Worst of all, poetry corrupts the soul, strengthening the appetitive part and weakening the rational. It encourages us to indulge in emotions like pity, amusement at base jokes, sympathy with sexual lusts. Because we feel these emotions vicariously through fictional characters, and not ourselves, we believe that we are safe. However, we do not realize that once we begin to allow these sorts of emotion reign they gain power and flourish. Soon we are feeling pity for ourselves, amusement at base events in our own life, and our own sexual lusts. Our appetitive part begins to gain control of the rational, and we are made unjust.
We all know that fears and misperceptions linger on both sides of the Pacific. Some in our country see China’s progress as a threat to the United States; some in China worry that America seeks to constrain China’s growth. We reject both those views. The fact is that a thriving America is good for China and a thriving China is good for America. We both have much more to gain from cooperation than from conflict. But you cannot build a relationship on aspirations alone. It is up to both of us to more consistently translate positive words into effective cooperation — and, crucially, to meet our respective global responsibilities and obligations. These are the things that will determine whether our relationship delivers on its potential in the years to come. We also have to be honest about our differences. We will address them firmly and decisively as we pursue the urgent work we have to do together. And we have to avoid unrealistic expectations.
The speaker is a Protestant and a member of the Irish upper class. While he professes sympathy for the plight of the poor Catholic population, he also holds a fairly contemptuous opinion of them. He takes great pains to enumerate the advantages of his proposed project for the wealthy, who would presumably be called upon to implement it. Yet Swift's irony implicates this moneyed class for their monetary greed, their personal indulgence, their unflagging attention to their own self-interest, and their indifference to the state of the poor and the state of the nation as a whole.