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ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

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Presentation on theme: "ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)"— Presentation transcript:

1 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift ( )

2 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift ( ) "Here lies the body of Jonathan Swift, Professor of Holy Theology, for thirty years Dean of this cathedral church, where savage indignation can tear his heart no more. Go, traveller, and if you can imitate one who with his utmost strength protected liberty. He died in the year 1745, on the 19th of October, aged seventy-eight."

3 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Description of a City Shower Jonathan Swift Careful observers may foretell the hour (By sure prognostics) when to dread a shower: While rain depends, the pensive cat gives o’er Her frolics, and pursues her tail no more. Returning home at night, you’ll find the sink Strike your offended sense with double stink. If you be wise, then go not far to dine; You’ll spend in coach hire more than save in wine. A coming shower your shooting corns presage, Old achès throb, your hollow tooth will rage. Sauntering in coffeehouse is Dulman seen; He damns the climate and complains of spleen.

4 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Description of a City Shower (continued) Meanwhile the South, rising with dabbled wings, A sable cloud athwart the welkin flings, That swilled more liquor than it could contain, And, like a drunkard, gives it up again. Brisk Susan whips her linen from the rope, While the first drizzling shower is born aslope: Such is that sprinkling which some careless quean Flirts on you from her mop, but not so clean: You fly, invoke the gods; then turning, stop To rail; she singing, still whirls on her mop. Not yet the dust had shunned the unequal strife, But, aided by the wind, fought still for life, And wafted with its foe by violent gust, ’Twas doubtful which was rain and which was dust. Ah! where must needy poet seek for aid, When dust and rain at once his coat invade?

5 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Description of a City Shower (continued) Sole coat, where dust cemented by the rain Erects the nap, and leaves a mingled stain. Now in contiguous drops the flood comes down, Threatening with deluge this devoted town. To shops in crowds the daggled females fly, Pretend to cheapen goods, but nothing buy. The Templar spruce, while every spout’s abroach, Stays till ’tis fair, yet seems to call a coach. The tucked-up sempstress walks with hasty strides, While seams run down her oiled umbrella’s sides. Here various kinds, by various fortunes led, Commence acquaintance underneath a shed. Triumphant Tories and desponding Whigs Forget their feuds, and join to save their wigs.

6 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Description of a City Shower (continued) Boxed in a chair the beau impatient sits, While spouts run clattering o’er the roof by fits, And ever and anon with frightful din The leather sounds; he trembles from within. So when Troy chairmen bore the wooden steed, Pregnant with Greeks impatient to be freed (Those bully Greeks, who, as the moderns do, Instead of paying chairmen, run them through), Laocoön struck the outside with his spear, And each imprisoned hero quaked for fear. Now from all parts the swelling kennels flow, And bear their trophies with them as they go: Filth of all hues and odors seem to tell What street they sailed from, by their sight and smell.

7 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Description of a City Shower (continued) They, as each torrent drives with rapid force, From Smithfield or St. Pulchre’s shape their course, And in huge confluence joined at Snow Hill ridge, Fall from the conduit prone to Holborn Bridge. Sweepings from butchers’ stalls, dung, guts, and blood, Drowned puppies, stinking sprats, all drenched in mud, Dead cats, and turnip tops, come tumbling down the flood.

8 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room Jonathan Swift Five hours, (and who can do it less in?) By haughty Celia spent in dressing; The goddess from her chamber issues, Arrayed in lace, brocades, and tissues. Strephon, who found the room was void And Betty otherwise employed, Stole in and took a strict survey Of all the litter as it lay; Whereof, to make the matter clear, An inventory follows here. And first a dirty smock appeared, Beneath the arm-pits well besmeared. Strephon, the rogue, displayed it wide And turned it round on every side.

9 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) On such a point few words are best, And Strephon bids us guess the rest; And swears how damnably the men lie In calling Celia sweet and cleanly. Now listen while he next produces The various combs for various uses, Filled up with dirt so closely fixt, No brush could force a way betwixt. A paste of composition rare, Sweat, dandruff, powder, lead and hair; A forehead cloth with oil upon't To smooth the wrinkles on her front. Here alum flower to stop the steams Exhaled from sour unsavory streams; There night-gloves made of Tripsy's hide,

10 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) Bequeath'd by Tripsy when she died, With puppy water, beauty's help, Distilled from Tripsy's darling whelp; Here gallypots and vials placed, Some filled with washes, some with paste, Some with pomatum, paints and slops, And ointments good for scabby chops. Hard by a filthy basin stands, Fouled with the scouring of her hands; The basin takes whatever comes, The scrapings of her teeth and gums, A nasty compound of all hues, For here she spits, and here she spews. But oh! it turned poor Strephon's bowels, When he beheld and smelt the towels, Begummed, besmattered, and beslimed With dirt, and sweat, and ear-wax grimed.

