The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. - Volume 07 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 407 pages of information about The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D..

This expedient will be of great advantage to both kingdoms, upon several accounts:  for, as to England, they have a just claim to the balance of trade on their side with the whole world:  and therefore our ancestors and we, who conquered this kingdom for them, ought, in duty and gratitude, to let them have the whole benefit of that conquest to themselves; especially when the conquest was amicably made without bloodshed, by a stipulation between the Irish princes and Henry II.; by which they paid him, indeed, not equal homage with what the electors of Germany do to the emperor, but very near the same that he did to the King of France for his French dominions.

In consequence of this claim from England, that kingdom may very reasonably demand the benefit of all our commodities in their natural growth, to be manufactured by their people, and a sufficient quantity of them for our use to be returned hither fully manufactured.

This, on the other side, will be of great benefit to our inhabitants the graziers; when time and labour will be too much taken up in manuring their ground, feeding their cattle, shearing their sheep, and sending over their oxen fit for slaughter; to which employments they are turned by nature, as descended from the Scythians, whose diet they are still so fond of.  So Virgil describeth it:—­

  Et lac concretum cum sanguine bibit equino;

Which, in English, is bonnyclabber[144] mingled with the blood of horses, as they formerly did, until about the beginning of the last century luxury, under the form of politeness, began to creep in, they changed the blood of horses for that of their black cattle, and, by consequence, became less warlike than their ancestors.

Although I proposed that the army should be collectors of the public revenues, yet I did not thereby intend that those taxes should be paid in gold or silver; but in kind, as all other rent:  For, the custom of tenants making their payments in money, is a new thing in the world, little known in former ages, nor generally practised in any nation at present, except this island and the southern parts of Britain.  But, to my great satisfaction, I foresee better times; the ancient manner beginneth to be now practised in many parts of Connaught, as well as in the county of Cork; where the squires turn tenants to themselves, divide so many cattle to their slaves, who are to provide such a quantity of butter, hides, or tallow, still keeping up their number of cattle; and carry the goods to Cork, or other port towns, and then sell them to the merchants.  By which invention there is no such thing as a ruined farmer to be seen; but the people live with comfort on potatoes and bonnyclabber, neither of which are vendible commodities abroad.





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