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Commons with the same money. A high trees as nimbly as a squirrel, for they had king is a practiser of all the vices, strong extended claws before and behind, ter unable to employ or love an honest The females ... had long lank hair on their
minating in sharp, points and hcoked.... man, persuaded that “the royal throne head, but none on their faces, nor anything could not be supported without cor more than a sort of down on the rest of the ruption, because that positive,confident, all my travels so disagreeable an animal, or one
bodies. ... Upon the whole I never beheld ir restive temper which virtue infused against which I naturally conceived so great an into a nat, was a perpetual clog to antipathy." * public business.”*
At Lilliput the king chooses as his ministers those who brothers. He finds in them all our
According to Swift, such are our dance best upon the tight-rope. At instincts. They hate each other, tea Luggnagg he compels all those, who each other with their talons, with hide are presented to him, to crawl on their ous contortions and yells ! such is the bellies and lick the dust.
source of our quarrels. If they find a “When the king as a mind to put any of dead cow, although they are but five, bis nobles to death in a gentle, indulgent man, and there is enough for fifty, they aer, he commands the floor to be strewed with a certain brown powder of a deadly composition, strangle and wound each other': such which, being licked up, infallibly kills him in is a picture of our greed and our wars. twenty-four hours. But in justice to this prince's They dig up precious stones and hide great clemency, and the care he has of his sub- them in their kennels, and watch them jects' lives (wherein it were much to be wished that the monarchs of Europe would imitate
“with great caution,” pining and howl. him), it must be mentioned for his honour, that ing when robbed : such is the origin of the floor well washed after every such ex. indifferently “herbs, berries, roots, the strict orders are given to have the infected parts of our love of gold. They devour ecution. ...
... I myself heard him give directions that one of his pages should be whipped, corrupted flesh of animals,” preferring whose turn it was to give notice about washing “what they could get by rapine or the floor after an execution, but maliciously had stealth,” gorging themselves till they omitted it; by which neglect, a young lord of vomit or burst: such is the portrait of great hopes coming to an audience, was unfortunately poisoned, although the King at that our gluttony and injustice. They have time had no design against his life. But this a kind of juicy and unwholesome root, good prince was so gracious as to forgive the which they "would suck with great poor page his whipping, upon promise that he delight,” till they “ howl, and grin, and would do so no more, without special orders.”+
chatter," embracing or scratching each All these fictions of giants, pigmies, other, then reeling, hiccuping, wallowflying islands, are means for depriving ing in the mud : such is a picture of human nature of the veils with which our drunkenness. habit and imagination cover it, to dis
“ In most herds there was a sort of ruling play it in its truth and its ugliness. Yahoo, who was always more deformed in body, There is still one cloak to remove, the and mischievous in disposition, than any of the most deceitful and familiar. Swift rest: that this leader had usually a favourite as must tike away that appearance of like himself as he could get, whose employment reason in which we deck ourselves. the female Yahoos to his kennel, for which he
was to lick his master's feet,
; He must suppress the sciences, arts, was now and then rewarded with a piece of combinations of societies, inventions of ass's flesh. . . . He usually continues in office industries, whose brightness dazzles us. till a worse can be found.”+ He must discover the Yahoo in man.
Such is an abstract of our govern. What a spectacle !
And yet he gives preference to • A: last I beheld several animals in a field. the Yahoos over men, saying that our and one or two of the same kind sitting in trees. wretched reason has aggravated and Their shape was very singular and deformed. multiplied these vices, and concluding ... Their headz ar l breasts were covered with with the king of Brobdingnag that our a thick hair, so.ae frizzled, and others lank; they had beards like goats, and a long ridge of species is “the most pernicious race of hair down their backs, and the forepart of their little odious vermin that nature ever legs and feet ; but the rest of their bodies was suffered to crawl upon the surface of bare, so that I might see their skins, which the earth.” 1 were of a brown buff colour. ... They climbed
* Ibid. Part 4. ch. 1, p. 386. • Gulliver's Travels, Part 3, ch. 3, p. 258.
