When I Come to be Old

In 1699 when author Jonathan Swift was just 32 years old he created this list of personal resolutions that he titled When I come to be Old. Thanks to Lists of Note for the transcript.

“When I come to be old. 1699. Not to marry a young Woman. Not to keep young Company unless they reely 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, or let them come near me hardly. Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People. Not to be covetous. Not to neglect decency, or cleenlyness, for fear of falling into Nastyness. Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses. Not to be influenced by, or give ear to knavish tatling servants, or others. Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it. To desire some good Friends to inform me wch of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, and wherein; and reform accordingly. Not to talk much, nor of my self. Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, &c. Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman, et eos qui hereditatem captant, odisse ac vitare. Not to be positive or opiniative. Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.

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1 Response to When I Come to be Old

  1. patsquared2 says:

    Reblogged this on Write On Target and commented:
    And we thought the “bucket list” was a new idea. I love Jonathan Swift’s list, especially the one about not telling the same story…a common failing of those of us over a certain age!

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