11 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) No object Strephon's eye escapes: Here petticoats in frowzy heaps; Nor be the handkerchiefs forgot All varnished o'er with snuff and snot. The stockings, why should I expose, Stained with the marks of stinking toes; Or greasy coifs and pinners reeking, Which Celia slept at least a week in? A pair of tweezers next he found To pluck her brows in arches round, Or hairs that sink the forehead low, Or on her chin like bristles grow. The virtues we must not let pass, Of Celia's magnifying glass.

12 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) When frighted Strephon cast his eye on't It shewed the visage of a giant. A glass that can to sight disclose The smallest worm in Celia's nose, And faithfully direct her nail To squeeze it out from head to tail; (For catch it nicely by the head, It must come out alive or dead.) Why Strephon will you tell the rest? And must you needs describe the chest? That careless wench! no creature warn her To move it out from yonder corner; But leave it standing full in sight For you to exercise your spite.

13 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Chamber Pots

14 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Chamber Pots

15 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) In vain, the workman shewed his wit With rings and hinges counterfeit To make it seem in this disguise A cabinet to vulgar eyes; For Strephon ventured to look in, Resolved to go through thick and thin; He lifts the lid, there needs no more: He smelt it all the time before. As from within Pandora's box, When Epimetheus oped the locks, A sudden universal crew Of humane evils upwards flew, He still was comforted to find That Hope at last remained behind; So Strephon lifting up the lid To view what in the chest was hid, The vapours flew from out the vent.

16 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) But Strephon cautious never meant The bottom of the pan to grope And foul his hands in search of Hope. O never may such vile machine Be once in Celia's chamber seen! O may she better learn to keep "Those secrets of the hoary deep"! As mutton cutlets, prime of meat, Which, though with art you salt and beat As laws of cookery require And toast them at the clearest fire, If from adown the hopeful chops The fat upon the cinder drops, To stinking smoke it turns the flame Poisoning the flesh from whence it came;

17 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) And up exhales a greasy stench For which you curse the careless wench; So things which must not be exprest, When plumpt into the reeking chest, Send up an excremental smell To taint the parts from whence they fell, The petticoats and gown perfume, Which waft a stink round every room. Thus finishing his grand survey, Disgusted Strephon stole away Repeating in his amorous fits, Oh! Celia, Celia, Celia shits! But vengeance, Goddess never sleeping, Soon punished Strephon for his peeping: His foul Imagination links Each dame he see with all her stinks;

18 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) And, if unsavory odors fly, Conceives a lady standing by. All women his description fits, And both ideas jump like wits By vicious fancy coupled fast, And still appearing in contrast. I pity wretched Strephon blind To all the charms of female kind. Should I the Queen of Love refuse Because she rose from stinking ooze? To him that looks behind the scene Satira's but some pocky queen. When Celia in her glory shows, If Strephon would but stop his nose (Who now so impiously blasphemes

19 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Lady's Dressing Room (continued) Her ointments, daubs, and paints and creams, Her washes, slops, and every clout With which he makes so foul a rout), He soon would learn to think like me And bless his ravished sight to see Such order from confusion sprung, Such gaudy tulips raised from dung.

20 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift from Norman O. Brown, Life Against Death “The Excremental Vision of Jonathan Swift”

21 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Satire  Thomson on Satire Thomson on Satire  Caricature (see Caricature Power Point)  Reductio ad Absurdum  Thomson on Satire Thomson on Satire  Caricature (see Caricature Power Point)  Reductio ad Absurdum

22 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Satire  Reductio ad Absurdum The Abortion Issue  Letter to the editor just after Roe v. Wade  Written by a Pythagorean (they believed that the human soul is reincarnated in “beans”)  Argues that it horrifies him when he see his fellow “beings” on grocery store shelves  Wants all beans/beings banned from sale  Reductio ad Absurdum The Abortion Issue  Letter to the editor just after Roe v. Wade  Written by a Pythagorean (they believed that the human soul is reincarnated in “beans”)  Argues that it horrifies him when he see his fellow “beings” on grocery store shelves  Wants all beans/beings banned from sale

23 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [1]

24 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [2]

25 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [3]

26 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [4]

27 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [5] Spitting Image

28 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [6]

29 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [7]

30 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [8]

31 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift 10 Great Works of Satire [9]

32 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Colbert Does Swift On the Grotesque Blog 10 Great Works of Satire [10]

33 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal Jonathan Swift (1729) It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors, crowded with beggars of the female sex, followed 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.

