A Modest Proposal
A Modest Proposal Visions of Ireland Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
For we are told by a grave author, an eminent French physician, that, fish being a prolific diet, there are more children born in Roman Catholic countries about nine months after Lent than at any other season. (13)
Here's another satirical reference to Ireland's Catholicism and the Lenten practice of eating fish. Fish was supposed to boost fertility.
As to our city of Dublin, shambles may be appointed for this purpose in the most convenient parts of it. (16)
Shambles are slaughterhouses. Swift is painting a picture of a lovely Ireland, isn't he?
But I am not in the least pain upon that matter because it is very well known that they are every day dying and rotting by cold and famine, and filth and vermin, as fast as can be reasonably expected. (18)
The conditions may be slightly exaggerated, but Swift is trying to tug at the heartstrings of wealthy Irish readers.