Johnson's celebration of John Lade's reaching his "Coming of Age" is a light-hearted tour-de-force set of instructions to a wealthy young man for living life to the full. This catalogue of wealth and freedom would not have appealed greatly to John Lade's mother, Lady Mary Lade.
The premise of the poem, of course, is that the 21-year-old Lade now has access to his father's, Baronet Sir John Lade, fortune, with no parental control over how to spend his father's fortune:
Pomp and pleasure, pride and plenty/Great Sir John, are all your own.
Johnson's playful diction includes a clever use of alliteration and, most important, establishes the paradigm for Sir John's future life: pomp and pride go with his knighthood, a heady way to start life at 21, and pleasure and plenty reflect what Lade's fortune affords him.
In the second stanza, Johnson continues his onslaught on moderate behavior:
Loosened from the minor's tether,/Free to mortgage or to sell,/Wild as wind, and light as a feather,/Bid the...
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