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A Modest Proposal
By Jonathan Swift (1729)

Ao meu professor de história do 12º ano e ao Nelson do DesBlogueador de Conversa

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), author and satirist, famous for Gulliver’s Travels (1726) and A Modest Proposal (1729). This proposal, where he suggests that the Irish eat their own children, is one of his most drastic pieces. He devoted much of his writing to the struggle for Ireland against the English hegemony. Fonte: http://art-bin.com/art/omodest.html

About this text.

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.