Ibid. ch. 7, P. 337 Ibid. ch. 9 p. 264.
Ibid. Part 2, ch. 6, p. 73.
Five years after this troatise on man, fess the ti nes reqiore), may day the carcass he wrote in favor of unhappy Ireland the skin of which, artificially dressed, will make a pamphlet which is like the last effort for fine gentlemen.
admirable gloves for ladies, and summer boou of his despair and his genius.* I give “ As to our city of Dublin, shambles may be it almost whole; it deserves it. I appointed for this purpose in the most com know nothing like it in any literatu'e: assured will not be wanting ; although I rather
venient parts of it ; and butchers w. giay be " It is a melancholy object to those who walk recommend buying the children alive, than dress ihrough this great town, or travel in the coun- ing them hot from the knife, 22 we do roastire try, when they see the streets, the roads, and pies; sabin-doors crowded with beggars of the female
I think the advantages - the proposal which sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all I have made, are obvious and many, as well
as in rags, an i importuning every passenger for an
of the highest importance, For first, as I ha alms. : : . I think it is agreed by all parties already observed, it would greatly lessen the that this prodigious number of children :
number of Fapists, with whom we are yearly
is, in the present deplorable state of the kingdom, overrun, being the principal breeders of the 4 very great additional grievance ; and there nation, as well as our most dangerous enemics. fore, whoever could find out a fair, cheap, and hundred thousand children, from two years old
Thirdly, whereas the maintenance of a easy method of making these children sound, useful members of the Commonwealth, would and upward, cannot be computed at less than deserve so well of the public, as to have his ten shillings a piece per annum, the nation's statue set up for a preserver of the nation....
stock will be thereby increased fifty thousand I shall now, therefore, humbly propose my own dish introduced to the tables of all gentlemen
pounds per annum, beside the profit of a new thoughts, which I hope will not be liable to the of fortune in the kingdom, who have any refineleast objection." +
ment in taste. And the money will circulate When we know Swift, such a begin- among ourselves, the goods being entirely of ning frightens us :
our own growth and manufacture. ...
this would be a great inducement to marriage, “ I have been assured by a very knowing which all wise nations have either encouraged American of my acquaintance in London, that by rewards, or enforced by laws and penalties, a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year mothers toward their children, when they were
It would increase the care and tenderness of old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or
sure of a settlement for life to the poor babes, boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally provided in some sort by the public, to their serve in a fricassee or a ragout.
annual profit or expense.
Many other ad “! do therefore humbly offer it to public vantages might be enumerated, for instance, the consideration, that of the hundred and twenty addition of some thousand carcasses in our ex, thousand children already computed, twenty portation of barrelled beef; the propagation of thousand may be reserved for breed,' whereof swhe's flesh, and the improvement in the art of unly one-fourth part to be males; ... that the making good bacon. . : : But this, and many remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, others, I omit, being studious of brevity: be offered in sale to the persons of quality, and
“ Some persons of desponding spirit are in fortune through the kingdom ; always advising great concern about that vast number of poor the mother to let them suck 'plentifully in the people who are aged, diseased, or maimed ; and last month, so as to render them plump and fat I have been desired to employ my thoughts, for a good table. A child will make two dishes what course may be taken to ease the nation of at an entertainment for friends, and when the
so grievous an encumbrance. But I am not in family dines alone, the fore or hind quarter will the least pain upon that matter ; because it is make a reasonable dish, and seasoned with a
very well known, that they are every day dying little pepper or salt, will be very good boiled on
and rotting, by cold and famine, and filth and the fourth day, especially in winter.
vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. “ I have reckoned, upon a medium, that a
And as to the young labourers, they are now in child just born will weigh twelve pounds, and almost as hopeful a condition ; they cannot get in a solar year, if tolerably nursed, will increase work, and consequently pine away for want of to twenty-eight pounds.
