And here's the text straight-on....JONATHAN SWIFT
the Suppression of the Essefians
The Author sets out on his next voyage. A storm sinks his
Ship, he escaping by floating with a casque of cocoanut
fibres. He drifts to the Country of the Essefians. Their
obsessions and strange behaviours.
I was at home but two short weeks when I was approached by a bosome friend, Sir Theodric Guysell, to ship with him as Doctor of the Halffleet, a ship of two hundred and eighty tuns. Seeing that the cargoe, of rice and cocoanut fibres, was sure to set a fine profit, I could but sign on at the encouragement of my friend Captain Guysell as his Doctor and one-fourths partner.
* * *
Whilst the flecksing of the ship’s boards under the strain of the torrent had allowed water to reach the rice cargoe and induce it to swelling, the same water inrushing also floated the casques of cocoanut fibres, keeping the Halffleet afloat till she veriably burst apart at her various seams.
I was Heaven-blest to grasp the rope netting round a casque of the fibres and so was presarved afloat.
* * *
My resquers were civil and in every respect appeared as normal humanity. They even spoke English, albeit with partickular drawl by which I surmised their land might be near to the colonies in the New World. Mine hosts said that I had alit in the Land of Essefians.
* * *
All of that land are prey to a singular obsession, which to be simply put is a fixation or belief, nigh akin to a Religious Conviction, that “The Future” -- it is written, and indeed spoken, with such emphasis -- will undoubtedly provide wonders and plenty and the relief of all mortal ills.
The Essefians compete to write and read Romances on their various imagin’d Futures. And tho one such tale, if fulfilled, must needs contradict all others, yet each is hailed as worthy.
Indeed, much of the behaviour of the Essefians is likewise contradictory. They claim that in The Future will all be whole and hale and fit. Very well, a noble goal, and each Essefian avers that he lives his life to reach that mark personally. Yet, I was hardpress’d to encounter a native of that land whose corpulence would not exclude him from his own New Brave World!
Likewise, some practise a procedure similar to the smoking of Tobacko in Europe. But unlike our healthy imbibing of the leafe, they instead resort to the consumption of Tobacko admixed with various chemics and flavours none knows which.
And also in a similar fashion, there be those who, while fore-swearing to partake of these Tobacko-ishe decoctions, ne’er-the-less virtuously claim the virtues of the syphoning of flavoured chemicals thru metal tubes into their mouthes -- in imitation of the same vice they virtuously proclaim to have renounced! And although none can say what be inside these tubes, yet these pseudo-smokers boast of their health with much pride. Although indulgers in this curious substation maintain it be termed “vaping,” methinks such may be called “vapid” not “vaped.”
Further disconcerting note may be made that both schooles of Essefians swear that such is not for Children, but their very classification and promotions of their Tobacko-ishe commodities are done by Methods sure to intice children to enter the use.
In a discussion with mine host, a round fellow nam’d Pickwhoo, I enquired as to how the wonders of The Future will be realised, if its only hope is to be brought to Reality by imperfect creatures as he or I. To which he replied that in The Future, Man will be beyond all pettiness, selfishness, and conflict. I asked how this Transformation was to occur, and he averred that every day Man was learning to practice peace and generosity, following the Bright Ensample embodied by followers of the Essefian ways. He was about to further expound, when a light blow impackted the side of the House wherein we spoke. At the sound of this Blowe, Pickwhoo irrupted in a shower of blasphemies, some unfamiliar to even one who has spent years in the company of sailors. After a brief absence, Pickwhoo returned with a Play-Ball made of Indian rubber. He had taken the ball from a child whose play had intruded into our philosophical talk of peace and forgiveness. “D*** kids!” averred this advocate of understanding and progress, thus cursing the very Future he espoused.
* * *
One group of Essefians, whilst proclaiming wonder at the myriad varieties of Life and embracing the singular Beauty of each living thing, meanwhiles indorse a strangely opposite view. They allow -- nay, they salute --, the killing of an unborn Babe because of a real or imagin’d inconvenience to its Mother. When I enquired further about this practise to murder the selfsame Future that was otherwise anticipated by their Sect, I was told that this attitude was called “Pro Choice.” Whereupon I responded, “By my sights, the question whether or no to engage in Congress wherein an unwanted child might be engendered -- that is the time when a wise choice should be made.”
Mine host became empurpled of face and explained that I was not entitled to comment, being of the Male Gender. I responded, “Why, say? Having myself experienced Birth, may I not proclaim its goodness? Further, since your countrymen constantly image the wonders of The Future, how can they justify its Murder, one innocent babe at a time? How can any sentient being choose Death over Life, merely for convenience’ sake?”
It was several days that passed before Pickwhoo ventured again to converse, at which time he invited me to join him at a “Convention,” or a Gathering of exceptionally dedicated worshipers of The Future. I must confess that the behaviour that I witnessed was, contrariwise, most un-conventional, but more must needs bide until the next Chapter.
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