34 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

35 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

36 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

37 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

38 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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 am 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.

39 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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,

40 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

41 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

42 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

43 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

44 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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,

45 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

46 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

47 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

48 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

49 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

50 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

51 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

52 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

53 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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 at 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 objection, that will possibly be raised against this proposal, unless it should be urged, that the number of people will be thereby much lessened in the kingdom. This I freely own, and 'twas indeed one principal design in offering it to the world. I desire the reader will observe, that I calculate 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.

54 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients: Of taxing our absentees at five shillings a pound: Of using neither cloaths, nor houshold 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

55 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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. But, as to my self, having been wearied out for many years with offering vain, idle, visionary thoughts, and at length utterly despairing of success, I fortunately fell upon this proposal

56 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) which, as it is wholly new, so it hath something solid and real, of no expence 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, 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. 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

57 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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

58 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Modest Proposal (continued) 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.

59 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships, aka Gulliver's Travels (1726, amended 1735)

60 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The same vices and the same folies reign, everywhere; at least, in all the civilized countries of Europe: and the author who writes only for a city, a province, a kingdom, or even an age, warrants so little to be translated, that he deserves not even to be read. --Jonathan Swift in a letter from 1727

61 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift

62 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift

63 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Hallmark, Channel 4 (1996)

64 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift Conan Does Swift

65 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small And the ones that mother gives you Don't do anything at all Go ask Alice When she's ten feet tall “White Rabbit” - Jefferson Airplane

66 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput

67 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput An Uneasy Load I had been for some hours extremely pressed by the necessities of nature; which was no wonder, it being almost two days since I had last disburdened myself. I was under great difficulties between urgency and shame. The best expedient I could think of, was to creep into my house, which I accordingly did; and shutting the gate after me, I went as far as the length of my chain would suffer, and discharged my body of that uneasy load. But this was the only time I was ever guilty of so uncleanly an action; for which I cannot but hope the candid reader will give some allowance, after he has maturely and impartially considered my case, and the distress I was in. From this time my constant practice was, as soon as I rose, to perform that business in open air, at the full extent of my chain; and due care was taken every morning before company came, that the offensive matter should be carried off in wheel-barrows, by two servants appointed for that purpose. I would not have dwelt so long upon a circumstance that, perhaps, at first sight, may appear not very momentous, if I had not thought it necessary to justify my character, in point of cleanliness, to the world; which, I am told, some of my maligners have been pleased, upon this and other occasions, to call in question.

68 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput Gulliver’s Corpse In the mean time the emperor held frequent councils, to debate what course should be taken with me; and I was afterwards assured by a particular friend, a person of great quality, who was as much in the secret as any, that the court was under many difficulties concerning me. They apprehended my breaking loose; that my diet would be very expensive, and might cause a famine. Sometimes they determined to starve me; or at least to shoot me in the face and hands with poisoned arrows, which would soon despatch me; but again they considered, that the stench of so large a carcass might produce a plague in the metropolis, and probably spread through the whole kingdom.

69 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput Eggs For as to what we have heard you affirm, that there are other kingdoms and states in the world inhabited by human creatures as large as yourself, our philosophers are in much doubt, and would rather conjecture that you dropped from the moon, or one of the stars; because it is certain, that a hundred mortals of your bulk would in a short time destroy all the fruits and cattle of his majesty’s dominions: besides, our histories of six thousand moons make no mention of any other regions than the two great empires of Lilliput and Blefuscu. Which two mighty powers have, as I was going to tell you, been engaged in a most obstinate war for six-and-thirty moons past. It began upon the following occasion. It is allowed on all hands, that the primitive way of breaking eggs, before we eat them, was upon the larger end; but his present majesty’s grandfather, while he was a boy, going to eat an egg, and breaking it according to the ancient practice, happened to cut one of his fingers. Whereupon the emperor his father published an edict, commanding all his subjects, upon great penalties, to break the smaller end of their eggs. The people so highly resented this law, that our histories tell us, there have been six rebellions raised on that account; wherein one emperor lost his life, and another his crown. These civil commotions were constantly fomented by the monarchs of Blefuscu; and when they were quelled, the exiles always fled for refuge to that empire. It is computed that eleven thousand persons have at several times suffered death, rather than submit to break their eggs at the smaller end. Many hundred large volumes have been published upon this controversy: but the books of the Big-endians have been long forbidden, and the whole party

