-fiction book (The Duties of Clerks of Petty Sessions in Ireland, published 1879), which long remained a standard work on the subject


In 1878 Stoker married Florence Balcombe, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel James Balcombe of 1 Marino Crescent, a celebrated beauty whose former suitor was Oscar Wilde. Stoker had known Wilde from his student days, having proposed him for membership of the university’s Philosophical Society while he was president. Wilde was upset at Florence's decision, but Stoker later resumed the acquaintanceship, and after Wilde's fall visited him on the Continent.

The Stokers moved to London, where Stoker became acting-manager and then business manager of Irving's Lyceum Theatre, London, a post he held for 27 years. On 31 December 1879, Bram and Florence's only child was born, a son whom they christened Irving Noel Thornley Stoker. The collaboration with Irving was very important for Stoker and through him he became involved in London's high society, where he met, among other notables, James Abbott McNeill Whistler and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (to whom he was distantly related). Working for Irving, the most famous actor of his time, and managing one of the most successful theatres in London made Stoker a notable if very busy man. He was absolutely dedicated to Irving and his memoirs of Irving show how he idolised him. In London Stoker also met Hall Caine who became one of his closest friends - he dedicated Dracula to him.

In the course of Irving's tours, Stoker got the chance to travel around the world though he never visited Eastern Europe, scene of part of his most famous novel. Stoker particularly enjoyed visits to the United States, where Irving was popular. With Irving he was invited twice to the White House, and knew both William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Stoker was a great admirer of the country, setting two of his novels there and using Americans as characters, the most notable being Quincey Morris. He also got a chance to meet one of his literary idols Walt Whitman.

Stoker supplemented his income by writing novels; the best known being the vampire tale Dracula which was published in 1897. Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent several years researching European folklore and stories of vampires. Dracula is an epistolary novel, written as collection of diary entries, telegrams, and letters from the characters, as well as fictional clippings from the Whitby and London newspapers. Stoker's inspirations for the story, in addition to Whitby, may have included a visit to Slains Castle in Aberdeenshire, and a visit to the crypts of St. Michan's Church in Dublin.

After Irving's death he managed productions at the Prince of Wales Theatre and was also on the staff of the Daily Telegraph, but he concentrated mainly on his writings. In 1906 he brought out his life of Irving, which proved very successful.

After suffering a number of strokes Bram Stoker died at No 26 St George's Square in 1912. Some biographers attribute the cause of death to tertiary syphilis. He was cremated and his ashes placed in a display urn at Golders Green Crematorium. After Irving Noel Stoker's death in 1961, his ashes were added to that urn. The original plan had been to keep his parents' ashes together, but after Florence Stoker's death her ashes were scattered at the Gardens of Rest. To visit his remains at Golders Green, visitors must be escorted to the room the urn is housed in, for fear of vandalism.

Stoker was brought up as a Protestant, in the Church of Ireland. He was a strong supporter of the Liberal party. He took a keen interest in Irish affairs and was what he called a "philosophical Home Ruler", believing in Home Rule for Ireland brought about by peaceful means - but as an ardent monarchist he believed that Ireland should remain within the British Empire which he believed was a force for good. He was a great admirer of Prime Minister William Gladstone whom he knew personally, and admired his plans for Ireland.

Stoker had a strong interest in science and medicine and a belief in progress. Some of his novels like The Lady of the Shroud (1909) can be seen as science fiction. Like many people of his time Stoker believed in the concept of scientific racism drawing on his belief in Phrenology and these fears form elements in novels like Dracula. This is also reflected in his interest in early theories of criminology - he read both Cesare Lombroso and Max Nordau and used them in Dracula. Stoker was also sexist by modern standards and strongly opposed to the idea of the New Woman and several of his novels use this as a theme with the danger of assertive woman represented by a Femme fatale.

Stoker had an interest in the occult especially mesmerism, but was also wary of occult fraud and believed strongly that superstition should be replaced by more scientific ideas. In the mid 1890s, Stoker is rumoured to have become a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, though there is no concrete evidence to support this claim. One of Stoker's closest friends was J.W. Brodie-Innis, a major figure in the Order, and Stoker himself hired Pamela Coleman Smith, as an artist at the Lyceum Theater.

The short story collection Dracula's Guest and Other Weird Stories was published in 1914 by Stoker's widow Florence Stoker. The first film adaptation of Dracula was released in 1922 and was named Nosferatu. It was directed by Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and starred Max Schreck as Count Orlock. Nosferatu was produced while Florence Stoker, Bram Stoker's widow and literary executrix, was still alive. Represented by the attorneys of the British Incorporated Society of Authors, she eventually sued the filmmakers. Her chief legal complaint was that she had been neither asked for permission for the adaptation nor paid any royalty. The case dragged on for some years, with Mrs. Stoker demanding the destruction of the negative and all prints of the film. The suit was finally resolved in the widow's favour in July 1925. Some copies of the film survived, however and the film has become well known. The first authorized film version of Dracula did not come about until almost a decade later when Universal Studios released Tod Browning's Dracula (1931 film) starring Bela Lugos

About the novel, Dracula


Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula.

Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literature, horror fiction, the gothic novel and invasion literature. Structurally it is an epistolary novel, that is, told as a series of diary entries and letters. Literary critics have examined many themes in the novel, such as the role of women in Victorian culture, conventional and conservative sexuality, immigration, colonialism, postcolonialism and folklore. Although Stoker did not invent the vampire, the novel's influence on the popularity of vampires has been singularly responsible for many theatrical, film and television interpretations throughout the 20th and 21st centuries

Between 1879 and 1898, Stoker was a business manager for the world-famous Lyceum Theatre in London, where he supplemented his income by writing a large number of sensational novels, his most famous being the vampire tale Dracula published on May 26, 1897. Parts of it are set around the town of Whitby, where he spent summer vacations. Throughout the 1880s and 1890s, authors such as H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, and H. G. Wells wrote many tales in which fantastic creatures threatened the British Empire. Invasion literature was at a peak, and Stoker's formula of an invasion of England by continental European influences was by 1897 very familiar to readers of fantastic adventure stories. Victorian readers enjoyed it as a good adventure story like many others, but it would not reach its iconic legendary status until later in the 20th century when film versions began to appear.

Before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard's 1885 essay "Transylvania Superstitions".

Though the most famous vampire novel ever, Dracula was not the first. It was preceded and partly inspired by Sheridan Le Fanu's 1871 "Carmilla", about a lesbian vampire who preys on a lonely young woman. The image of a vampire portrayed as an aristocratic man, like the character of Dracula, was created by John Polidori in "The Vampyre" (1819), during the summer spent with Frankenstein creator Mary Shelley and other friends in 1816. The Lyceum Theatre, where Stoker worked between 1878 and 1898, was headed by the tyrannical actor-manager Henry Irving, who was Stoker's real-life inspiration for Dracula's mannerisms and who Stoker hoped would play Dracula in a stage version. Although Irving never did agree to do a stage version, Dracula's dramatic sweeping gestures and gentlemanly mannerisms drew their living embodiment from Irving.

