Shire of Augusta Margaret River Libraries

To do ‘when I come to be old’

Working at the library provides the opportunity to discover surprising gems, which we love to share with our community. One such treasure currently circulating is Lists of Note by Shaun Usher.

Flicking through this eclectic collection of historical lists, we found Jonathon Swift’s (author of Gulliver’s Travels) to-do list, for ‘When I come to be old’.

Written in 1699, the list outlines Swift’s advice to his older self, and includes such gems as (in the original spelling):

  • 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 tell the same Story over and over to the same People
  • Not to scorn present Ways, or Wits, or Fashion, or Men, or War, etc
  • Not to talk much, nor of my self
  • Not to boast of my former beauty, or strength, or favor with Ladyes, etc

Swift was 32 when he created the list, and lived to be nearly 80 – we wonder whether he followed his own advice!





Read more blog posts
Back to top ↑

Contact the Libraries

Margaret River Library

Fearn Avenue, Margaret River WA 6285
Phone: (08) 9780 5600