A Modest Proposal
Visions of Ireland Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
For first, as I have already observed, it would greatly lessen the number of papists, with whom we are yearly overrun, being the principal breeders of the nation as well as our most dangerous enemies. (20)
Swift is satirizing English gossip that Irish Catholics would rise up and restore the Pretender to the throne.
I desire the reader will observe I calculate my remedy for this one individual kingdom of Ireland, and for no one that ever was, is, or, I think, ever can be upon earth. (28)
Just so we're clear, Swift isn't proposing that the whole world turn to cannibalism. Just Ireland will do for now.
Therefore let no man talk to me of other expedients […] of learning to love our country, wherein we differ even from Laplanders and the inhabitants of Topinamboo, of quitting our animosities and factions. (28)
Can't everyone get along? Get this: this was one of the actual solutions Swift proposed in an earlier tract.