nourishment, to a degree, that, if at any time “I have already computed the charge of they are accidentally hired to common labour, nursing a beggar's child (in which list I reckon they have not strength to perfora it; and the all cottagers, labourers, and four-fifths of the the country and themselves are haj pily deliver Earmers), to be about two shillings per annum,
ed from the evils to come. rags included ; and I believe no gentleman would repine to give ten shillings for the car
Swift ends with the following ironic cass of a good fat child, which, as I have said, lines, worthy of a cannibal : will make four dishes of excellent nutritive “ I profess, in the sincerity of rey heart, that
I have not the least perso al interest in en. “ Those who are more thrifty (as I must con- deavouring to promote this necessary work,
having no other motive than the public good of A Modest Proposal for preventing the my country, by advancing our trade, providing children of the poor people in Ireland from for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some being a burden to their parents or country, prasure to the rich. I have no children by and for making # em beneficial to the public, tpag Ibid. vii. 454.
A Modest Proglosal, etc., 461.
which I can propose to get a single penny; the and die under its point and its poison youngest being nine years old and my wife past A pamphleteer against opposition and child-bearing. * *
government, he tore or crushed his Much has been said of unhappy great adversaries with his irony or his se: men, Pascal, for instance. I think that tences, with the tone of a judge, a his cries and his anguish are faint com- sovereign, and a hangman. A man pared to this calrn treatise.
the world and a poet, he invented a Such was this great and unhappy ge- cruel pleasantry, funereal laughter, a nius, the greatest of the classical age, convulsive gayety of bitter contrasts ; the mąst unhappy in history, English and whilst dragging the mythological hrougnout, whom the excess of his trappings, as if it were rags he was English qualities inspired and con- obliged to wear, he created a personal sumed, having this intensity of de- poetry by painting the crude details of sires, which is the main feature of the trivial life, by the energy of a painful face, the enormity of pride which the grotesqueness, by the merciless revela. habit of liberty, command, and success tion of the filth we conceal. A phi. has impressed upon the nation, the losopher against all philosophy, he cresolidity of the positive mind which ated a realistic poem, a grave parody, habits of business have established in deduced like geometry, absurd as a the country; precluded from power dream, credible as a law report, attracand action by his unchecked passions tive as a tale, degrading as a dishclout and his intractable pride; excluded placed like a crown on the head of a from poetry and philosophy by the divinity. These were his miseries and clear-sightedness and narrowness of his strength : we quit such a spectacle his common sense; deprived of the with a sad heart, but full of admiration; consolations offered by contemplative and we say that a palace is beautiful life, and the occupation furnished by even when it is on fire. Artists will practical life; too superior to embrace add: especially when it is on fire. heartily a religious sect or a political party, too narrow-minded to rest in the lofty doctrines which conciliate all beliefs, or in the wide sympathies which
CHAPTER VI. embrace all parties; condemned by his nature and surroundings to fight
The Nobelists. without loving a cause, to write without taking a liking to literature, to
1. think without feeling the truth of any dogma, warring as condottiere AMIDST these finished and perfect against all parties, a misanthrope dis- writings a new kind makes its appear. liking all men, a skeptic denying all ance, suited to the public tendencies beauty and truth. But these very sur- and circumstances of the time, the antiroundings, and this very nature, which romantic novel, the work and the read. expelled him from happiness, love, ing of positive minds, observers and power, and science, raised him, in this moralists, not intended to exalt and age of French'imitation and classical amuse the imagination, like the novels moderation, to a wonderful height, of Spain and the middle ages, not to where, by the originality and power of reproduce or embellish conversation, his inventions, he is the equal of Byron, like the novels of France and the seven Milton, and Shakspeare, and shows teenth century, but to depict real life, preeminently the character and mind to describe characters, to suggest plans of his nation. Sensibility, a positive of conduct, and judge motives of acmind, and pride, forged for him a tion. It was a strange apparition, and unique style, of terrible vehemence, like the voice of a people buried underwithering calmness, practical effective ground, when, amidst the splendid cor ness, hardened by scorn, truth and ruption of high life, this severe eman hatred, a weapon of vengeance and ation of the middle class welled up, war which made his enemies cry out and when the obscenities of Mrs. # A Modest Proposal, etc. 466.
Aphra Behn, still the riversion of
ladies of fashion, were_found on the Ijects political and religious, accidental same table with De Foe's Robinson or moral, satires and novels, histories Crusoe.
and poems, travels and pamphlets,
commercial essays and statistical in. II.
formation, in all two hundred and ten
works, not of verbiage, but of arguDe Foe, a dissenter, a pamphleteer, ments, documents, and facts, crowded a journalist, a novel-writer, successively and piled one upon another with such a hosier, a tile-maker, an accountar., prodigality, that the memory, thought, was one of those indefatigable laborers and application of one man seemed too and obstinate combatants, who, ill. small for such a labor; he died pennitreated, calumniated, imprisoned, suc- less, in debt. However we regard his seeded by their uprightness, common life, we see only prolonged efforts and sense and energy, in gaining England persecutions. Joy seems to be want over to their side. At twenty-three, ing; the idea of the beautiful never having taken arms for Monmouth, he enters. When he comes to fiction, it was fortunate in not being hung or is like a Presbyterian and a plebeian, sent out of the country. Seven years with low subjects and moral aims, to later he was ruined and obliged to hide. treat of the adventures, and reform the In 1702, for a pamphlet not rightly conduct of thieves and prostitutes, anderstood, he was condemned to pay workmen and sailors. His whole de a fine, was set in the pillory, imprisoned light was to think that he had a service two years in Newgate, and only the to perform and that he was performing charity of Godolphin prevented his it: "He that opposes his own judgwife and six children from dying of ment against the current of the times hunger. Being released and sent as a ought to be backed with unanswerable commissioner to Scotland to treat truth ; and he that has truth on his about the union of the two countries, side is a fool as well as a coward if he he narrowly escaped being stoned. An is afraid to own it, because of the mulother pamphlet, which was again mis- titude of other men's opinions. 'Tis construed, sent him to prison, com- hard for a man to say, all the world is pelled him to pay a fine of eight hun-mistaken but himself. But if it be.so, dred pounds, and only just in time he who can help it?” Nobody can help received the Queen's pardon. His it, but then a man must walk straight works were copied, he was robbed, ahead, and alone, amidst blows and and slandered. He was obliged to throwing of mud. De Foe is like one protest against the plagiarists, who of those brave, obscure, and useful printed and altered his works for their soldiers who, with empty belly and benefit; against the neglect of the burdened shoulders, go through their Whigs, who did not find him tractable duties with their feet in the mud, cnough; against the animosity of the pocket blows, receive the whole day Tories, who saw in him the chief long the fire of the enemy, and somechampion of the Whigs. In the midst times that of their friends into the of his self-defence he was struck with bargain, and die sergeants, happy if it apoplexy, and continued to detend has been their good fortune to get himself from his bed. Yet he lived hold of the legion of honor. on, but with great difficulty; poor and
De Foe had the kind of mind suita burdened with a family, he turned, at ble to such a hard service, solid, exac! fifty-five, to fiction, and wrote succes- entirely destitute of refinement, enthu sively Míoll Flanders, Captain Singleton, siasm, agreeableness.* His imagination Duncan Campbell, Colonel Jack, the was that of a man of business, not of History of the Great Plague in London, an artist, crammed and, as it were, and many others. This vein exhausted, jammed down with facts. He tells he diverged and tried another - the them as they come to him, without Complete English Tradesman, A Tour arrangement or style, like a conversa through Great Britain. Death came;
* See his dull poems, ama gst others Furg poverty remained.