70 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput Eggs rendered incapable by law of holding employments. During the course of these troubles, the emperors of Blefusca did frequently expostulate by their ambassadors, accusing us of making a schism in religion, by offending against a fundamental doctrine of our great prophet Lustrog, in the fifty-fourth chapter of the Blundecral (which is their Alcoran). This, however, is thought to be a mere strain upon the text; for the words are these: ‘that all true believers break their eggs at the convenient end.’ And which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion to be left to every man’s conscience, or at least in the power of the chief magistrate to determine. Now, the Big-endian exiles have found so much credit in the emperor of Blefuscu’s court, and so much private assistance and encouragement from their party here at home, that a bloody war has been carried on between the two empires for six-and-thirty moons, with various success; during which time we have lost forty capital ships, and a much a greater number of smaller vessels, together with thirty thousand of our best seamen and soldiers; and the damage received by the enemy is reckoned to be somewhat greater than ours. However, they have now equipped a numerous fleet, and are just preparing to make a descent upon us; and his imperial majesty, placing great confidence in your valour and strength, has commanded me to lay this account of his affairs before you.”

71 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput Saving the Palace The reader may remember, that when I signed those articles upon which I recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked, upon account of their being too servile; neither could anything but an extreme necessity have forced me to submit. But being now a nardac of the highest rank in that empire, such offices were looked upon as below my dignity, and the emperor (to do him justice), never once mentioned them to me. However, it was not long before I had an opportunity of doing his majesty, at least as I then thought, a most signal service. I was alarmed at midnight with the cries of many hundred people at my door; by which, being suddenly awaked, I was in some kind of terror. I heard the word Burglum repeated incessantly: several of the emperor’s court, making their way through the crowd, entreated me to come immediately to the palace, where her imperial majesty’s apartment was on fire, by the carelessness of a maid of honour, who fell asleep while she was reading a romance. I got up in an instant; and orders being given to clear the way before me, and it being likewise a moonshine night, I made a shift to get to the palace without trampling on any of the people. I found they had already applied ladders to the walls of the apartment, and were well provided with buckets, but the water was at some distance. These buckets were about the size of large thimbles, and the poor people supplied me

72 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lilliput Saving the Palace with them as fast as they could: but the flame was so violent that they did little good. I might easily have stifled it with my coat, which I unfortunately left behind me for haste, and came away only in my leathern jerkin. The case seemed wholly desperate and deplorable; and this magnificent palace would have infallibly been burnt down to the ground, if, by a presence of mind unusual to me, I had not suddenly thought of an expedient. I had, the evening before, drunk plentifully of a most delicious wine called glimigrim, (the Blefuscudians call it flunec, but ours is esteemed the better sort,) which is very diuretic. By the luckiest chance in the world, I had not discharged myself of any part of it. The heat I had contracted by coming very near the flames, and by labouring to quench them, made the wine begin to operate by urine; which I voided in such a quantity, and applied so well to the proper places, that in three minutes the fire was wholly extinguished, and the rest of that noble pile, which had cost so many ages in erecting, preserved from destruction.

73 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag

74 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag A Monstrous Breast When dinner was almost done, the nurse came in with a child of a year old in her arms, who immediately spied me, and began a squall that you might have heard from London-Bridge to Chelsea, after the usual oratory of infants, to get me for a plaything. The mother, out of pure indulgence, took me up, and put me towards the child, who presently seized me by the middle, and got my head into his mouth, where I roared so loud that the urchin was frighted, and let me drop, and I should infallibly have broke my neck, if the mother had not held her apron under me. The nurse, to quiet her babe, made use of a rattle which was a kind of hollow vessel filled with great stones, and fastened by a cable to the child’s waist: but all in vain; so that she was forced to apply the last remedy by giving it suck. I must confess no object ever disgusted me so much as the sight of her monstrous breast, which I cannot tell what to compare with, so as to give the curious reader an idea of its bulk, shape, and colour. It stood prominent six feet, and could not be less than sixteen in circumference. The nipple was about half the bigness of my head, and the hue both of that and the dug, so varied with spots, pimples, and freckles, that nothing could appear more nauseous: for I had a near sight of her, she sitting down, the more conveniently to give suck, and I standing on the table. This made me reflect upon the fair skins of our English ladies, who appear so beautiful to us, only because they are of our own size, and their defects not to be seen but through a magnifying glass; where we find by experiment that the smoothest and whitest skins look rough, and coarse, and ill-coloured.

