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English books these days

Part of my assignment for my English summer work, I had to read the book 25 Great Essays, which essentially is a book of 25 essays. Today, I was reading through one of the essays "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift and it was one of the grossest things I have ever had to read for an english class. Basically, it took a satirical approach on famine and overpopulation in Ireland, suggesting cannibalism as a solution to lower the population and provide more food. He proposed killing kids when they turn one and eating them, using the skin for gloves and boots. Like what kind of school book is this! I almost puked, and did not want to eat dinner. And the worst part is, i had to write a page and a half on it.

If you want the full essay you can find it in four sections here, otherwise, here is the basic jist of it, with the gross quotes :s:

"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 fricasie, or a ragoust."

"That the remaining hundred thousand may, at a year old, be offered in 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."

"Infant's flesh will be in season throughout the year, but more plentiful in March, and a little before and after"

"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."

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

"I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavouring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the publick good of my country, by advancing our trade, providing for infants, relieving the poor, and giving some pleasure to the rich. "


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