The Dead Un-Dead was one of Stoker's original titles for Dracula, and up until a few weeks before publication, the manuscript was titled simply The Un-Dead. Stoker's Notes for Dracula show that the name of the count was originally going to be Count Wampyr, but while doing research, Stoker became intrigued by the word dracul. Dracula is derived from the word dracul in the Romanian language, meaning devil (originally dragon).

The novel has been in the public domain in the United States since its original publication because Stoker failed to follow proper copyright procedure. In the United Kingdom and other countries following the Berne Convention on copyrights, however, the novel was under copyright until April 1962, fifty years after Stoker's death. When F. W. Murnau's unauthorized film adaptation Nosferatu was released in 1922, the popularity of the novel increased considerably, owing to the controversy caused when Stoker's widow tried to have the film banned

When it was first published, in 1897, Dracula was not an immediate bestseller, although reviewers were unstinting in their praise. The contemporary Daily Mail ranked Stoker's powers above those of Mary Shelley and Edgar Allan Poe as well as Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights.

According to literary historians Nina Auerbach and David Skal in the Norton Critical Edition, the novel has become more significant for modern readers than it was for contemporary Victorian readers, most of whom enjoyed it just as a good adventure story; it only reached its broad iconic legendary classic status later in the 20th century when the movie versions appeared. However, some Victorian fans were ahead of the time, describing it as "the sensation of the season" and "the most blood-curdling novel of the paralysed century". The Daily Mail review of June 1, 1897 proclaimed it a classic of Gothic horror:

"In seeking a parallel to this weird, powerful, and horrorful story our mind reverts to such tales as The Mysteries of Udolpho, Frankenstein, The Fall of the House of Usher ... but Dracula is even more appalling in its gloomy fascination than any one of these." Similarly good reviews appeared when the book was published in the USA in 1899.

Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain some historical references. The historical connections with the novel and how much Stoker knew about the history are a matter of conjecture and debate.

Following the publication of In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally in 1972, the supposed connections between the historical Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia and Bram Stoker's fictional Dracula attracted popular attention. During his main reign (1456–1462), "Vlad the Impaler" is said to have killed from 20,000 to 40,000 European civilians (political rivals, criminals, and anyone else he considered "useless to humanity"), mainly by using his favourite method of impaling them on a sharp pole.

The main sources dealing with these events are records by Saxon settlers in neighbouring Transylvania, who had frequent clashes with Vlad III. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Turks. His impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000 Turkish Muslims.
, the name "Dracul" is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (king of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor) to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Vlad II Dracul, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward, Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol. The name Dracula means "Son of Dracul".

toker came across the name Dracula in his reading on Romanian history, and chose this to replace the name (Count Wampyr) that he had originally intended to use for his villain. However, some Dracula scholars, led by Elizabeth Miller, have questioned the depth of this connection. They argue that Stoker in fact knew little of the historic Vlad III except for his nickname. There are sections in the novel where Dracula refers to his own background, and these speeches show that Stoker had some knowledge of Romanian history. Yet Stoker includes no details about Vlad III's reign and does not mention his use of impalement. Given Stoker's use of historical background to make his novel more horrific, it seems unlikely he would have failed to mention that his villain had impaled thousands of people. It seems that Stoker either did not know much about the historic Vlad III, or did not intend his character Dracula to be the same person as Vlad III.

Vlad III was an ethnic Vlach. In the novel, Dracula claims to be a Székely: "We Szekelys have a right to be proud..."

The Dracula legend as he created it and as it has been portrayed in films and television shows may be a compound of various influences. Many of Stoker's biographers and literary critics have found strong similarities to the earlier Irish writer Sheridan le Fanu's classic of the vampire genre, Carmilla. In writing Dracula, Stoker may also have drawn on stories about the sídhe, some of which feature blood-drinking women. The folkloric figure of Abhartach has also been suggested as a source.

It has been suggested that Stoker was influenced by the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was born in the Kingdom of Hungary. Bathory is known to have tortured and killed anywhere between 36 and 700 young women over a period of many years, and it was commonly believed that she committed these crimes in order to bathe in or drink their blood, believing that this preserved her youth. No credible evidence of blood-drinking or other blood crimes in the Bathory case has ever been found, however the stories and influence may explain why Dracula appeared younger after feeding. The castle of Count Dracula was inspired by Slains Castle, at which Bram Stoker was a guest of the 19th Earl of Erroll. However, since as Stoker visited the castle in 1895—five years after work on Dracula had begun—there is unlikely to be much connection. Many of the scenes in Whitby and London are based on real places that Stoker frequently visited, although in some cases he distorts the geography for the sake of the story.

It has been suggested that Stoker received much historical information from Ármin Vámbéry, a Hungarian professor he met at least twice. Miller argues "there is nothing to indicate that the conversation included Vlad, vampires, or even Transylvania" and that, "furthermore, there is no record of any other correspondence between Stoker and Vámbéry, nor is Vámbéry mentioned in Stoker's notes for Dracula

Dracula is an epistolary novel, written as a collection of diary entries, telegrams, and letters from the characters, as well as fictional clippings from the Whitby and London newspapers and phonograph cylinders. This literary style, made most famous by one of the most popular novels of the 19th century, The Woman in White (1860), was considered rather old-fashioned by the time of the publication of Dracula, but it adds a sense of realism and provides the reader with the perspective of most of the major characters. By use of the epistolary structure, Stoker, without employing either an omniscient narrator or any awkward framing device, maximizes suspense by avoiding any implicit promise to the reader that any first-person narrator must survive all the story's perils.

Although some critics find the novel somewhat crude and sensational, it nevertheless retains its psychological power, and the sexual longings underlying the vampire attacks are manifest. As one critic wrote: What has become clearer and clearer, particularly in the fin de siècle years of the twentieth century, is that the novel's power has its source in the sexual implications of the blood exchange between the vampire and his victims...Dracula has embedded in it a very disturbing psychosexual allegory whose meaning I am not sure Stoker entirely understood: that there is a demonic force at work in the world whose intent is to eroticize women. In Dracula we see how that force transforms Lucy Westenra, a beautiful nineteen-year-old virgin, into a shameless slut.