75 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag The Maids of Honor The maids of honour often invited Glumdalclitch to their apartments, and desired she would bring me along with her, on purpose to have the pleasure of seeing and touching me. They would often strip me naked from top to toe, and lay me at full length in their bosoms; wherewith I was much disgusted because, to say the truth, a very offensive smell came from their skins; which I do not mention, or intend, to the disadvantage of those excellent ladies, for whom I have all manner of respect; but I conceive that my sense was more acute in proportion to my littleness, and that those illustrious persons were no more disagreeable to their lovers, or to each other, than people of the same quality are with us in England. And, after all, I found their natural smell was much more supportable, than when they used perfumes, under which I immediately swooned away. I cannot forget, that an intimate friend of mine in Lilliput, took the freedom in a warm day, when I had used a good deal of exercise, to complain of a strong smell about me, although I am as little faulty that way, as most of my sex: but I suppose his faculty of smelling was as nice with regard to me, as mine was to that of this people. Upon this point, I cannot forbear doing justice to the queen my mistress, and Glumdalclitch my nurse, whose persons were as sweet as those of any lady in England.

76 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag The Maids of Honor That which gave me most uneasiness among these maids of honour (when my nurse carried me to visit then) was, to see them use me without any manner of ceremony, like a creature who had no sort of consequence: for they would strip themselves to the skin, and put on their smocks in my presence, while I was placed on their toilet, directly before their naked bodies, which I am sure to me was very far from being a tempting sight, or from giving me any other emotions than those of horror and disgust: their skins appeared so coarse and uneven, so variously coloured, when I saw them near, with a mole here and there as broad as a trencher, and hairs hanging from it thicker than packthreads, to say nothing farther concerning the rest of their persons. Neither did they at all scruple, while I was by, to discharge what they had drank, to the quantity of at least two hogsheads, in a vessel that held above three tuns. The handsomest among these maids of honour, a pleasant, frolicsome girl of sixteen, would sometimes set me astride upon one of her nipples, with many other tricks, wherein the reader will excuse me for not being over particular. But I was so much displeased, that I entreated Glumdalclitch to contrive some excuse for not seeing that young lady any more.

77 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag Blood One day, a young gentleman, who was nephew to my nurse’s governess, came and pressed them both to see an execution. It was of a man, who had murdered one of that gentleman’s intimate acquaintance. Glumdalclitch was prevailed on to be of the company, very much against her inclination, for she was naturally tender-hearted: and, as for myself, although I abhorred such kind of spectacles, yet my curiosity tempted me to see something that I thought must be extraordinary. The malefactor was fixed in a chair upon a scaffold erected for that purpose, and his head cut off at one blow, with a sword of about forty feet long. The veins and arteries spouted up such a prodigious quantity of blood, and so high in the air, that the great jet d’eau at Versailles was not equal to it for the time it lasted: and the head, when it fell on the scaffold floor, gave such a bounce as made me start, although I was at least half an English mile distant.

78 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag Monkeys But the greatest danger I ever underwent in that kingdom, was from a monkey, who belonged to one of the clerks of the kitchen. Glumdalclitch had locked me up in her closet, while she went somewhere upon business, or a visit. The weather being very warm, the closet-window was left open, as well as the windows and the door of my bigger box, in which I usually lived, because of its largeness and conveniency. As I sat quietly meditating at my table, I heard something bounce in at the closet-window, and skip about from one side to the other: whereat, although I was much alarmed, yet I ventured to look out, but not stirring from my seat; and then I saw this frolicsome animal frisking and leaping up and down, till at last he came to my box, which he seemed to view with great pleasure and curiosity, peeping in at the door and every window. I retreated to the farther corner of my room; or box; but the monkey looking in at every side, put me in such a fright, that I wanted presence of mind to conceal myself under the bed, as I might easily have done. After some time spent in peeping, grinning, and chattering, he at last espied me; and reaching one of his paws in at the door, as a cat does when she plays with a mouse, although I often shifted place to avoid him, he at length seized the lappet of my coat (which being made of that country silk, was very thick and strong), and dragged me out. He took me up in his right fore-foot and held

