“Resolutions when I Come to Be Old” by Jonathan Swift (1709)

“Resolutions when I Come to Be Old” by Jonathan Swift (1709)

  • Don’t marry a young woman
  • Don’t keep company unless they really want it
  • Don’t be angry, sad, envious or suspicious
  • Don’t complain about the modern area
  • Don’t like children
  • Don’t tell the same story over & over
  • Don’t neglect decency or hygiene
  • Don’t be too hard on the young
  • Don’t listen to gossip or tattling
  • Don’t give unsolicited advice
  • Find friends to let you know if you’re slipping up
  • Don’t talk much, especially about yourself
  • Don’t boast of past glories
  • Don’t listen to flattery
  • Don’t think you can land a young lady
  • Don’t seek a legacy
  • Don’t be too opinionated
  • Don’t observe all of these rules too closely.

“A Meditation upon a Broomstick” by Jonathan Swift (1701)

“A Meditation upon a Broomstick” by Jonathan Swift (1701)

  • The broomstick propped up in the corner was once a tree flowing with life
  • Now everyone who touches it does so out of drudgery
    • Supposed to make other things clean & makes itself dirty in the process
    • It’ll either be thrown out or in the fire in the end
  • That’s a lot like a man
    • Starts out looking good & clean, puts on a wig of hairs that aren’t his
      • Brooms wear straw hairs that aren’t theirs
  • If a broom is a tree standing on its head, a man is an animal with its faculties tied to rationality, his head where his heels ought to be – on the floor, groveling
    • But men set out to be reformers, correctors of abuse, raising up dust where was none before
    • Eventually he’ll be in the hands of a woman until he’s either thrown out with the garbage or in the fire to be burnt for heat