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A Modest Proposal
by Jonathan Swift
A Modest Proposal Part 2 Summary
The author has heard—from a friend in America, that crazy place—that a one-year-old child is not only delicious, but an excellent source of nutrition. There are quite a few ways you can cook a tender child of that age, whether it be stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled. Therefore, it only stands to reason that 100,000 children from the Irish population be sold to the rich as a source of food. Oh, you want details? One child should be plenty to serve two dishes at a banquet. If you feel like leftovers, a hind quarter seasoned with some pepper and salt should suffice. Granted, this type of food is bound to be expensive, and only purchased by the very elite. It's a good thing the landlords, who've consumed most of the parents' resources already, will have first crack at eating their spawn (zing!). Getting down to the nitty-gritty, ten shillings seems to be a decent price for a fat child. Mothers should be able to get eight shillings at least, which seems more than fair. Furthermore, the author has it on good authority that Ireland is severely lacking in venison. A friend has suggested that young lads between the ages of twelve and fourteen might prove to be a good substitute for deer meat. The author politely disagrees. After all, his American acquaintance has assured him that older kids are tough and lean. Getting back to the main point, there are plenty of reasons why children would make a fine delicacy. For one, poor Irish citizens will finally have something valuable of their own. Having a spare kid might come in handy when they can't pay the rent. Marriage will be sure to become more common, too. Forget the nonsense about love—it's a competition to raise the fattest child. Really, who can raise objections to this fine plan? The author has heard all of the conventional solutions to Ireland's problem, and they just don't cut it. Most importantly, serving up the kids of Ireland should please England. The mother country seems more than happy to eat up the nation of Ireland (he's on a roll, folks). With all that said, the author has a suggestion for those who find themselves still hesitant: ask the Irish parents whether they'd rather have a pesky kid or money in their pockets. You know the author is sincere because his kids are too old to be sold. There's no way he's making cash for suggesting this deal.
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