79 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag Monkeys me as a nurse does a child she is going to suckle, just as I have seen the same sort of creature do with a kitten in Europe; and when I offered to struggle he squeezed me so hard, that I thought it more prudent to submit. I have good reason to believe, that he took me for a young one of his own species, by his often stroking my face very gently with his other paw. In these diversions he was interrupted by a noise at the closet door, as if somebody were opening it: whereupon he suddenly leaped up to the window at which he had come in, and thence upon the leads and gutters, walking upon three legs, and holding me in the fourth, till he clambered up to a roof that was next to ours. I heard Glumdalclitch give a shriek at the moment he was carrying me out. The poor girl was almost distracted: that quarter of the palace was all in an uproar; the servants ran for ladders; the monkey was seen by hundreds in the court, sitting upon the ridge of a building, holding me like a baby in one of his forepaws, and feeding me with the other, by cramming into my mouth some victuals he had squeezed out of the bag on one side of his chaps, and patting me when I would not eat; whereat many of the rabble below could not forbear laughing; neither do I think they justly ought to be blamed, for, without question, the sight was ridiculous enough to every body but myself. Some of the people threw up stones, hoping to drive the monkey down; but this was strictly forbidden, or else, very probably, my brains had been dashed out.

80 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Brobdingnag Monkeys The ladders were now applied, and mounted by several men; which the monkey observing, and finding himself almost encompassed, not being able to make speed enough with his three legs, let me drop on a ridge tile, and made his escape. Here I sat for some time, five hundred yards from the ground, expecting every moment to be blown down by the wind, or to fall by my own giddiness, and come tumbling over and over from the ridge to the eaves; but an honest lad, one of my nurse’s footmen, climbed up, and putting me into his breeches pocket, brought me down safe. I was almost choked with the filthy stuff the monkey had crammed down my throat: but my dear little nurse picked it out of my mouth with a small needle, and then I fell a- vomiting, which gave me great relief. Yet I was so weak and bruised in the sides with the squeezes given me by this odious animal, that I was forced to keep my bed a fortnight. The king, queen, and all the court, sent every day to inquire after my health; and her majesty made me several visits during my sickness. The monkey was killed, and an order made, that no such animal should be kept about the palace.

81 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Laputa

82 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Laputa At my alighting, I was surrounded with a crowd of people, but those who stood nearest seemed to be of better quality. They beheld me with all the marks and circumstances of wonder; neither indeed was I much in their debt, having never till then seen a race of mortals so singular in their shapes, habits, and countenances. Their heads were all reclined, either to the right, or the left; one of their eyes turned inward, and the other directly up to the zenith.

83 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Laputa At my alighting, I was surrounded with a crowd of people, but those who stood nearest seemed to be of better quality. They beheld me with all the marks and circumstances of wonder; neither indeed was I much in their debt, having never till then seen a race of mortals so singular in their shapes, habits, and countenances. Their heads were all reclined, either to the right, or the left; one of their eyes turned inward, and the other directly up to the zenith.

84 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governor’s gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate: but he complained that his stock was low, and entreated me “to give him something as an encouragement to ingenuity, especially since this had been a very dear season for cucumbers.” I made him a small present, for my lord had furnished me with money on purpose, because he knew their practice of begging from all who go to see them.

85 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado I went into another chamber, but was ready to hasten back, being almost overcome with a horrible stink. My conductor pressed me forward, conjuring me in a whisper “to give no offence, which would be highly resented;” and therefore I durst not so much as stop my nose. The projector of this cell was the most ancient student of the academy; his face and beard were of a pale yellow; his hands and clothes daubed over with filth. When I was presented to him, he gave me a close embrace, a compliment I could well have excused. His employment, from his first coming into the academy, was an operation to reduce human excrement to its original food, by separating the several parts, removing the tincture which it receives from the gall, making the odour exhale, and scumming off the saliva. He had a weekly allowance, from the society, of a vessel filled with human ordure, about the bigness of a Bristol barrel. I saw another at work to calcine ice into gunpowder; who likewise showed me a treatise he had written concerning the malleability of fire, which he intended to publish.

86 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado There was a most ingenious architect, who had contrived a new method for building houses, by beginning at the roof, and working downward to the foundation; which he justified to me, by the like practice of those two prudent insects, the bee and the spider. There was a man born blind, who had several apprentices in his own condition: their employment was to mix colours for painters, which their master taught them to distinguish by feeling and smelling. It was indeed my misfortune to find them at that time not very perfect in their lessons, and the professor himself happened to be generally mistaken. This artist is much encouraged and esteemed by the whole fraternity.

