The Reading Room

Jonathan Swift’s Resolutions

In 1699, Jonathan Swift, one of our favorite writers, made a list of resolutions for his life. While they weren't technically New Year's resolutions, we present them here for the entertainment and edification of our readers.
Resolutions When I Come to be OldNot to marry a young Woman.
Not to be peevish or morose, or suspicious.
Not to tell the same story over and over to the same People.
Not to be covetous.
Not to be over severe with young People, but give Allowances for their youthfull follyes and weaknesses.
Not to be too free of advise, nor trouble any but those that desire it.
Not to talk much, nor of my self.
Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, etc.
Not to hearken to Flatteryes, nor conceive I can be beloved by a young woman.
Not to be positive or opiniative.
Not to sett up for observing all these Rules; for fear I should observe none.Desire some good Friends to inform me which of these Resolutions I break, or neglect, & wherein; and reform accordingly.