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Quotes

Quote #1

It is a melancholy object to those who walk through this great town, or travel in the country, when they see the streets, the roads, and cabin doors crowded with beggars. (1)

When Swift speaks of a great town, he refers to Dublin. He wasn't always so favorable in descriptions of his home country, but it sounds like he's being serious.

Quote #2

These […] helpless infants, who, as they grow up, either turn thieves for want of work, or leave their dear native country to fight for the Pretender in Spain, or sell themselves to Barbados. (1)

Here's a real life game of thrones: Catholic Ireland was loyal to King James Francis Edward Stuart (the Pretender) even after he was dethroned for his Catholicism.

Quote #3

For we can neither employ them in handicraft or agriculture; we neither build houses (I mean in the country) nor cultivate land. (7)

Lazy absentee landlords typically built huge estates, further contributing to Ireland's poverty.

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