Archive for the '42 Years Old' Category

Forty-Two Year Old – Poprishchin


November 6th

The head of the department was in a terrible mood. When I got to the office he called me in and took this line with me: ‘Will you please tell me what your game is?’ ‘Why, nothing,’ I answered. ‘Are you sure? Think hard! You’re past forty now, and it’s time you had a bit more sense. Who do you think you are? Do you imagine I haven’t heard about your tricks? I know you’ve been running after the Director’s daughter! Take a good look at yourself. What are you? Just nothing, an absolute nobody. You haven’t got a copeck to bless yourself with. Just take a look in the mirror – fancy you having thoughts about the General’s daughter!’ To hell with it, his own face puts you mind of those large bottles you see in chemists’ windows, what with that tuft of hair he puts in curlers. And the way he holds his head up and smothers his hair in pomade! Thinks he can get away with anything! Now I can understand why he’s got it in for me: seeing me get some preferential treatment in the office has made him jealous. I don’t care a hoot about him! Just because he’s a court counsellor he thinks he’s Lord God Almighty! He lets his gold watch chain dangle outside his waistcoat and pays thirty roubles for a pair of shoes. He can go to hell! Does he think I’m the son of a commoner, or tailor, or a non-commissioned officer? I’m a gentleman! I could get promotion if I wanted! I’m only forty-two, that’s an age nowadays when one’s career is only just beginning. Just you wait, my friend, until I’m a colonel, or even something higher, God willing. I’ll acquire more status than you. Where did you get the idea you’re the only person whom we’re supposed to look up to around here? Just give me a coat from Ruch’s, cut in the latest style; I’ll knot my tie like you do: and then you won’t be fit to clean my boots. It’s only that I’m short of money.

Nikolay Gogol, Diary of a Madman Translated by Robert A. Maguire  

Published in: 42 Years Old | on December 5th, 2010 | No Comments »

Forty-Two Year Old: Moll Flanders

I was now a single person again, as I may call myself; I was loosed from all the obligations either of wedlock or mistress-ship in the world, except my husband the linen-draper, whom, I having not now heard from in almost fifteen years, nobody could blame me for thinking myself entirely freed from; seeing also he had at his going away told me, that if I did not hear frequently from him, I should conclude he was dead, and I might freely marry again to whom I pleased.

I now began to cast up my accounts. I had by many letters and much importunity, and with the intercession of my mother too, had a second return of some goods from my brother (as I now call him) in Virginia, to make up the damage of the cargo I brought away with me, and this too was upon the condition of my sealing a general release to him, and to send it him by his correspondent at Bristol, which, though I thought hard of, yet I was obliged to promise to do. However, I managed so well in this case, that I got my goods away before the release was signed, and then I always found something or other to say to evade the thing, and to put off the signing it at all; till at length I pretended I must write to my brother, and have his answer, before I could do it.

Including this recruit, and before I got the last £50, I found my strength to amount, put all together, to about £400, so that with that I had about £450. I had saved above £100 more, but I met with a disaster with that, which was this—that a goldsmith in whose hands I had trusted it, broke, so I lost £70 of my money, the man’s composition not making above £30 out of his £100. I had a little plate, but not much, and was well enough stocked with clothes and linen.

With this stock I had the world to begin again; but you are to consider that I was not now the same woman as when I lived at Redriff; for, first of all, I was near twenty years older, and did not look the better for my age, nor for my rambles to Virginia and back again; and though I omitted nothing that might set me out to advantage, except painting, for that I never stooped to, and had pride enough to think I did not want it, yet there would always be some difference seen between five-and-twenty and two-and-forty.

Daniel Defoe, The Fortunes and Misfortunes of Moll Flanders

Published in: 42 Years Old | on December 5th, 2010 | No Comments »