A Modest Proposal
Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
I do therefore humbly offer it to public consideration that of the hundred and twenty thousand children already computed, twenty thousand may be reserved for breed, whereof only one fourth part to be males, which is more than we allow to sheep, black cattle, or swine. (11)
The level of detail is meant to be shocking. You don't suggest that kids can be raised for food without going all the way with the metaphor.
I have already computed the charge of nursing a beggar's child (in which list I reckon all cottagers, labourers, and four fifths of farmers) to be about two shillings per annum, rags included. (14)
Cottagers were generally known as people who lived in the country. If you were a kid who didn't live in the city, you were out of luck.
Those who are more thrifty (as I must confess the times require) may flay the carcass, the skin of which, artificially dressed, will make admirable gloves for ladies and summer boots for fine gentlemen. (15)
Swift brings a new meaning to kidskin gloves. But seriously, one of Swift's pet peeves was spending too much time and money on appearance.