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..

I have sometimes thought, that this paradox of the Kingdom growing rich, is chiefly owing to those worthy gentlemen the BANKERS, who, except some custom-house officers, birds of passage, oppressive thrifty squires, and a few others that shall be nameless, are the only thriving people among us:  And I have often wished that a law were enacted to hang up half a dozen bankers every year, and thereby interpose at least some short delay, to the further ruin of Ireland.

“Ye are idle, ye are idle,” answered Pharaoh to the Israelites, when they complained to his Majesty, that they were forced to make bricks without straw.

England enjoys every one of these advantages for enriching a Nation, which I have above enumerated, and into the bargain, a good million returned to them every year without labour or hazard, or one farthing value received on our side.  But how long we shall be able to continue the payment, I am not under the least concern.  One thing I know, that when the hen is starved to death, there will be no more golden eggs.

I think it a little unhospitable, and others may call it a subtile piece of malice, that, because there may be a dozen families in this Town, able to entertain their English friends in a generous manner at their tables, their guests upon their return to England, shall report that we wallow in riches and luxury.

Yet I confess I have known an hospital, where all the household officers grew rich, while the poor for whose sake it was built, were almost starving for want of food and raiment.

To conclude.  If Ireland be a rich and flourishing Kingdom, its wealth and prosperity must be owing to certain causes, that are yet concealed from the whole race of mankind, and the effects are equally invisible.  We need not wonder at strangers when they deliver such paradoxes, but a native and inhabitant of this Kingdom, who gives the same verdict, must be either ignorant to stupidity, or a man-pleaser at the expense of all honour, conscience and truth.









Under the guises of a gentleman and two ladies, Swift represents England, Scotland, and Ireland—­England being the gentleman and Scotland and Ireland the two mistresses for whom he is affecting an honourable love.  The Injured Lady is Ireland, who represents her rival, Scotland, as unworthy of her lover’s attention.  She expatiates on her own attractions and upbraids him also on his treatment of her.  This affords Swift an opportunity for some searching and telling criticism on England’s conduct towards Ireland.  The fiction is admirably maintained throughout the story.
In “The Answer to the Injured
Project Gutenberg
The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, D.D. - Volume 07 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook