Today is Jonathan Swift's birthday. He was born in 1667 in Dublin. The Writers' Alamanac remembers the best part:
Swift was also a wicked satirist; his most famous — or infamous — example is "A Modest Proposal." Its full title is "A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland Being a Burden on Their Parents or Country, and for Making Them Beneficial to the Publick." Published in 1729, the essay proposes a solution to the problem of Irish poverty: Encourage the Irish poor to sell their children to the English nobility for culinary purposes. The essay begins: "I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child well nursed is at a year old a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food, whether stewed, roasted, baked, or boiled; and I make no doubt that it will equally serve in a fricassee or a ragout."
A ragout indeed.