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itself, I am content to wait the approbation of the readers, till such time as the thing itself forces it from the at present impatient readers.


When I first found the design of this paper (which had its birth in tenebris) [in darkness], I considered it would be. a thing very historical, very long; and though it could be much better performed than ever I was likely to do it, this age had such natural aversion to a solemn and tedious affair, that however profitable, it would never be diverting, and

Readers are strange judges when they see but part of the design. It is a new thing for an author to lay down his thoughts piece-meal. Importunate cavils assault him every day. They claim to be answered to-day! before to-morrow! and 10 the world would never read it. are so far from staying till the story is finished, that they can hardly stay till their letters come to hand, but follow the first with a second, that with clamor, and this sometimes with threatening scoffs, 15 banters, and raillery!

Thus I am letter-baited by querists; and I think my trouble in writing civil private answers to teasing and querulous epistles, has been equal to, if not more 20 troublesome than, all the rest of this work. Through these difficulties I steer with as much temper and steadiness as I can. I still hope to give satisfaction in the conclusion; and it is this alone that 25 makes the continuing of the work tolerable to me. If I cannot, I have made my


To get over this difficulty, the secret hand (I make no doubt) that directed this birth into the world, dictated to make some sort of entertainment or amusement at the end of every paper, upon the immediate subject, then on the tongues of the town - which innocent diversion would hand on the more weighty and serious part of the design into the heads and thoughts of those to whom it might be useful.

I take this opportunity to assure the world that receiving or answering letters of doubts, difficulties, cases, and questions, as it is a work I think myself very meanly qualified for, so it was the remotest thing from my first design of anything in the world; and I could be heartily glad, if the readers of this paper

If those that know these things better than I would bless the world with further 30 would excuse me from it yet. But I see

instructions, I shall be glad to see them, and very far from interrupting or discouraging them, as these do me.

Let not those gentlemen who are

it cannot be, and the world will have it done. I have therefore done my best to oblige them; but as I have not one word to say for my performance that way, so

cumstance casually and undesignedly annexed to the work, and a curiosity, though honestly endeavored to be complied with.

If the method I have taken in answering questions has pleased some wiser men more than I expected it would, I confess it is one of the chief reasons why I was induced to continue it.

critics in style, in method, or manner, be 35 I leave it where I found it, a mere cirangry, that I have never pulled off my cap to them, in humble excuse for my loose way of treating the world as to language, expression, and politeness of phrase. Matters of this nature differ 40 from most things a man can write. When I am busied writing essays and matters of science, I shall address them for their aid, and take as much care to avoid their displeasure as becomes me; 45 but when I am upon the subject of trade and the variety of casual story, I think myself a little loose from the bonds of cadence and perfections of style, and satisfy myself in my study to be explicit, 50 easy, free, and very plain. And for all the rest, Nec careo, nec curo [I neither need it, nor pay attention to it]!

I had a design to say something on the entertaining part of this paper; but I have so often explained myself on that head, that I shall not trouble the world much about it.

I have constantly adhered to this rule in all my answers (and I refer my reader to his observation for the proof), that from the loosest and lightest questions, I endeavor to draw some useful inferences, and, if possible, to introduce something solid, and something solemn in applying it. The custom of the ancients in writing fables is my very laudable pattern for this; and my firm resolution, in all I 55 write, to exalt virtue, expose vice, promote truth, and help men to serious reflection, is my first moving cause, and last directed end.

If any shall make ill use of, wrest, wrongly interpret, wilfully or otherwise mistake the honest design of this work; let such wait for the end, when I doubt not, the author will be cleared by their own vote, their want of charity will appear, and they be self-condemned till they come to acknowledge their error, and openly to justify

Their humble servant, D. F.



that they should think it a necessary ornament to a woman? or how much worse is a wise woman than a fool? or what has the woman done to forfeit the 5 privilege of being taught? Does she plague us with her pride and impertinence? Why did we not let her learn, that she might have had more wit? Shall we upbraid women with folly, when Io 't is only the error of this inhuman custom that hindered them from being made wiser?

The capacities of women are supposed to be greater, and their senses 15 quicker than those of the men; and what they might be capable of being bred to, is plain from some instances of female wit, which this age is not without, which upbraids us with injustice, and

I have often thought of it as one of the most barbarous customs in the world, considering us as a civilized and a christian country, that we deny the advantages 20 looks as if we denied women the advanof learning to women. We reproach the sex every day with folly and impertinence; while I am confident, had they the advantages of education equal to us, they would be guilty of less than ourselves.

tages of education, for fear they should vie with the men in their improve


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They should be taught all sorts of 25 breeding suitable both to their genius and quality. And in particular, music and dancing, which it would be cruelty to bar the sex of because they are their darlings. But besides this, they should be taught languages, as particularly French and Italian, and I would venture the injury of giving a woman more tongues than one. They should, as a particular study, be taught all the graces

One would wonder, indeed, how it should happen that women are conversible at all, since they are only beholden to natural parts for all their knowledge. Their youth is spent to teach them to 30 stitch and sew, or make baubles. They are taught to read, indeed, and perhaps to write their names, or so; and that is the height of a woman's education. And

I would but ask any who slight the sex 35 of speech, and all the necessary air of for their understanding, what is a man (a gentleman, I mean) good for, that is taught no more? I need not give instances, or examine the character of a gentleman, with a good estate, of a good 40 family, and with tolerable parts; and examine what figure he makes for want of education.


The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond, and must be polished, or the luster of it will never appear. And 'tis manifest, that as the rational soul distinguishes us from brutes, so education carries on the distinction, and makes some less brutish than others. This is 50 too evident to need any demonstration. But why then should women be denied the benefit of instruction? If knowledge and understanding had been useless additions to the sex, God Almighty would 55 never have given them capacities; for he made nothing needless. Besides, I would ask such, what they can see in ignorance,

conversation, which our common education is so defective in that I need not expose it. They should be brought to read books, and especially history; and so to read as to make them understand the world, and be able to know and judge of things when they hear of them.

To such whose genius would lead them to it, I would deny no sort of learning; but the chief thing, in general, is to cultivate the understandings of the sex, that they may be capable of all sorts of conversation; that their parts and judgments being improved, they may be as profitable in their conversation as they are pleas


Women, in my observation, have little or no difference in them, but as they are or are not distinguished by education. Tempers, indeed, may in some degree influence them, but the main distinguishing part is their breeding.

The whole sex are generally quick and

sharp I believe, I may be allowed to say, generally so: for you rarely see them lumpish and heavy when they are children, as boys will often be. If a woman be well bred, and taught the proper management of her natural wit, she proves generally very sensible and retentive.

And, without partiality, a woman of sense and manners is the finest and most 10 delicate part of God's creation, the glory of her Maker, and the great instance of his singular regard to man, his darling creature, to whom he gave the best gift either God could bestow or man receive. 15 And 'tis the sordidest piece of folly and ingratitude in the world, to withhold from the sex the due luster which the advantages of education give to the natural beauty of their minds.

which is seen in the world between men and women, is in their education; and this is manifested by comparing it with the difference between one man or 5 woman, and another.

And herein it is that I take upon me to make such a bold assertion, that all the world are mistaken in their practice about women. For I cannot think that God Almighty ever made them so delicate, so glorious creatures, and furnished them with such charms, so agreeable and so delightful to mankind, with souls capable of the same accomplishments with men ; and all, to be only stewards of our houses, cooks, and slaves.

Not that I am for exalting the female government in the least; but, in short, I would have men take women for com20 panions, and educate them to be fit for it. A woman of sense and breeding will scorn as much to encroach upon the prerogative of man, as a man of sense will scorn to oppress the weakness of the woman. But if the women's souls were refined and improved by teaching, that word would be lost. To say, the weakness of the sex, as to judgment, would be nonsense; for ignorance and folly would be no more to be found among women than men.

A woman well bred and well taught, furnished with the additional accomplishments of knowledge and behavior, is a creature without comparison. Her society is the emblem of sublimer enjoy- 25 ments, her person is angelic, and her conversation heavenly. She is all softness and sweetness, peace, love, wit, and delight. She is every way suitable to the sublimest wish; and the man that has 30 such a one to his portion, has nothing to do but to rejoice in her, and be thankful.

On the other hand, suppose her to be the very same woman, and rob her of the benefit of education, and it follows:

If her temper be good, want of education makes her soft and easy.