In vain had he divino, a poem in twe've books, in defence of written in prose, in vern, on all sub every man's birthrigt by nature.
tion, without dreaming of producing an invented; an inventor would have sup effect, or composing a phrase, employ- pressed it; it is too tedious to have ing technical terms and vulgar forms, been put in on purpose : art chooses, repeating himself at need, using the embellishes, interests ; art, therefore, same thing two or three times, not seem- cannot have piled up this heap of dull ing to imagine that there are methods and vulgar accidents ; it is the truth. of amusing, touching, engrossing, or Read, for instance, A True Relation pleasing, with no desire but to pour out of the Apparition of one Mrs. Veal, the on paper the fulness of the information next Day after her Death, to one Mrs. with which he is charged. Even in Bargrave, at Canterbury, the 8th of fiction bis information is as precise as September 1705 ; which Apparition re Ir. history. He gives dates, year, month, commends the perusal of Drelincourt's and day; notes the wind, north-east, Book of Consolation against the Fear of south-west, north-west ; he writes a Death. * The old little chap books, log-book, an invoice, attorneys' and read by aged needlewomen, are not shopkeepers' bills, the number of moi- more monotonous. There is such an dores, interest, specie payments, pay- array of circumstantial and guaranteed ments in kind, cost and sale prices, the details, such a file of witnesses quoted, share of the king, of religious houses, referred to, registered, compared, such partners, brokers, net totals, statistics, a perfect appearance of tradesman-like the geography and hydrography of the honesty, plain, vulgar common sense, island, so that the reader is tempted to that a man would take the author for take an atlas and draw for himself a an honest retired hosier, with too little little map of the place, to enter into all brains to invent a story; no writer the details of the history, and to see the careful of his reputation would have objects as clearly and fully as the au- printed such nonsense. In fact, it was thor. It seems as though our author not his reputation that De Foe cared had performed all Crusoe's labors, so for ; he had other motives in his head; exactly does he describe them, with we literary men of the present time cannumbers, quantities, dimensions, like not guess them, being literary men only. a carpenter, potter, or an old tar. Never But he wanted to sell a pious book of was such a sense of the real before or Drelincourt, which would not sell of since. Our realists of to-day, painters, itself, and in addition, to confirm people anatomists, who enter deliberately on in their religious belief by advocating their business, are very far from this the appearance of ghosts. It was the naturalness ; art and calculation crop grand proof then brought to bear on aut amidst their too minute descrip- skeptics. Grave Dr. Johnson himself tons. De Foe creates illusion ; for it tried to see a ghost, and no event of that is not the eye which deceives us, but time was more suited to the belief of the mind, and that literally : his account the middle class. Here, as elsewhere, of the great plague has more than once De Foe, like Swift, is a man of action; passed for true ; and Lord Chatham effect, not noise touches him ; he com: mistook his Memoirs of a Cavalier for posed Robinson Crusoe to warn the im. an authentic narrative. This was his pious, as Swift wrote the life of the a iru. In the preface to the old edition last man hung to inspire thieves with of Rubinson brusoe it is said : “ The terror! In that positive and religious story is told
to the instruction of age, amidst these political and puri others by this xampie, and to justify tanic citizens, practice was of such im and honor the wisdom of Providence. portance as to reduce art to the condi The editor believes the thing to be a tion of its tool. just history of facts ; neither is there Never was art the tool of a more any appearance of fiction in it.” All moral
more thoroughly English his talents lie in this, and thus even his work Robinson Crusoe is quite a man imperfections aid him ; his lack of art of his race, and might instruct it even becomes a profound art; his negligence, repetitions, prolixity, contribute to the
* Compare another story of an apparition illusion : we cannot imagine that such American is a suffering artist ; De Foc a citi
Edgar Poe's Case of M. Waldemar. The and such a detail, so minute, so dull, is zen, who has common sense.