- In his introduction, Swift's projector explains the reason for his proposal: "for Preventing the Children of poor People in Ireland, from being a Burden to their Parents or Country; and for making them beneficial to the Publick."
- "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 of the female sex, followed by three, four, or six children, all in rags, ad importuning every passenger for an alms."
- "But my intention is very far from being confined to provide only for the children of professed beggars; it is of a much greater extent.."
- ".I calculate there may be about two hundred thousand couple whose wives are breeders."
- "I have been assured by a very knowing American of my acquaintance in London, that a young healthy child, well nursed, is, at a year old, a most delicious, nourishing, and wholesome food.."
- "Infants' flesh will be in season throughout the year.."
- "I compute that Dublin would take off annually about twenty thousand carcasses.."
- "I can think of no one objection that will possibly be raised against this proposal.."
- ".I could name a country which would be glad to eat up our whole nation without it."
- "I profess, in the sincerity of my heart, that I have not the least personal interest in endeavoring to promote this necessary work, having no other motive than the public good of my country.."
A Modest Proposal: Top Ten Quotes