87 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado In another apartment I was highly pleased with a projector who had found a device of ploughing the ground with hogs, to save the charges of ploughs, cattle, and labour. The method is this: in an acre of ground you bury, at six inches distance and eight deep, a quantity of acorns, dates, chestnuts, and other mast or vegetables, whereof these animals are fondest; then you drive six hundred or more of them into the field, where, in a few days, they will root up the whole ground in search of their food, and make it fit for sowing, at the same time manuring it with their dung: it is true, upon experiment, they found the charge and trouble very great, and they had little or no crop. However it is not doubted, that this invention may be capable of great improvement.

88 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado I went into another room, where the walls and ceiling were all hung round with cobwebs, except a narrow passage for the artist to go in and out. At my entrance, he called aloud to me, “not to disturb his webs.” He lamented “the fatal mistake the world had been so long in, of using silkworms, while we had such plenty of domestic insects who infinitely excelled the former, because they understood how to weave, as well as spin.” And he proposed further, “that by employing spiders, the charge of dyeing silks should be wholly saved;” whereof I was fully convinced, when he showed me a vast number of flies most beautifully coloured, wherewith he fed his spiders, assuring us “that the webs would take a tincture from them; and as he had them of all hues, he hoped to fit everybody’s fancy, as soon as he could find proper food for the flies, of certain gums, oils, and other glutinous matter, to give a strength and consistence to the threads. There was an astronomer, who had undertaken to place a sun-dial upon the great weathercock on the town-house, by adjusting the annual and diurnal motions of the earth and sun, so as to answer and coincide with all accidental turnings of the wind.

89 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to Lagado I was complaining of a small fit of the colic, upon which my conductor led me into a room where a great physician resided, who was famous for curing that disease, by contrary operations from the same instrument. He had a large pair of bellows, with a long slender muzzle of ivory: this he conveyed eight inches up the anus, and drawing in the wind, he affirmed he could make the guts as lank as a dried bladder. But when the disease was more stubborn and violent, he let in the muzzle while the bellows were full of wind, which he discharged into the body of the patient; then withdrew the instrument to replenish it, clapping his thumb strongly against the orifice of then fundament; and this being repeated three or four times, the adventitious wind would rush out, bringing the noxious along with it, (like water put into a pump), and the patient recovered. I saw him try both experiments upon a dog, but could not discern any effect from the former. After the latter the animal was ready to burst, and made so violent a discharge as was very offensive to me and my companion. The dog died on the spot, and we left the doctor endeavouring to recover him, by the same operation.

90 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift The Struldbrugs (Luggnuggians, Chapter X)

91 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms

92 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to The Land of the Houyhnhnms In this desolate condition I advanced forward, and soon got upon firm ground, where I sat down on a bank to rest myself, and consider what I had best do. When I was a little refreshed, I went up into the country, resolving to deliver myself to the first savages I should meet, and purchase my life from them by some bracelets, glass rings, and other toys, which sailors usually provide themselves with in those voyages, and whereof I had some about me. The land was divided by long rows of trees, not regularly planted, but naturally growing; there was great plenty of grass, and several fields of oats. I walked very circumspectly, for fear of being surprised, or suddenly shot with an arrow from behind, or on either side. I fell into a beaten road, where I saw many tracts of human feet, and some of cows, but most of horses. At last I beheld several animals in a field, and one or two of the same kind sitting in trees. Their shape was very singular and deformed, which a little discomposed me, so that I lay down behind a thicket to observe them better. Some of them coming forward near the place where I lay, gave me an opportunity of distinctly marking their

93 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to The Land of the Houyhnhnms form. Their heads and breasts were covered with a thick hair, some frizzled, and others lank; they had beards like goats, and a long ridge of hair down their backs, and the fore parts of their legs and feet; but the rest of their bodies was bare, so that I might see their skins, which were of a brown buff colour. They had no tails, nor any hair at all on their buttocks, except about the anus, which, I presume, nature had placed there to defend them as they sat on the ground, for this posture they used, as well as lying down, and often stood on their hind feet. They climbed high trees as nimbly as a squirrel, for they had strong extended claws before and behind, terminating in sharp points, and hooked. They would often spring, and bound, and leap, with prodigious agility. The females were not so large as the males; they had long lank hair on their heads, but none on their faces, nor any thing more than a sort of down on the rest of their bodies, except about the anus and pudenda. The dugs hung between their fore feet, and often reached almost to the ground as they walked. The hair of both sexes was of several colours, brown, red, black, and yellow. Upon the whole, I never beheld, in all my travels, so

