A Meeþful Foresetting

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This is an Anglish wending of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift. Please help continue translating this article.


It is a yoomer þing to þose, hwo walk þroug þis great tune, or fare þroug þe ric, hwen hie see þe streets, þe roads, and hulk-doors cruded wiþ beggers of þe wifely kind, followed by þree, four, or six cildren, all in fule cloþes, and goading efery rider for an alms. Þese moþers, instead of muing work for hir earnest lifelihood, are aneeded to spend up all hir time in wandering to beg farm for hir helpless babies hwo, as hie grow up, eiþer swic into þeefs for worklessness, or leafe hir dear land, to figt for þe Licetter in Spain, or sell hemselfs to þe Barbados.

I þink it is oneread by all baces, þat þis great rime of cildren in þe arms, or on þe backs, or at þe heels of hir moþers, and often of hir faþers, is in þe nue woesome hoad of þe kingdom, a great furþer birden; and þerefore hwoefer could find ute a fair, ceap, and eaþ way of making þese cildren sund and noteful belongers of þe meanwealþ, would earn so muc from þe þeed, as to haf his graft set up for a keeper of þe ric.

But my ettel is far from being fettered to aford only for þe cildren of said beggers; it is of a muc greater reac, and scall nim in þe hwole rime of babies at an eld, hwo are born of kennends pretty muc as littel can uphold hem, as þose hwo ask us for ure dole in þe streets.

As to my own bit, hafing swayed my þougts for many years upon þis weigty þing, and wisely weiged þe sere plots of ure sirrers, I haf always fund hem greatly misnum in hir reckoning. It is trew, a cild but dropped from its moþer, may be fed her milk, for a sunly year, wiþ littel oþer food: at most not abuf þe worþ of two scillings, hwic þe moþer may indeed yet, or þe worþ in leftofers, by her eaful arfeþ of begging; and it is rigt at one year old þat I put forþ to aford for hem in suc a way, as, instead of being a birden upon hir kennends, or þe preestric, or listing food and cloþing for þe lafe of hir lifes, hie scall, wiþerwardly, help in þe feeding, and sumdeal to þe cloþing of many þusands.

Þere is licwise anoþer great upperhand in my plot, þat it will stop þose wilful tudermorþs, and þat dreadful doing of women murþering hir dook cildren, alack! Too often among us, blooting þe arm cleanhearted babes, I twee, more to forbear þe worþ þan þe scame, hwic would bring abute tears and rewþ in þe wildest and most unmennisc breast.

Þe rime of souls in þis kingdom often being reckoned one þusand þusand and a half, of þese I reckon þere may be abute two hundred þusand, hwose wifes are breeders; from hwic rime I ado þirty þusand, hwo can uphold hir own cildren, (alþoug I understand þere cannot be so many under þe anward woes of þe kingdom) but þis being yeafen, þere will bide a hundred and sefenty þusand breeders. I ayen ado fifty þusand, for þose women hwo misbear, or hwose cildren swelted by mishap or sickness wiþin þe year. Þere only bide a hundred and twenty þusand cildren of arm kennends yearly born. Þe ask þerefore is, hue þis rime scall be reared and aforded for, hwic as I haf already said, under þe anward hoad of bisiness, is utterly unmigtly by all ways hiþerto put forþ. For we can neiþer hire hem in handicraft or tilþ; hie neiþer bild huses, (I mean in þe þeed) nor till: hie can only seldom pick up a lifelihood by stealing until hie cum at six years old, but not for þe towardly, alþoug I andet hie learn þe staddels muc earlier; amid hwic time hie can howefer be fittingly looked upon only as