Dracula may be viewed as a novel about the struggle between tradition and modernity at the fin de siècle. Throughout, there are various references to changing gender roles; Mina Harker can be seen as a thoroughly modern woman, using such modern technologies as the typewriter. She also displays some characteristics of the New Woman through her rejection of deference to male superiority and her economic independence. However, Mina still embodies a traditional gender role, as seen in her feminine and maternal nature and her occupation as an assistant schoolmistress.

Stoker's novel deals in general with the conflict between the world of the past — full of folklore, legend, and religious piety — and the emerging modern world of technology, positivism, and secularism.

Van Helsing epitomizes this struggle because he uses, at the time, extremely modern technologies like blood transfusions; but he is not so modern as to eschew the idea that a demonic being could be causing Lucy's illness: he spreads garlic around the sashes and doors of her room and makes her wear a garlic flower necklace. After Lucy's death, he receives an indulgence from a Catholic cleric to use the Eucharist (held by the Church to be trans-substantiated into the body and blood of Jesus) in his fight against Dracula. In trying to bridge the rational/superstitious conflict within the story, he cites new sciences, such as hypnotism, that were only recently considered magical. He also quotes (without attribution) the American psychologist William James, whose writings on the power of belief become the only way to deal with this conflict.

No character in the novel advocates a rejection of science in favour of either religion or superstition. Van Helsing receives the admiration of the other characters and succeeds in defeating Dracula by dint of a combination of encyclopaedic knowledge and "open-mindedness." Late in the novel, as Dr. Seward comes to embrace Van Helsing's open-mindedness, he writes, "In an age when the existence of ptomaines is a mystery we should not wonder at anything!" For the characters, and presumably for the author, science opens the possibility of shockingly unfamiliar phenomena. If the novel sounds a cautionary note, it merely warns against the presumption that established science as yet offers a complete world-view. Within Stoker's fictional universe, (correct) superstitious beliefs have an empirical basis and promise to yield to scientific inquiry.

Jonathan Harker's character displays the problems of dwelling in a strictly rational modern world. Visiting Count Dracula in Eastern Europe, Jonathan scoffs at the peasants who tell him to delay his visit until after Saint George's feast day. As a solicitor, Jonathan is concerned "with facts — bare meagre facts, verified by books and figures, and of which there can be no doubt". All of Jonathan’s rationality weakens him to what he witnesses at Castle Dracula. For example, the first time Jonathan witnesses Dracula crawling down the face of the castle headfirst, he is in complete disbelief. Not believing what he sees, he attempts to explain what he saw as a trick of the moonlight.

The characters of Dracula use modern technology and rationalism to defeat the Count. For example, during their pursuit of the vampire, they use railroads and steamships, not to mention the telegraph (and a telephone is even used on their behalf at one point), to keep a step ahead of him (in contrast, Dracula escapes in a sailing ship). Van Helsing uses hypnotism to pinpoint Dracula's location. Mina even employs criminology to anticipate Dracula's actions and cites both Cesare Lombroso and Max Nordau, who at that time were considered experts in this field.

A number of scholars have noted the theme of a 'barbarian' prince attempting to usurp British society as being an example of the invasion literature which was popular at the time. Author Kim Newman characterized Dracula as being the story of "a one-man invasion" and drew attention to Van Helsing's claim that Dracula's goal was to become "the father or furthurer of a new order of beings, whose road must lead through Death, not Life".

The imperialism, xenophobia and use of technology to achieve results, along with the presence of a vampire, have all been also discussed in academia as present in both Dracula and Stoker's 1909 novel, The Lady of the Shroud.

The story of Dracula has been the basis for countless films and plays. Of all the movies, the most popular are: Dracula (1931), The Horror of Dracula (1958), and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). Another famous version of the story was Nosferatu (1922), a film directed by the German director F.W. Murnau, was produced while Stoker's widow was alive, and the filmmakers were forced to change the setting and the characters' names for copyright reasons. The vampire in Nosferatu is called Count Orlok rather than Count Dracula.

The character of Count Dracula has remained popular over the years, and many films have used the character as a villain, while others have named him in their titles, such as Dracula's Daughter, The Brides of Dracula, and Zoltan, Hound of Dracula. An estimated 160 films (as of 2004) feature Dracula in a major role, a number second only to Sherlock Holmes. The number of films that include a reference to Dracula may reach as high as 649, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Most adaptations do not include all the major characters from the novel. The Count is always present, and Jonathan and Mina Harker, Dr. Seward, Dr. Van Helsing, and Renfield usually appear as well. The characters of Mina and Lucy are often combined into a single female role. Jonathan Harker and Renfield are also sometimes reversed or combined. Quincey Morris and Arthur Holmwood are usually omitted entirely

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift


About A Modest Proposal

A Modest Proposal: For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public, commonly referred to as A Modest Proposal, is a Juvenalian satirical essay written and published anonymously by Jonathan Swift in 1729. Swift appears to suggest in his essay that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies.


Swift goes to great lengths to support his argument, including a list of possible preparation styles for the children, and calculations showing the financial benefits of his suggestion. He uses common methods of argument throughout his essay, such as appealing to the authority of "a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London" and "the famous Psalmanazar, a native of the island Formosa" (who had already confessed to not being from Formosa in 1706). Swift couches his arguments in then-current events, exploiting common prejudice against Catholics (misnomed Papists) and suggesting that it is the absence of "so many good Protestants" (i.e., English landlords) that allows them to hope to surrender the kingdom to the Pretender. After enumerating the benefits of his proposal, Swift addresses possible objections including the depopulation of Ireland and a litany of other solutions which he dismisses as impractical.

This essay is widely held to be one of the greatest examples of sustained irony in the history of the English language. Much of its shock value derives from the fact that the first portion of the essay describes the plight of starving beggars in Ireland, so that the reader is unprepared for the surprise of Swift's solution when he states, "A young healthy child well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious nourishing and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee, or a ragout."

Readers unacquainted with its reputation as a satirical work often do not immediately realize that Swift was not seriously proposing cannibalism and infanticide, nor would readers unfamiliar with the satires of Horace and Juvenal recognize that Swift's essay follows the rules and structure of ancient Roman satires.

The satirical element of the pamphlet is often only understood after the reader notes the allusions made by Swift to the attitudes of absentee (often English) landlords, such as the following: "I grant this food may be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for Landlords, who as they have already devoured most of the Parents, seem to have the best Title to the Children." Swift extends the metaphor to further his critique of England’s mistreatment of Ireland, noting that "For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, and flesh being of too tender a consistence, to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country, which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it."

In the tradition of Roman satire, Swift introduces the reforms he is actually suggesting by deriding them:

Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither clothes, nor household furniture, except what is of our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foreign luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Topinamboo: Of quitting our animosities and factions, nor acting any longer like the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, and skill into our shop-keepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon us in the price, the measure, and the goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair proposal of just dealing, though often and earnestly invited to it.

Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

It has been argued that Swift’s main target in A Modest Proposal was not the conditions in Ireland, but rather the can-do spirit of the times that led people to devise a number of illogical schemes that would purportedly solve social and economic ills. Swift was especially insulted by projects that tried to fix population and labor issues with a simple cure-all solution.[2] A memorable example of these sorts of schemes "involved the idea of running the poor through a joint-stock company". In response, Swift’s Modest Proposal was "a burlesque of projects concerning the poor", that were in vogue during the early 18th century.

A Modest Proposal also targets the calculating way people perceived the poor in designing their projects. The pamphlet targets reformers who "regard people as commodities". In the piece, Swift adopts the "technique of a political arithmetician" to show the utter ridiculousness of trying to prove any proposal with dispassionate statistics.

Critics differ about Swift’s intentions in using this faux-mathematical philosophy. Edmund Wilson argues that statistically "the logic of the 'Modest proposal' can be compared with defense of crime (arrogated to Marx) in which he argues that crime takes care of the superfluous population". Wittkowsky counters that Swift's satiric use of statistical analysis is an effort to enhance his satire that "springs from a spirit of bitter mockery, not from the delight in calculations for their own sake".

Charles K. Smith argues that Swift’s rhetorical style persuades the reader to detest the speaker and pity the Irish. Swift’s specific strategy is twofold, using a "trap" to create sympathy for the Irish and a dislike of the narrator who, in the span of one sentence, "details vividly and with rhetorical emphasis the grinding poverty" but feels emotion solely for members of his own class. Swift’s use of gripping details of poverty and his narrator’s cool approach towards them creates "two opposing points of view" which "alienate the reader, perhaps unconsciously, from a narrator who can view with 'melancholy' detachment a subject that Swift has directed us, rhetorically, to see in a much less detached way".

Swift has his proposer further degrade the Irish by using language ordinarily reserved for animals. Lewis argues that the speaker uses "the vocabulary of animal husbandry" to describe the Irish. Once the children have been commoditized, Swift’s rhetoric can easily turn "people into animals, then meat, and from meat, logically, into tonnage worth a price per pound".

Swift uses the proposer’s serious tone to highlight the absurdity of his proposal. In making his argument, the speaker uses the conventional, text book approved order of argument from Swift’s time. The contrast between the "careful control against the almost inconceivable perversion of his scheme" and "the ridiculousness of the proposal" create a situation in which the reader has "to consider just what perverted values and assumptions would allow such a diligent, thoughtful, and conventional man to propose so perverse a plan".

Some scholars have argued that A Modest Proposal was largely influenced and inspired by Tertullian’s Apology. While Tertullian’s Apology is a satirical attack against early Roman persecution of Christianity, Swift’s A Modest Proposal addresses the Anglo-Irish situation in the 1720s. James William Johnson believes that Swift saw major similarities between the two situations. Johnson notes Swift’s obvious affinity for Tertullian and the bold stylistic and structural similarities between the works A Modest Proposal and Apology. In structure, Johnson points out the same central theme; that of cannibalism and the eating of babies; and the same final argument; that "human depravity is such that men will attempt to justify their own cruelty by accusing their victims of being lower than human". Stylistically, Swift and Tertullian share the same command of sarcasm and language. In agreement with Johnson, Donald C. Baker points out the similarity between both authors' tones and use of irony. Baker notes that both authors imply an ironic "justification by ownership" over the subject of sacrificing children—Tertullian while attacking pagan parents, and Swift while attacking the English mistreatment of the Irish poor.

It has also been argued that A Modest Proposal was, at least in part, a response to the 1728 essay The Generous Projector or, A Friendly Proposal to Prevent Murder and Other Enormous Abuses, By Erecting an Hospital for Foundlings and Bastard Children by Swift's rival Daniel Defoe.

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is also partially a satire of William Petty's Political Arithmetic from 1691, in which Petty proposed that Ireland's citizens be removed, and that their country be used as a farm for England.

Robert Phiddian's article "Have you eaten yet? The Reader in A Modest Proposal" focuses on two aspects of A Modest Proposal: the voice of Swift and the voice of the Proposer. Phiddian stresses that a reader of the pamphlet must learn to distinguish between the satiric voice of Jonathan Swift and the apparent economic projections of the Proposer. He reminds readers that "there is a gap between the narrator’s meaning and the text’s, and that a moral-political argument is being carried out by means of parody".

While Swift’s proposal is obviously not a serious economic proposal, George Wittkowsky, author of "Swift’s Modest Proposal: The Biography of an Early Georgian Pamphlet", argues that it in order to fully understand the piece, it is important to understand the economics of Swift’s time. Wittowsky argues that not enough critics have taken the time to directly focus on the mercantilism and theories of labor in 18th century England. "[I]f one regards the Modest Proposal simply as a criticism of condition, about all one can say is that conditions were bad and that Swift's irony brilliantly underscored this fact". At the start of a new industrial age in the 18th century, it was believed that "people are the riches of the nation", and there was a general faith in an economy which paid its workers low wages because high wages would mean workers would work less. Furthermore, "in the mercantilist view no child was too young to go into industry". In those times, the "somewhat more humane attitudes of an earlier day had all but disappeared and the laborer had come to be regarded as a commodity".

Louis A. Landa presents Swift’s A Modest Proposal as a critique of the popular and unjustified mercantilist maxim in the eighteenth century that "people are the riches of a nation".[18] Swift presents the dire state of Ireland and shows that population did not always mean greater wealth and economy. The uncontrolled maxim fails to take into account that a person who does not produce in an economic or political way makes a country poorer, not richer. Swift also recognizes the implications of such a fact in making mercantilist philosophy a paradox: the wealth of a country is based on the poverty of the majority of its citizens. Landa argues that Swift is not merely criticizing economic maxims. but also addressing the fact that England was denying Irish citizens their natural rights and dehumanizing them, by viewing them as a mere commodity.

A Modest Proposal is included in many literature programs as an example of early modern western satire. It also serves as an exceptional introduction to the concept and use of argumentative language, lending itself well to secondary and post-secondary essay courses. Outside of the realm of English studies, A Modest Proposal is a relevant piece included in many comparative and global literature and history courses, as well as those of numerous other disciplines in the arts, humanities, and even the social sciences.

In his 1984 book A Modest Proposal, evangelical author Franky Schaeffer emulated Swift's work in social conservative polemic against abortion and euthanasia in a future dystopia that advocated recycling of aborted embryos and fetuses, as well as some disabled infants with compound intellectual, physical and physiological difficulties. (Such Baby Doe Rules cases were then a major concern of the pro-life movement of the early 1980s, which viewed selective treatment of those infants as disability discrimination.)



About Jonathan Swift

 

Jonathan Swift (30 November 1667 – 19 October 1745) was an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (first for Whigs then for the Tories), poet and cleric who became Dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin.

He is remembered for works such as Gulliver's Travels, A Modest Proposal, A Journal to Stella, Drapier's Letters, The Battle of the Books, An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity, and A Tale of a Tub. Swift is probably the foremost prose satirist in the English language, and is less well known for his poetry. Swift originally published all of his works under pseudonyms—such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, M.B. Drapier—or anonymously. He is also known for being a master of two styles of satire: the Horatian and Juvenalian styles.

Jonathan Swift was born at No. 7, Hoey's Court, Dublin, and was the second child and only son of Jonathan Swift (a second cousin of John Dryden) and wife Abigail Erick (or Herrick), paternal grandson of Thomas Swift and wife Elizabeth Dryden, daughter of Nicholas Dryden (brother of Sir Erasmus Dryden, 1st Baronet Dryden) and wife Mary Emyley. His father was Irish born and his mother was born in England. Swift arrived seven months after his father's untimely death. Most of the facts of Swift's early life are obscure, confused and sometimes contradictory. It is widely believed that his mother returned to England when Jonathan was still very young, then leaving him to be raised by his father's family. His uncle Godwin took primary responsibility for the young Jonathan, sending him with one of his cousins to Kilkenny College (also attended by the philosopher George Berkeley).

In 1682 he attended Dublin University (Trinity College, Dublin), receiving his B.A. in 1686. Swift was studying for his Master's degree when political troubles in Ireland surrounding the Glorious Revolution forced him to leave for England in 1688, where his mother helped him get a position as secretary and personal assistant of Sir William Temple at Moor Park, Farnham. Temple was an English diplomat who, having arranged the Triple Alliance of 1668, retired from public service to his country estate to tend his gardens and write his memoirs. Growing into confidence with his employer, Swift "was often trusted with matters of great importance." Within three years of their acquaintance, Temple had introduced his secretary to William III, and sent him to London to urge the King to consent to a bill for triennial Parliaments.

When Swift took up his residence at Moor Park, he met Esther Johnson, then 8 years old, the fatherless daughter of one of the household servants. Swift acted as her tutor and mentor, giving her the nickname "Stella" and the two maintained a close, but ambiguous relationship for the rest of Esther's life.

Swift left Temple in 1690 for Ireland because of his health, but returned to Moor Park the following year. The illness, fits of vertigo or giddiness—now known to be Ménière's disease—would continue to plague Swift throughout his life. During this second stay with Temple, Swift received his M.A. from Hertford College, Oxford in 1692. Then, apparently despairing of gaining a better position through Temple's patronage, Swift left Moor Park to become an ordained priest in the Established Church of Ireland and in 1694 he was appointed to the prebend of Kilroot in the Diocese of Connor, with his parish located at Kilroot, near Carrickfergus in County Antrim.

Swift appears to have been miserable in his new position, being isolated in a small, remote community far from the centres of power and influence. While at Kilroot, however, Swift may well have become romantically involved with Jane Waring. A letter from him survives, offering to remain if she would marry him and promising to leave and never return to Ireland if she refused. She presumably refused, because Swift left his post and returned to England and Temple's service at Moor Park in 1696, and he remained there until Temple's death. There he was employed in helping to prepare Temple's memoirs and correspondence for publication. During this time Swift wrote The Battle of the Books, a satire responding to critics of Temple's Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1690). Battle was however not published until 1704.

On January 27 1699 Temple died. Swift stayed on briefly in England to complete the editing of Temple's memoirs, and perhaps in the hope that recognition of his work might earn him a suitable position in England. However, Swift's work made enemies of some of Temple's family and friends who objected to indiscretions included in the memoirs. His next move was to approach King William directly, based on his imagined connection through Temple and a belief that he had been promised a position. This failed so miserably that he accepted the lesser post of secretary and chaplain to the Earl of Berkeley, one of the Lords Justices of Ireland. However, when he reached Ireland he found that the secretaryship had already been given to another. But he soon obtained the living of Laracor, Agher, and Rathbeggan, and the prebend of Dunlavin in St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin.

At Laracor, a mile or two from Trim, County Meath, and twenty miles (32 km) from Dublin, Swift ministered to a congregation of about fifteen people, and had abundant leisure for cultivating his garden, making a canal (after the Dutch fashion of Moor Park), planting willows, and rebuilding the vicarage. As chaplain to Lord Berkeley, he spent much of his time in Dublin and traveled to London frequently over the next ten years. In 1701, Swift published, anonymously, a political pamphlet, A Discourse on the Contests and Dissentions in Athens and Rome.

In February 1702, Swift received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Trinity College, Dublin. That spring he traveled to England and returned to Ireland in October, accompanied by Esther Johnson—now twenty years old—and his friend Rebecca Dingley, another member of William Temple's household. There is a great mystery and controversy over Swift's relationship with Esther Johnson nicknamed "Stella". Many hold that they were secretly married in 1716.

During his visits to England in these years Swift published A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books (1704) and began to gain a reputation as a writer. This led to close, lifelong friendships with Alexander Pope, John Gay, and John Arbuthnot, forming the core of the Martinus Scriblerus Club (founded in 1713).

Swift became increasingly active politically in these years. From 1707 to 1709 and again in 1710, Swift was in London, unsuccessfully urging upon the Whig administration of Lord Godolphin the claims of the Irish clergy to the First-Fruits and Twentieths ("Queen Anne's Bounty"), which brought in about £2500 a year, already granted to their brethren in England. He found the opposition Tory leadership more sympathetic to his cause and Swift was recruited to support their cause as editor of the Examiner when they came to power in 1710. In 1711, Swift published the political pamphlet "The Conduct of the Allies," attacking the Whig government for its inability to end the prolonged war with France. The incoming Tory government conducted secret (and illegal) negotiations with France, resulting in the Treaty of Utrecht (1713) ending the War of the Spanish Succession.

Swift was part of the inner circle of the Tory government, and often acted as mediator between Henry St. John (Viscount Bolingbroke) the secretary of state for foreign affairs (1710–15) and Robert Harley (Earl of Oxford) lord treasurer and prime minister (1711–1714). Swift recorded his experiences and thoughts during this difficult time in a long series of letters to Esther Johnson, later collected and published as The Journal to Stella. The animosity between the two Tory leaders eventually led to the dismissal of Harley in 1714. With the death of Queen Anne and ascension of George I that year, the Whigs returned to power and the Tory leaders were tried for treason for conducting secret negotiations with France.

Also during these years in London, Swift became acquainted with the Vanhomrigh family and became involved with one of the daughters, Esther, yet another fatherless young woman and an ambiguous relationship to confuse Swift's biographers. Swift furnished Esther with the nickname "Vanessa" and she features as one of the main characters in his poem Cadenus and Vanessa. The poem and their correspondence suggests that Esther was infatuated with Swift, that he may have reciprocated her affections, only to regret it and then try to break it off. Esther followed Swift to Ireland in 1714, where there appears to have been a confrontation, possibly involving Esther Johnson. Esther Vanhomrigh died in 1728 at the age of 35. Another lady with whom he had a close but less intense relationship, was Anne Long, a toast of the Kit-Cat Club.

Before the fall of the Tory government, Swift hoped that his services would be rewarded with a church appointment in England. However, Queen Anne appeared to have taken a dislike to Swift and thwarted these efforts. The best position his friends could secure for him was the Deanery of St. Patrick's, Dublin. With the return of the Whigs, Swift's best move was to leave England and he returned to Ireland in disappointment, a virtual exile, to live "like a rat in a hole".

Once in Ireland, however, Swift began to turn his pamphleteering skills in support of Irish causes, producing some of his most memorable works: Proposal for Universal Use of Irish Manufacture (1720), Drapier's Letters (1724), and A Modest Proposal (1729), earning him the status of an Irish patriot.

Also during these years, he began writing his masterpiece, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts, by Lemuel Gulliver, first a surgeon, and then a captain of several ships, better known as Gulliver's Travels. Much of the material reflects his political experiences of the preceding decade. For instance, the episode when the giant Gulliver puts out the Lilliputian palace fire by urinating on it can be seen as a metaphor for the Tories' illegal peace treaty; having done a good thing in an unfortunate manner. In 1726 he paid a long-deferred visit to London, taking with him the manuscript of Gulliver's Travels. During his visit he stayed with his old friends, Alexander Pope, John Arbuthnot, and John Gay, who helped him arrange for the anonymous publication of his book. First published in November 1726, it was an immediate hit, with a total of three printings that year and another in early 1727. French, German, and Dutch translations appeared in 1727 and pirated copies were printed in Ireland.

Swift returned to England one more time in 1727 and stayed with Alexander Pope once again. The visit was cut short when he received word that Esther Johnson was dying and Swift rushed back home to be with her. On 28 January 1728, Esther Johnson died, though he prayed at her bedside, even composing prayers for her comfort. Swift could not bear to be present at the end, but on the night of her death he began to write his The Death of Mrs. Johnson. He was too ill to attend the funeral at St. Patrick's. Many years later, a lock of hair, assumed to be Esther Johnson's, was found in his desk, wrapped in a paper bearing the words, "Only a woman's hair."

Death became a frequent feature in Swift's life from this point. In 1731 he wrote Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift, his own obituary published in 1739. In 1732, his good friend and collaborator John Gay died. In 1735, John Arbuthnot, another friend from his days in London, died. In 1738 Swift began to show signs of illness and in 1742 he appears to have suffered a stroke, losing the ability to speak and realizing his worst fears of becoming mentally disabled. ("I shall be like that tree," he once said, "I shall die at the top.") In order to protect him from unscrupulous hangers on, who had begun to prey on the great man, his closest companions had him declared of "unsound mind and memory." However, it was long believed by many that Swift was really insane at this point. In his book Literature and Western Man, author J.B. Priestley even cites the final chapters of Gulliver's Travels as proof of Swift's approaching "insanity".

In part VIII of his series, The Story of Civilization, Will Durant describes the final years of Swift's life as such: "Definite symptoms of madness appeared in 1738. In 1741 guardians were appointed to take care of his affairs and watch lest in his outbursts of violence he should do himself harm. In 1742 he suffered great pain from the inflammation of his left eye, which swelled to the size of an egg; five attendants had to restrain him from tearing out his eye. He went a whole year without uttering a word."

In 1744, Alexander Pope died. Then, on October 19, 1745, Swift died. After being laid out in public view for the people of Dublin to pay their last respects, he was buried in his own cathedral by Esther Johnson's side, in accordance with his wishes. The bulk of his fortune (twelve thousand pounds) was left to found a hospital for the mentally ill, originally known as St. Patrick’s Hospital for Imbeciles, which opened in 1757, and which still exists as a psychiatric hospital.

Swift was a prolific writer, notable for his satires. The most recent collection of his prose works (Herbert Davis, ed. Basil Blackwell, 1965-) comprises fourteen volumes. A recent edition of his complete poetry (Pat Rodges, ed. Penguin, 1983) is 953 pages long. One edition of his correspondence (David Woolley, ed. P. Lang, 1999) fills three volumes.

Swift's first major prose play, A Tale of a Tub, demonstrates many of the themes and stylistic techniques he would employ in his later work. It is at once wildly playful and funny while being pointed and harshly critical of its targets. In its main thread, the Tale recounts the exploits of three sons, representing the main threads of Christianity, who receive a bequest from their father of a coat each, with the added instructions to make no alterations whatsoever. However, the sons soon find that their coats have fallen out of current fashion and begin to look for loopholes in their father's will which will allow them to make the needed alterations. As each finds his own means of getting around their father's admonition, they struggle with each other for power and dominance. Inserted into this story, in alternating chapters, Swift includes a series of whimsical "digressions" on various subjects.

In 1690, Sir William Temple, Swift's patron, published An Essay upon Ancient and Modern Learning a defense of classical writing (see Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns) holding up the Epistles of Phalaris as an example. William Wotton responded to Temple with Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1694) showing that the Epistles were a later forgery. A response by the supporters of the Ancients was then made by Charles Boyle (later the 4th Earl of Orrery and father of Swift's first biographer). A further retort on the Modern side came from Richard Bentley, one of the pre-eminent scholars of the day, in his essay Dissertation upon the Epistles of Phalaris (1699). However, the final words on the topic belong to Swift in his Battle of the Books (1697, published 1704) in which he makes a humorous defense on behalf of Temple and the cause of the Ancients.

In 1708, a cobbler named John Partridge published a popular almanac of astrological predictions. Because Partridge falsely determined the deaths of several church officials, Swift attacked Partridge in Predictions For The Ensuing Year by Isaac Bickerstaff, a parody predicting that Partridge would die on March 29th. Swift followed up with a pamphlet issued on March 30th claiming that Partridge had in fact died, which was widely believed despite Partridge's statements to the contrary.