94 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to The Land of the Houyhnhnms strong an antipathy. So that, thinking I had seen enough, full of contempt and aversion, I got up, and pursued the beaten road, hoping it might direct me to the cabin of some Indian. I had not got far, when I met one of these creatures full in my way, and coming up directly to me. The ugly monster, when he saw me, distorted several ways, every feature of his visage, and stared, as at an object he had never seen before; then approaching nearer, lifted up his fore-paw, whether out of curiosity or mischief I could not tell; but I drew my hanger, and gave him a good blow with the flat side of it, for I durst not strike with the edge, fearing the inhabitants might be provoked against me, if they should come to know that I had killed or maimed any of their cattle. When the beast felt the smart, he drew back, and roared so loud, that a herd of at least forty came flocking about me from the next field, howling and making odious faces; but I ran to the body of a tree, and leaning my back against it, kept them off by waving my hanger. Several of this cursed brood, getting hold of the branches behind, leaped up into the tree, whence they began to discharge their excrements on my head; however, I escaped pretty well by sticking close to the stem of the tree, but was almost stifled with the filth, which fell about me on every side.

95 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms  Incapable of lying  Refined and celebral  “The Perfection of Nature”  No words for evil (except those for the deformities of the Yahoos) “I had not yet been a year in this country before I contracted such a love and veneration for the inhabitants, that I entered on a firm resolution never to return to humankind, but to pass the rest of my life among these admirable Houyhnhnms, in the contemplation and practice of every virtue, where I could have no example or incitement to vice. But it was decreed by fortune, my perpetual enemy, that so great a felicity should not fall to my share. However, it is now some comfort to reflect, that in what I said of my countrymen, I extenuated their faults as much as I durst before so strict an examiner; and upon every article gave as favourable a turn as the matter would bear. For, indeed, who is there alive that will not be swayed by his bias and partiality to the place of his birth?”

96 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms Having thus answered the only objection that can ever be raised against me as a traveller, I here take a final leave of all my courteous readers, and return to enjoy my own speculations in my little garden at Redriff; to apply those excellent lessons of virtue which I learned among the Houyhnhnms; to instruct the Yahoos of my own family, is far as I shall find them docible animals; to behold my figure often in a glass, and thus, if possible, habituate myself by time to tolerate the sight of a human creature; to lament the brutality toHouyhnhnms in my own country, but always treat their persons with respect, for the sake of my noble master, his family, his friends, and the whole Houyhnhnm race, whom these of ours have the honour to resemble in all their lineaments, however their intellectuals came to degenerate.

97 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms I began last week to permit my wife to sit at dinner with me, at the farthest end of a long table; and to answer (but with the utmost brevity) the few questions I asked her. Yet, the smell of a Yahoo continuing very offensive, I always keep my nose well stopped with rue, lavender, or tobacco leaves. And, although it be hard for a man late in life to remove old habits, I am not altogether out of hopes, in some time, to suffer a neighbour Yahoo in my company, without the apprehensions I am yet under of his teeth or his claws. My reconcilement to the Yahoo kind in general might not be so difficult, if they would be content with those vices and follies only which nature has entitled them to. I am not in the least provoked at the sight of a lawyer, a pickpocket, a colonel, a fool, a lord, a gamester, a politician, a whoremonger, a physician, an evidence, a suborner, an attorney, a traitor, or the like; this is all according to the due course of things: but when I behold a lump of deformity and diseases, both in body and mind, smitten with pride, it immediately breaks all the measures of my patience; neither shall I be ever able to comprehend how such an animal, and such a vice,

98 ENGL 2020 Themes in Literature and Culture: The Grotesque Jonathan Swift A Voyage to the Land of the Houyhnhnms could tally together. The wise and virtuous Houyhnhnms, who abound in all excellences that can adorn a rational creature, have no name for this vice in their language, which has no terms to express any thing that is evil, except those whereby they describe the detestable qualities of their Yahoos, among which they were not able to distinguish this of pride, for want of thoroughly understanding human nature, as it shows itself in other countries where that animal presides. But I, who had more experience, could plainly observe some rudiments of it among the wild Yahoos. But the Houyhnhnms, who live under the government of reason, are no more proud of the good qualities they possess, than I should be for not wanting a leg or an arm; which no man in his wits would boast of, although he must be miserable without them. I dwell the longer upon this subject from the desire I have to make the society of an English Yahoo by any means not insupportable; and therefore I here entreat those who have any tincture of this absurd vice, that they will not presume to come in my sight.


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