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

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 345 pages of information about The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D..

My private reason for soliciting so early to be admitted is, because it is observed that schemers and projectors are generally reduced to beggary; but, by my being provided for in the hospital, either as an incurable fool or a scribbler, that discouraging observation will for once be publicly disproved, and my brethren in that way will be secure of a public reward for their labours.

It gives me, I own, a great degree of happiness, to reflect, that although in this short treatise the characters of many thousands are contained, among the vast variety of incurables; yet, not any one person is likely to be offended; because, it is natural to apply ridiculous characters to all the world, except ourselves.  And I dare be bold to say, that the most incurable fool, knave, scold, coxcomb, scribbler, or liar, in this whole nation, will sooner enumerate the circle of their acquaintance as addicted to those distempers, than once imagine themselves any way qualified for such an hospital.

I hope, indeed, that our wise legislature will take this project into their serious consideration; and promote an endowment, which will be of such eminent service to multitudes of his Majesty’s unprofitable subjects, and may in time be of use to themselves and their posterity.

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  From my Garret in Moorfields, Aug. 20, 1733.

TO THE HONOURABLE

HOUSE OF COMMONS, &c.

The Humble Petition of the Footmen in and about the City of Dublin.

     NOTE.

Swift may have written the following mock petition by way of satire against the many absurd petitions which were presented at the time to the Irish House of Commons, and of which two examples were quoted in the note to a previous tract.  If coal-porters and hackney-coachmen might address the Honourable House, why not footmen?

* * * * *

The present text is based on that found at the end of Swift’s “Serious and Useful Scheme to make an Hospital for Incurables,” issued by George Faulkner in 1733.  Faulkner reprinted this volume in 1734.

     [T.  S.]

TO THE HONOURABLE HOUSE OF COMMONS, &c.

The Humble Petition of the Footmen in and about the City of Dublin.

Humbly Sheweth,

That your Petitioners are a great and numerous society, endowed with several privileges, time out of mind.

That certain lewd, idle, and disorderly persons, for several months past, as it is notoriously known, have been daily seen in the public walks of this City, habited sometimes in green coats, and sometimes in laced, with long oaken cudgels in their hands, and without swords, in hopes to procure favour, by that advantage, with a great number of ladies who frequent those walks, pretending and giving themselves out to

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