Drapier's Letters (1724) was a series of pamphlets against the monopoly granted by the English government to William Wood to provide the Irish with copper coinage. It was widely believed that Wood would need to flood Ireland with debased coinage in order make a profit. In these "letters" Swift posed as a shop-keeper--a draper--in order to criticize the plan. Swift's writing was so effective in undermining opinion in the project that a reward was offered by the government to anyone disclosing the true identity of the author. Though hardly a secret (on returning to Dublin after one of his trips to England, Swift was greeted with a banner, "Welcome Home, Drapier") no one turned Swift in. The government eventually resorted to hiring none other than Sir Isaac Newton to certify the soundness of Wood's coinage to counter Swift's accusations. In "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift" (1739) Swift recalled this as one of his best achievements.

Gulliver's Travels, which Swift wrote a large portion of in Woodbrook House, County Laois was first published in 1726, and is regarded as his masterpiece. As with his other writings, the Travels was published under a pseudonym, the fictional Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon and later a sea captain. Some of the correspondence between printer Benj. Motte and Gulliver's also-fictional cousin negotiating the book's publication has survived. Though it has often been mistakenly thought of and published in bowdlerized form as a children's book, it is a great and sophisticated satire of human nature based on Swift's experience of his times. Gulliver's Travels is an anatomy of human nature, a sardonic looking-glass, often criticized for its apparent misanthropy. It asks its readers to refute it, to deny that it has not adequately characterized human nature and society. Each of the four books--recounting four voyages to mostly-fictional exotic lands--has a different theme, but all are attempts to deflate human pride. Critics hail the work as a satiric reflection on the failings of Enlightenment modernism.

In 1729, he published A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland Being a Burden to Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Public, a satire in which the narrator, with intentionally grotesque logic, recommends that Ireland's poor escape their poverty by selling their children as food to the rich: "I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food..." Following the satirical form, he introduces the reforms he is actually suggesting by deriding them:

Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients...taxing our absentees...using [nothing] except what is of our own growth and manufacture...rejecting...foreign luxury...introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence and temperance...learning to love our country...quitting our animosities and factions...teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants....Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the like expedients, 'till he hath at least some glympse of hope, that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them into practice.

According to other sources,Richard Steele uses the personae of Isaac Bickerstaff and was the one who wrote about the "death" of John Partridge and published it in The Spectator, not Jonathan Swift.


A MODEST PROPOSAL FOR PREVENTING THE CHILDREN OF POOR PEOPLE IN IRELAND FROM BEING A BURDEN TO THEIR PARENTS OR COUNTRY, AND FOR MAKING THEM BENEFICIAL TO THE PUBLIC

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 by three, 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 Barbadoes. 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 out a fair, cheap, and easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the commonwealth, would deserve so well of the public as to have his statue set up for a preserver of the nation.

But my intention is very far 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 other projectors, I have always found them grossly mistaken in the 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 2s., which the mother may certainly get, or the value in scraps, by her 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 their lives, they shall on the contrary contribute to the feeding, and partly to the clothing, of many thousands.

There is likewise another great advantage in my scheme, that it will prevent those voluntary abortions, and that horrid practice of women murdering their bastard children, alas! too frequent among us! sacrificing the poor innocent babes I doubt more to avoid the expense than the shame, which would move tears and pity in the most savage and inhuman breast.

The number of souls in this kingdom being usually reckoned one million and a half, of these I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders; from which number I subtract thirty thousand couples who are able to maintain their own children, although I apprehend there cannot be so many, under the present distresses of the kingdom; but this being granted, there will remain an hundred and seventy thousand breeders. I again subtract fifty thousand for those women who miscarry, or whose children die by accident or disease within the year. There only remains one hundred and twenty thousand children of poor parents annually born: the question therefore is, how this number shall be reared and provided for, which, as I have already said, under the present situation of affairs, is utterly impossible by all the methods hitherto proposed. For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land: they can very seldom pick up a livelihood by stealing, till they arrive at six years old, except where they are of towardly parts, although I confess they learn the rudiments much earlier, during which time, they can however be properly looked upon only as probationers, as I have been informed by a principal gentleman in the county of Cavan, who protested to me that he never knew above one or two instances under the age of six, even in a part of the kingdom so renowned for the quickest proficiency in that art.

I a m assured by our merchants, that a boy or a girl before twelve years old is no salable commodity; and even when they come to this age they will not yield above three pounds, or three pounds and half-a-crown at most on the exchange; which cannot turn to account either to the parents or kingdom, the charge of nutriment and rags having been at least four times that value.

I shall now therefore humbly propose my own thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the least objection.

I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout.

I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one-fourth part to be males; which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle or swine; and my reason is, that these children are seldom the fruits of marriage, a circumstance not much regarded by our savages, therefore one male will be sufficient to serve four females. That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in the sale to the persons of quality and fortune through the kingdom; always advising the mother to let them suck plentifully in the last month, so as to render them plump and fat for a good table. A child will make two dishes at an entertainment for friends; and when the family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a little pepper or salt will be very good boiled on the fourth day, especially in winter.

I have reckoned upon a medium that a child just born will weigh 12 pounds, and in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, increaseth to 28 pounds.

I grant this food will be somewhat dear, and therefore very proper for landlords, who, as they have already devoured most of the parents, seem to have the best title to the children.

Infant's flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after; for we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season; therefore, reckoning a year after Lent, the markets will be more glutted than usual, because the number of popish infants is at least three to one in this kingdom: and therefore it will have one other collateral advantage, by lessening the number of papists among us.

I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar's child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, laborers, and four-fifths of the farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags included; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the carcass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, will make four dishes of excellent nutritive meat, when he hath only some particular friend or his own family to dine with him. Thus the squire will learn to be a good landlord, and grow popular among his tenants; the mother will have eight shillings net profit, and be fit for work till she produces another child.

Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flay the carcass; the skin of which artificially dressed will make admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boots for fine gentlemen.

As to our city of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this purpose in the most convenient parts of it, and butchers we may be assured will not be wanting; although I rather recommend buying the children alive, and dressing them hot from the knife, as we do roasting pigs.

A very worthy person, a true lover of his country, and whose virtues I highly esteem, was lately pleased in discoursing on this matter to offer a refinement upon my scheme. He said that many gentlemen of this kingdom, having of late destroyed their deer, he conceived that the want of venison might be well supplied by the bodies of young lads and maidens, not exceeding fourteen years of age nor under twelve; so great a number of both sexes in every country being now ready to starve for want of work and service; and these to be disposed of by their parents, if alive, or otherwise by their nearest relations. But with due deference to so excellent a friend and so deserving a patriot, I cannot be altogether in his sentiments; for as to the males, my American acquaintance assured me, from frequent experience, that their flesh was generally tough and lean, like that of our schoolboys by continual exercise, and their taste disagreeable; and to fatten them would not answer the charge. Then as to the females, it would, I think, with humble submission be a loss to the public, because they soon would become breeders themselves; and besides, it is not improbable that some scrupulous people might be apt to censure such a practice (although indeed very unjustly), as a little bordering upon cruelty; which, I confess, hath always been with me the strongest objection against any project, however so well intended.

