Thursday, 20 September 2018

WHEN I COME TO BE OLD


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RESOLUTIONS WHEN I COME TO BE OLD
Jonathan Swift

Written in mdcxcix.

NOT to marry a young woman.
Not to keep young company, unless they desire it.
Not to be peevish, or morose, or suspicious.
Not to scorn present ways, or wits, or fashions, or men, or war, &c.
Not to be fond of children.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same people.
Not to be covetous.
Not to neglect decency or cleanliness, for fear of falling into nastiness.
Not to be over severe with young people, but give allowances for their youthful follies and weaknesses.
Not to be influenced by, or give ear to, knavish tattling servants, or others.
Not to be too free of advice, nor trouble any but those who desire it.
To desire some good friends to inform me which of these resolutions I break or neglect, and wherein; and reform accordingly.
Not to talk much, nor of myself.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favour with ladies, &c.
Not to hearken to flatteries, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman; et eos qui hæreditatem captant, odisse ac vitare*.
Not to be positive or opinionative.
Not to set up for observing all these rules, for fear I should observe none.


* and to detest and avoid those [young women] who are chasing after an inheritance

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