Her wit, for want of teaching, makes her impertinent and talkative.

Her knowledge, for want of judgment and experience, makes her fanciful and whimsical.



I remember a passage, which I heard from a very fine woman. She had wit and capacity enough, an extraordinary shape and face, and a great fortune, but had been cloistered up all her time, and for fear of being stolen, had not had the liberty of being taught the common necessary knowledge of women's affairs. And when she came to converse in the world her natural wit made her so sensible of the want of education, that she gave this short reflection herself: 'I am ashamed to talk with my very maids,'


If her temper be bad, want of breeding makes her worse; and she grows haughty, 45 says she, for I don't know when they do insolent, and loud.

If she be passionate, want of manners makes her a termagant and a scold, which

is much at one with lunatic.

right or wrong. I had more need go to school, than be married.'

I need not enlarge on the loss the defect of education is to the sex, nor argue

If she be proud, want of discretion so the benefit of the contrary practice. 'Tis (which still is breeding) makes her conceited, fantastic, and ridiculous.

And from these she degenerates to be turbulent, clamorous, noisy, nasty, the devil!

The great distinguishing difference,

a thing will be more easily granted than
remedied. This chapter is but an essay
at the thing; and I refer the practice to
those happy days (if ever they shall be)
when men shall be wise enough to mend

JONATHAN SWIFT (1667–1745)

Swift was born in Dublin - a chance which all his life he chose to resent as the first of many insults of fortune. At Kilkenny Grammar School and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he was wild, witty, and poor,' he had to be supported by one relative, and for the next decade, he was a discontented dependent of another, Sir William Temple. During one of his disagreements with the latter, he left in a huff, crossed to Ireland, and went into holy orders. Dryden had crushed his poetic inclinations and incurred his lasting resentment by the solid remark, Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet.' He did not discover his genius for satire until about his thirtieth year, when he wrote A Tale of a Tub and The Battle of the Books. These were published anonymously in 1704, preceded and followed by a rapid volley of pamphlets upon subjects then in dispute. For about ten years, he spent much of his time in London, mingled with the reigning wits in their homes and clubs, amused his leisure with squibs and verses, and projected the Scriblerus Club whose chief members, besides himself, were Pope, Arbuthnot, Atterbury, Parnell and Gay. In 1710, personal interest united with conscience to engage him on the Tory side. He edited the Examiner (1710-11), threw himself ferociously into political intrigue, and, for a time, wielded an extraordinary personal influence. But, though he could dictate the preferment of bishops, the author of A Tale of a Tub was powerless to secure a high appointment for himself. He had to be content with the Deanery of St. Patrick's, at Dublin, whither after the disruption of the Tory party in 1714, he permanently retired, an embittered and disappointed man. Ten years later, an attempt to exploit the Irish people by a scheme of debased coinage called forth the most angry, unscrupulous, and masterly of his controversial series, the Letters of M. B. Drapier (1724). Here, and in his Modest Proposal for preventing the Children of Poor People from being a Burden to their Parents, and similar ironical extravagances, he voiced his savage indignation at the unjust and heart-rending poverty of his adopted people. After the death of the unfortunate Stella' (Esther Johnson), Swift's powerful faculties began to show signs of derangement. I shall die at the top,' he had once said, pointing to a tree which had been blasted by lightning,— and the words were prophetic. Already, in the last portions of Gulliver's Travels (1726), we see the horrible evidences of a mind diseased.' In 1741, he became 'furiously insane,' then lapsed into idiocy, and at last was laid to rest in his own cathedral, in the city of his birth, where,' in the words of his epitaph, which he himself composed, ferocious indignation can no longer tear the heart'

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Ubi saeva indignatio

Cor ulterius lacerare nequit.

In dealing with Swift, it is never safe to forget the deadly purpose and 'intent to kill' which inspires his grim horseplay. He bitterly hated the world's shams and inconsistencies. His reckless and irreverent energy of thought and the acrid irony of his style made him dangerous to all he touched. His humor was like fire; what it played over, it consumed.