But in order to justify my friend, he confessed that this expedient was put into his head by the famous Psalmanazar, a native of the island Formosa, who came from thence to London above twenty years ago, and in conversation told my friend, that in his country when any young person happened to be put to death, the executioner sold the carcass to persons of quality as a prime dainty; and that in his time the body of a plump girl of fifteen, who was crucified for an attempt to poison the emperor, was sold to his imperial majesty's prime minister of state, and other great mandarins of the court, in joints from the gibbet, at four hundred crowns. Neither indeed can I deny, that if the same use were made of several plump young girls in this town, who without one single groat to their fortunes cannot stir abroad without a chair, and appear at playhouse and assemblies in foreign fineries which they never will pay for, the kingdom would not be the worse.

Some persons of a desponding spirit are in great concern about that vast number of poor people, who are aged, diseased, or maimed, and I have been desired to employ my thoughts what course may be taken to ease the nation of so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in the least pain upon that matter, because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. And as to the young laborers, they are now in as hopeful a condition; they cannot get work, and consequently pine away for want of nourishment, to a degree that if at any time they are accidentally hired to common labor, they have not strength to perform it; and thus the country and themselves are happily delivered from the evils to come.

I have too long digressed, and therefore shall return to my subject. I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance. For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation as well as our most dangerous enemies; and who stay at home on purpose with a design to deliver the kingdom to the Pretender, hoping to take their advantage by the absence of so many good protestants, who have chosen rather to leave their country than stay at home and pay tithes against their conscience to an Episcopal curate. Secondly, The poorer tenants will have something valuable of their own, which by law may be made liable to distress and help to pay their landlord's rent, their corn and cattle being already seized, and money a thing unknown.

Thirdly, Whereas the maintenance of an hundred thousand children, from two years old and upward, cannot be computed at less than ten shillings a-piece per annum, the nation's stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand pounds per annum, beside the profit of a new dish introduced to the tables of all gentlemen of fortune in the kingdom who have any refinement in taste. And the money will circulate among ourselves, the goods being entirely of our own growth and manufacture.

Fourthly, The constant breeders, beside the gain of eight shillings sterling per annum by the sale of their children, will be rid of the charge of maintaining them after the first year. Fifthly, This food would likewise bring great custom to taverns; where the vintners will certainly be so prudent as to procure the best receipts for dressing it to perfection, and consequently have their houses frequented by all the fine gentlemen, who justly value themselves upon their knowledge in good eating: and a skilful cook, who understands how to oblige his guests, will contrive to make it as expensive as they please.

Sixthly, This would be a great inducement to marriage, which all wise nations have either encouraged by rewards or enforced by laws and penalties. It would increase the care and tenderness of mothers toward their children, when they were sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, provided in some sort by the public, to their annual profit instead of expense. We should see an honest emulation among the married women, which of them could bring the fattest child to the market. Men would become as fond of their wives during the time of their pregnancy as they are now of their mares in foal, their cows in calf, their sows when they are ready to farrow; nor offer to beat or kick them (as is too frequent a practice) for fear of a miscarriage.

Many other advantages might be enumerated. For instance, the addition of some thousand carcasses in our exportation of barreled beef, the propagation of swine's flesh, and improvement in the art of making good bacon, so much wanted among us by the great destruction of pigs, too frequent at our tables; which are no way comparable in taste or magnificence to a well-grown, fat, yearling child, which roasted whole will make a considerable figure at a lord mayor's feast or any other public entertainment. But this and many others I omit, being studious of brevity.

Supposing that one thousand families in this city would be constant customers for infants flesh, besides others who might have it at merry meetings, particularly weddings and christenings: I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses, and the rest of the kingdom (where probably they will be sold somewhat cheaper) the remaining eighty thousand.

I can think of no one that will possibly be raised against this propasal, unless it should be urged that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I freely own, and it was indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculated my remedy for this one individual Kingdom of Ireland, and for no other that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon earth. Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither clothes, nor household furniture, except what is our own growth and manufacture: Of utterly rejecting the materials and instruments that promote foriegn luxury: Of curing the expensiveness of pride, vanity, idleness, and gaming in our women: Of introducing a vein of parsimony, prudence, and temperance: Of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders, and the inhabitants of Tompinamboo: Of quitting our animosities and factions, nor act any longe like the Jews, who were murdering one another at the very moment their city was taken: Of being a little cautious not to sell our country and consciences for nothing: Of teaching landlords to have at least one degree of mercy towards their tenants. Lastly, of putting a spirit of honesty, industry, into our shopkeepers, who, if a resolution could now be taken to buy only our native goods, would immediately unite to cheat and exact upon us in the price, the measure and goodness, nor could ever yet be brought to make one fair propasal of just dealing, though often and ernestly invited to it.

Therefore I repeat, let no man talk to me of these and the likes expedients, till he hath at least a glimpse of hope that there will ever be some hearty and sincere attempt to put them in practice. But as to myself, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly dispairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this propasal, which as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expense and little trouble, full in our own power, and whereby we can incur no danger in disobliging England. For this kind of commodity will not bear exportation, the flesh being of too tender a consistence to admit a long continuance in salt, although perhaps I could name a country that would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it.

After all, I am not so violently bent upon my own opinion as to reject any offer proposed by wise men, which shall be found equally innocent, cheap, easy, and effectual. But before something of that kind shall be advanced in contradiction to my scheme, and offering a better, I desire the author or authors will be pleased maturely to consider two points. First, as things now stand, how they will be able to find food and raiment for an hundred thousand useless mouths and backs. And secondly, there being a round million of creatures in human figure throughout this kingdom, whose whole subsistence put into a common stock would leave them in debt two millions of pounds sterling, adding those who are beggars by profession to the bulk of farmers, cottagers, and laborers, with their wives and children who are beggars in effect: I desire those politicians who dislike my overture, and may perhaps be so bold as to attempt an answer, that they will first ask the parents of these mortals, whether they would not at this day think it a great happiness to have been sold for food, at a year old in the manner I prescribe, and thereby have avoided such a perpetual scene of misfortunes as they have since gone through by the oppression of landlords, the impossibility of paying rent without money or trade, the want of common sustenance, with neither house nor clothes to cover them from the inclemencies of the weather, and the most inevitable prospect of entailing the like or greater miseries upon their breed for ever.

I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. I have no children by which I can propose to get a single penny; the youngest being nine years old, and my wife past child-bearing.

(1729)