"Youth Will Be Served"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In Chapter 92 of Lavengro, George Borrow's semi-autobiographical gipsy novel, the wandering herotinker, Lavengro, having earned a local reputation as a boxer by defeating a rival tinker, the Flaming Tinman, goes several times to a public house near where he is temporarily living. The landlord, a former boxer himself, enjoys chatting with the young fighter and reminiscing about the time when he "became the wonder and glory of this here neighbourhood" by beating a man named Tom of Hopton:

. . . The landlord appeared at all times glad to see me, and insisted that I should sit within the bar, where, leaving his other guests to be attended to by a niece of his who officiated as his housekeeper, he would sit beside me and talk of matters concerning "the ring," indulging himself with a cigar and a glass of sherry, which he told me was his favourite wine, whilst I drank my ale. "I loves the conversation of all you coves of the ring," said he once, "which is natural, seeing as how I have fought in a ring myself. Ah, there is nothing like the ring; I wish I was not rather too old to go again into it. I often think I should like to have another rally–one more rally, and then–but there's a time for all things–youth will be served, every dog has his day, and mine has been a fine one–let me be content. . . ."