Once upon a time there was a man who had three sons by one wife, and all at a birth, neither could the midwife tell certainly which was the eldest. Their father died while they were young; and upon his death-bed, calling the lads to him, spoke thus:

Sons, because I have purchased no estate, nor was born to any, I have long

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considered of some good legacies to be-
queath you; and at last, with much care,
as well as expense, have provided each
of you
(here they are) a new coat.
Now, you are to understand that these
coats have two virtues contained in them;
one is, that with good wearing they will
last you fresh and sound as long as you
live; the other is, that they will grow in
the same proportion with your bodies,
lengthening and widening of themselves,
so as to be always fit. Here; let me see


them on you before I die. So; very
well; pray, children, wear them clean,
and brush them often. You will find in
my will (here it is) full instructions
in every particular concerning the wear-
ing and management of your coats;
wherein you must be very exact, to avoid
the penalties I have appointed for every
transgression or neglect, upon which your
future fortunes will entirely depend. I to
have also commanded in my will that
you should live together in one house
like brethren and friends, for then you
will be sure to thrive, and not otherwise.'
Here, the story says, this good father
died, and the three sons went all together
to seek their fortunes.


I shall not trouble you with recounting what adventures they met for the first seven years, any farther than by taking 20 notice that they carefully observed their father's will, and kept their coats in very good order: that they traveled through several countries, encountered a reasonable quantity of giants, and slew certain 25 dragons.

open air]; got a list of peers by heart in one company, and with great familiarity retailed them in another. Above all, they constantly attended those committees 5 of senators who are silent in the house and loud in the coffee-house; where they nightly adjourn to chew the cud of politics, and are encompassed with a ring. of disciples, who lie in wait to catch up their droppings. The three brothers had acquired forty other qualifications of the like stamp, too tedious to recount, and by consequence were justly reckoned the most accomplished persons in the town; but all would not suffice, and the ladies aforesaid continued still inflexible. clear up which difficulty I must, with the reader's good leave and patience, have recourse to some points of weight, which the authors of that age have not sufficiently illustrated.

Being now arrived at the proper age for producing themselves, they came up to town, and fell in love with the ladies, but especially three, who about that time 30 were in chief reputation; the Duchess d'Argent, Madame de Grands Titres, and the Countess d'Orgueil. On their first appearance our three adventurers met with a very bad reception; and soon 35 with great sagacity guessing out the reason, they quickly began to improve in the good qualities of the town; they writ, and rallied, and rhymed, and sung, and said, and said nothing; they drank, and 4o fought, and whored, and slept, and swore, and took snuff; they went to new plays on the first night, haunted the chocolatehouses, beat the watch, lay on bulks, and


For about this time it happened a sect arose 2 whose tenets obtained and spread very far, especially in the grand monde, and among everybody of good fashion. They worshipped a sort of idol, who, as their doctrine delivered, did daily create men by a kind of manufactory operation. This idol they placed in the highest parts of the house, on an altar erected about three foot; he was shown in the posture of a Persian emperor, sitting on a superficies, with his legs interwoven under him. This god had a goose for his ensign; whence it is that some learned men pretend to deduce his original from Jupiter Capitolinus. At his left hand, beneath the altar, hell seemed to open and catch at the animals the idol was creating; to prevent which, certain of his priests hourly flung in pieces of the uninformed mass, or substance, and sometimes whole limbs already enlivened, which that horrid gulf insatiably swal

got claps; they bilked hackney-coachmen, 45 lowed, terrible to behold. The goose was

ran in debt with shop-keepers, and lay
with their wives; they killed bailiffs,
kicked fiddlers down stairs, eat at
Locket's, loitered at Will's; they talked
of the drawing-room, and never came 50
there; dined with lords they never saw;
whispered a duchess, and spoke never a
word; exposed the scrawls of their
laundress for billets-doux of quality; came
ever just from court, and were never seen 55
in it; attended the levee sub dio [in the

The New Testament.

also held a subaltern divinity or deus minorum gentium [god of the lesser peoples], before whose shrine was sacrificed that creature whose hourly food is human gore, and who is in so great renown abroad for being the delight and favorite of the Egyptian Cercopithecus.*

2 This is an occasional satire upon dress and fashion, in order to introduce what follows. 3 By this idol is meant a tailor.

The Egyptians worshipped a monkey, which animal is very fond of eating lice, styled here creatures that feed on human gore.

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